Ones for the bookshelf: A Montessori reading list

The Montessori approach has been well documented in papers and writings by Maria Montessori since she started her phenomenal work over a century ago. Over the years, many threads of research bring together authors and child psychologists to weave an important stream of reading which contributes to much of what we learn today, here at MCI and within school settings.

Maria’s books vary from notes on the classroom to deep philosophical writings about the future of man and her vision of how humanity can reach its potential. She writes with lucidity and, personally, once I was a few pages in, I was hooked. They aren’t for everyone but they are the seminal go-to texts to really understand the core principals of her work.

Her biography by E.M.Standing is an important book for its context of Maria Montessori’s life and the struggles she overcame, adding to her depth of compassion and consideration for the children she worked with.

Paula Polk Lillard’s book was one of the first I bought whilst studying and found it to be very helpful to give me a wider vision of implementation. The same goes for Tim Seldin’s title. Simone Davis’ recent contribution has jumped right to the top of my list because not only is it so beautifully designed but is a gently written and perfect for reference in the home as well as a working text for study.

The books I have included under the Child Development umbrella are great for parents and carers of children of any age, and so useful even if you are not a “Montessori family”. I recommend them, if only for the level of self-reflection they encourage.

There are of course other important books around parenting, education and child rearing, from breastfeeding to sleeping habits, weaning to screen-time, which are just as useful, but here is a concise list to get you going. Some are very involved reading but some can be lightly skimmed through or used as reference when you need some inspiration or deeper understanding. Enjoy!


Authored by Maria Montessori:

The Absorbent Mind: Available to order here

The Discovery of the Child: Available to order here

The Secret of Childhood: Available to order here

The Montessori Method: Available to order here


About Maria Montessori:

Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work, by E. M. Standing: Available to order here


The Montessori Method:

Montessori From The Start, by Paula Polk Lillard: Available to order here

The Montessori Toddler, by Simone Davies: Available to order here

How to Raise an Amazing Child, the Montessori Way, by Tim Seldin


Child Development:

Unconditional Parenting, by Alfie Kohn

The Whole Brain Child, by Dr. Daniel J, Seigel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, and How To Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish