Some of Adafruit’s Favorite Books For #BackToSchool

Screen Shot 2014 08 12 at 2 54 46 PM

Through all the feet-dragging, pencil-biting, homework copying, and barbaric librarians we had to suffer through during our school years, there were always those few teachers who opened our eyes to a book that elevated our spirits, challenged us, and maybe inspired us to create something of our own. These are the books we didn’t want to give back at the end of the year, or that were so lined with notes and full of bent pages, the school didn’t want them anyway.

We’ve asked some of the team here at Adafruit to remember a book that stuck with them through the years and that they sometimes still return to for reference.

Check out their responses below, as well as some suggestions for Back to School books available now in our Adafruit store!

Tumblr m5xy0kseo01qaouh8o1 400

(image via

Our Director of Wearable Electroncis, Becky Stern, suggests checking out The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman.

Becky writes, “This book was required reading for me in design school and it opened my eyes to why bad design can be so frustrating, and what factors to take into consideration when designing things (objects, environments, websites, etc.) that humans use. It will change the way you look at everyday things, for sure.”

Buy it here!

The Hot Zone cover

(image via Wikipedia)

Jessica, our Community and Support Team Lead, recommends Richard Preston’s 1995 non-fiction thriller The Hot Zone. From Jessica, “My AP Bio teacher in high school had us read it and I loved it. The first chapter is one of the scariest things I’ve ever read. It’s pretty interesting now considering the ebola crisis happening.”

If you want to check out a review before diving into the terror, we suggest Paul Trachtman’s from Smithsonian Magazine!

Buy it here!

Danny, our Kitting Team Lead here at Adafruit, shared two of his favorites:

Here there everywhere emerick(image via

Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles is the autobiography of the famed music engineer for The Beatles.

Danny writes, “This is an amazing account of arguably the greatest recording engineer who ever lived. It’s incredibly fascinating to learn firsthand the kind of thinking that led to many of the engineering decisions that formed the basis for modern recording techniques. Emerick is a true original, and perhaps the first engineer you could really say was a true artist.”

Buy the book here!

Hardcover2 prop embed

Danny also is a big fan of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower Series. He writes, “This is a personal favorite, and imho all Stevie King books are worth reading. The 5th 6th and 7th are all not great, but that doesn’t take away how incredible the first 4 and 8th one is. There are parts of this that would probably be better for readers that are at least in high school, […] This is a classic sci fi series that will only rise in prominence as time goes on and King is a true master.”

Buy the first four books here!


The Little Thinker Adventures are a series of hands-on listening stories and adventures that blended art, learning, fun, and science all into one place for kids. This recommendation came from Zay, our Director of shipping. He says, “These made a real impression on me. My mom got a bunch of these. Don’t know if anyone else will remember them…”

You can purchase them here!


310 00

THE ART OF ELECTRONICS – STUDENT MANUAL WITH EXERCISES: The Art of Electronics – Student manual with exercises, plastic comb binder by Thomas C. Hayes & Paul Horowitz. This manual is both a guide and aid to users of The Art of Electronics. It is carefully organized to follow the chapters of the main text, providing extra explanatory notes, worked examples, solutions to selected exercises and laboratory exercises. Learning aids such as glossaries, reading assignments, objectives, data sheets and summaries are also included. The manual is a product of many years’ teaching at Harvard University, which has given the authors direct knowledge of concepts that students find difficult. The extra explanatory detail makes this manual an essential purchase for students using The Art of Electronics. (In stock and shipping now!)

1585 00

SUPER SCRATCH PROGRAMMING ADVENTURE!: Scratch is the wildly popular ­educational programming language used by ­millions of first-time learners in classrooms and homes worldwide. By dragging ­together colorful blocks of code, kids can learn computer programming concepts and make cool games and animations. The latest version, Scratch 2, brings the language right into your web browser, with no need to download software.

In Super Scratch Programming Adventure!, kids learn programming fundamentals as they make their very own playable video games. They’ll create projects inspired by classic arcade games that can be programmed (and played!) in an afternoon. Patient, step-by-step explanations of the code and fun programming challenges will have kids creating their own games in no time. In stock and shipping now!

1741 00

HACKING THE RASPBERRY PI: Raspberry Pi is taking off like a rocket! You can use this amazing, dirt-cheap, credit card-sized computers to learn powerful hardware hacking techniques as you build incredibly creative and useful projects! This complete, full-color guide requires absolutely no experience with either hardware hacking or computer programming. Colorful photos guide you through each project, and the step-by-step instructions are stunningly clear and easy. In stock and shipping now!


ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER: A beautifully-illustrated tale of a girl and her dream to become a great engineer.
Where some people see rubbish, Rosie Revere sees inspiration. Alone in her room at night, shy Rosie constructs great inventions from odds and ends. Hot dog dispensers, helium pants, python-repelling cheese hats. Rosie’s gizmos would astound—if she ever let anyone see them.
Afraid of failure, she hides them away under her bed. Until a fateful visit from her great-great-aunt Rose, who shows her that a first flop isn’t something to fear—it’s something to celebrate. In stock and shipping now!

1941 01

MAKE YOUR OWN PCBS WITH EAGLE BY SIMON MONK: Learn how to make double-sided professional-quality PCBs from the ground up using EAGLE–the powerful, flexible design software. It’s the same CAD tools ladyada and KTOWN use for all the Adafruit PCB designs! In this step-by-step guide, electronics guru Simon Monk leads you through the process of designing a schematic, transforming it into a PCB layout, and submitting standard Gerber files to a manufacturing service to create your finished board. Filled with detailed illustrations, photos, and screenshots, Make Your Own PCBs with EAGLE features downloadable example projects so you can get started right away. In stock and shipping now!


August is Back to School Month here at Adafruit! Each day we’ll be bringing you a post for educators on the blog. Stay tuned for product guides, tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System, and inspiration from around the web! Get started by checking out Adafruit’s educational resources, such as our kits and project packs, suggested products for young engineers, and an extensive selection of books to help you learn!

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.