Recommended Parent Reading

Each of the books we recommend are those highlighted by our faculty for their utility and insights.


Click here to download the Parent Reading flyer.

This year's Parent Association Speakers!

Over the past years MMS has hosted many of the nation’s foremost speakers on issues from family dynamics, raising responsible children, learning to say “No,” the biology of learning, relationships between fathers and their children, and a great deal more. This year the MMS Parent association will be once again hosting two renowned speakers.

Aaron Cooper, Ph.D.

For over 30 years Aaron Cooper has been an award-winning author, teacher, speaker, and psychologist. A graduate of Harvard, Northwestern, and Loyola of Chicago, he is on the faculty of The Family Institute at Northwestern University. I Just Want My Kids To Be Happy!: Why You Shouldn’t Say It, Why You Shouldn’t Think It, What You Should Embrace Instead (Late August Press, 2008) won a Gold Medal in the 2008 Mom’s Choice Awards, and has been cited in a variety of outlets including: the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Parents magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, and in interviews nationwide. 


Robert Evans, Ed.D. 

There is no harder job than being a parent. Nothing else touches so much of a person so deeply—or so unpredictably—and there is no training for it. As the pace of life accelerates, as media influences intensify, and as the future grows less predictable, parents find it harder to know how to raise children of character, caring, and competence, how to resist negative influences in the surrounding culture, how to help foster resilience in children. Rob Evans will outline key dilemmas facing parents today and offer concrete suggestions for helping them develop three keys to success: resilience, perseverance, and optimism.

Read the Book:

Millions of loving parents say that their children’s happiness is the most important thing. But what these well-intentioned moms and dads don’t know is that a certain kind of devotion to the happiness creed hurts, rather than helps, both generations. It’s perhaps the leading cause, the authors argue, of the increasing incidence of youth worry, anxiety, and depression. We all want our kids to be happy, but there’s a secret behind making it happen that every parent should know. This surprising and highly readable book, drawing from twenty years of research in the happiness field, reveals that secret, and gives parents a blueprint for aiming their kids toward authentically happy lives.

Read the Book:

Students everywhere are harder to reach and teach, their attention and motivation less reliable, their language and behavior more provocative. This is largely because parents, suffering a widespread loss of confidence and competence, are increasingly anxious about their children’s success, yet increasingly unable to support and guide them and increasingly assertive and adversarial vis a vis the school. Examining these trends and their underlying causes, Evans calls for a combination of limits and leverage. Evans outlines concrete ways to implement these measures, and closes with a reflection on ways to sustain hope and commitment in the face of unprecedented challenge.



The Fulfilling Ride by Greg Dale, Ph.D.

Parents play such an influential role in the experiences children have in sport. Whether you are the parent of a six-year-old who is just beginning to participate in organized sport or an eighteen-year-old varsity athlete, you will find this book insightful and helpful. The Fulfilling Ride encourages you to examine your current role as a sport parent and provides you with practical strategies you can use to maximize your effectiveness in this very important role.

Prodigal Sons & Material Girls by Nathan Dungan

In today’s society many young people have lost sight of the value of money. From the preschooler who begs for another toy to the college student who graduates buried in $10,000 of credit card debt, today’s youth lack a sense of financial responsibility. In fact, children today spend FIVE times more than their parents did at the same age (and that’s adjusted for inflation). Prodigal Sons and Material Girls addresses the nagging issue faced by many parents today – why do their children have such unrealistic expectations about money?

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.

Mindset is one of those rare books that can help you make positive changes in your life and at the same time see the world in a new way. A leading expert in motivation and personality psychology, Carol Dweck has discovered in more than twenty years of research that our mindset is not a minor personality quirk: it creates our whole mental world. Dweck has found that everyone has one of two basic mindsets. If you have a growth mindset, however, you know that talents can be developed and that great abilities are built over time. This is the path of opportunity–and success.

The World Peace Game by John Hunter |

John Hunter is an award-winning gifted teacher and educational consultant who has dedicated his life to helping children realize their full potential. The World Peace Game is a hands-on political simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the connectedness of the global community through the lens of the economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war. The goal of the game is to extricate each country from dangerous circumstances and achieve global prosperity with the least amount of military intervention.

Making the Most of College by Richard J. Light

Why do some students in the United States make the most of college, while others struggle and look back on years of missed opportunities? Two Harvard University Presidents invited Richard Light and his colleagues to explore this question and many more, resulting in ten years of interviews with 1,600 Harvard students. Making the Most of College offers concrete advice on choosing classes, talking productively with advisors, improving writing and study skills, maximizing the value of research assignments, and connecting learning inside the classroom with the rest of life.

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Last Child in the Woods is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults.

Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal

With 174 million gamers in the United States alone, we now live in a world where every generation will be a gamer generation. But why, Jane McGonigal asks, should games be used for escapist entertainment alone? In this groundbreaking book, she shows how we can leverage the power of games to fix what is wrong with the real world-from social problems like depression and obesity to global issues like poverty and climate change-and introduces us to cutting-edge games that are already changing the business, education, and nonprofit worlds.

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel, Ph.D.

A bestselling phenomenon among parents and educators, this book is an inspiring new roadmap for raising children. Wendy Mogel’s sage reflections on a world where entitlement and competition abound have struck a chord with thousands of readers. When the values of the culture are at odds with the one parents wish to uphold and instill, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee offers a refreshing antidote. Instead of anxious overparenting, the book points the way to raising self-reliant, grateful, optimistic children.

The follow up, The Blessing of a B Minus, helps parents navigate the rough waters of the teenage years.

The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori

Published in Italian in 1909 and first translated into English in 1912, these still-revolutionary theories focus on the individuality of the child and on nurturing her inherent joy of learning to create schools and other learning environments that are oriented on the child. Eschewing rote memorization and drilling, Montessori’s method helps to foster abstract thinking and to fulfill a child’s highest potential, emotionally, physically and intellectually.

A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink

The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic “right-brain” thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t. Drawing on research from around the world, Pink outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment-and reveals how to master them. A Whole New Mind takes readers to a daring new place, and a provocative and necessary new way of thinking about a future that’s already here.

Getting it Right with Teens by Madelyn Swift

The ideas, tips and stories found in Getting it Right with Teens help us understand our teens but also to deal effectively with them. Just as we cannot protect our children from unhappiness and discomfort, we cannot make these teen years free from the odd bump and rough climb upwards. Think back. It mattered what you wore; it mattered who your friends were; it mattered what you looked like; it mattered how cool you were. Your world was immediately critical, but not immediately forgiving.

Best Friends, Worst Enemies by Michael Thompson, Ph.D.

Friends broaden our children’s horizons, share their joys and secrets, and accompany them on their journeys into ever wider worlds. But friends can also gossip and betray, tease and exclude. Children can cause untold suffering, not only for their peers but for parents as well. In this wise and insightful book, psychologist Michael Thompson, Ph.D., and children’s book author Catherine O’Neill Grace, illuminate the crucial and often hidden role that friendship plays in the lives of children from birth through adolescence.


Click here to download the Parent Reading flyer.

Milwaukee Montessori School
345 North 95th St, Milwaukee, WI 53226
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