In Reading Horizons webcast, Dyslexia Q&A: Expert Panel Discussion, our dyslexia experts, Donell Pons, M.Ed., MAT, SPED, and Shantell Berrett, MA, shared their favorite books about dyslexia for both educators and parents:
1. Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching
Archer, A.L., and Hughes, C.A. (2011). Explicit instruction: Effective and efficient teaching. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Structured literacy (that includes explicit phonics instruction) is systematic, direct, engaging, and
Book summary retrieved
2. Why Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers
Beers, Kyleen. Why Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6-12. Heinemann, 2002.
This is the book for educators and parents of students who never learned to read with confidence. Beers
3. Teaching Students with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia: Lessons from Teaching and Science
Berninger, V.W. and Wolf, B.J. (2009). Teaching students with dyslexia and dysgraphia: Lessons from teaching and science. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.
This book covers the following three learning disabilities that require differentiated instruction: dysgraphia, dyslexia, and oral and written language learning disability (OWL LD). This book prepares educators to teach students with learning differences in explicit, reflective, and intellectually engaging ways.
Ginger Berninger, a seasoned researcher
Portions of the book summary retrieved
4. Developing Language and Literacy
Carroll, Julia, et al. Developing language and literacy. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
Although focused mainly on studies conducted in England, Carroll and associates have provided a thoughtful and well-researched manual for examining reading difficulties and how to approach intervention. Chapter 2 should be read by every administrator, parent, and educator interested in understanding why there are many schools performing so poorly in reading across the country. Within Chapter 2, Carroll establishes the protocol for determining the effectiveness of various reading interventions and explains how this information has either led to better instruction or greater misunderstanding.
5. Blueprint for a Literate Nation: How You Can Help
Coletti, Cynthia. Blueprint for a literate nation: how you can help. XLIBRIS, 2013.
Coletti approaches reading instruction and dyslexia from the perspective of a parent and CEO. Drawing heavily from researchers in the field, Ms. Coletti outlines how schools, districts, communities, and the government can change America’s reading profile. As a call to arms, this book is effective. The last third of the book has endless resources and the “blueprint” for a literate nation.
6. Book Smart: How to Develop and Support Successful, Motivated Readers
and Zibulsky, Jamie. Book Smart: How to develop and support successful, motivated readers. Oxford University Press, 2014.
This is a top-down manual for helping students develop reading and writing skills. Not only does the book do a thorough job of explaining reading acquisition,
7. Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read
Dehaene, Stanislas. Reading in the Brain: The new science of how we read. Penguin, 2010.
This is a fascinating book from the perspective of a neuroscientist regarding the brain and reading. Although often heavy in technical terminology, Dehaene is able to incorporate enough human experiences to bring
8. The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning
Foss, Ben. The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A blueprint for renewing your child’s confidence and love of learning. Ballantine Books, 2016.
Foss is an articulate and relatable advocate for children and families dealing with dyslexia and the school system. Through personal stories, Foss manages to commiserate while providing actionable ways to improve outcomes in school, work, and life. This is an excellent book for parents or students who are feeling overwhelmed by the implications of dyslexia and need encouragement.
9. Unlocking Literacy: Effective Decoding and Spelling Instruction
Henry, Marcia K. Unlocking Literacy: Effective Decoding and Spelling Instruction. Brooks Publishing, 2010.
After you have tutored countless students with dyslexia, one thing becomes apparent: poor spelling can linger long after decoding improves. Many English words do not respond to conventional sound-to-symbol spelling methods or syllable types. Students with dyslexia will need a solid foundation of morphology, etymology, and orthography, which are the keys to truly unlocking encoding. Henry’s book provides a logical and effective way of approaching English spelling that offers every student the opportunity to spell (and understand) more words with confidence.
10. Equipped for Reading Success: A Comprehensive, Step-by-Step Program for Developing Phonemic Awareness and Fluent Word Recognition
Kilpatrick, David. Equipped for Reading Success: A comprehensive, step-by-step program for developing phonemic awareness and fluent word recognition. Casey & Kirsch Publishers, 2016.
Equipped for Reading Success is exactly what it says it is: a step-by-step guide to teaching phonemic awareness and fluent word recognition. Kilpatrick not only sets out a sensible, comprehensive plan for teaching students with reading difficulties but also includes instruction for educators so they can understand why they are teaching each concept. Kilpatrick includes important background on Ehri’s phases of sight word development to help educators, parents, and administrators understand the importance of orthography when remediating weak readers. He also spends an appropriate amount of time teaching the importance of orthography to ensure weak readers not only learn to read but also so they can spell. This should be required reading for every SPED para, teacher, parent, administrator, or anyone who makes important decisions about reading instruction for students. The last half of the manual includes materials for a solid reading program.
11. Essentials of Assessing, Preventing and Overcoming Reading Difficulties
Kilpatrick, David. Essentials of Assessing, Preventing and Overcoming Reading Difficulties. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2015.
Kilpatrick has written perhaps one of the best books available to walk educators and parents through the often-complicated landscape of screening, assessing, and treating dyslexia. He provides
12. Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers
Moats, L.C. (2010). Speech to print: Language essentials for teachers. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.
This book provides teachers with the knowledge of language so that they are able to explicitly and systematically teach phonemic awareness, word recognition, spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension. All of these elements will help teachers identify, explain, and solve the problems that students with or without disabilities may encounter when learning to read and write. This book contains much of the information given in the LETRS training for teachers created by the author,
A core textbook for every pre-service course on reading instruction, this accessible text is also perfect for use in in-service professional development sessions. Educators will have the knowledge they need to recognize, understand, and resolve their students' reading and writing challenges—and will improve literacy outcomes for their entire class.
Book summary adapted and retrieved
13. Expert Perspectives on Interventions for Reading
Moats, L.C., Dakin, K.E., and Joshi, R.M. (Ed.). (2011). Expert perspectives on interventions for reading. Baltimore, MD: International Dyslexia Association.
This book brings together the most requested and timeless articles on key
Book summary adapted and retrieved
14. Helping Students Take Control of Everyday Executive Functions: The Attention Fix
Moraine, P.M. (2012). Helping students take control of everyday executive functions: The attention fix. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
This book presents an innovative model for strengthening and developing executive function in any student, including those with attention, memory, organization, planning, inhibition, initiative, and flexibility difficulties. It provides guidance on how to support each student's evolving executive function and how to encourage those who are ready to develop self-advocacy and become more responsible for the development of his or her own executive function skills. The author advocates a student-centered approach in which educators first explore eight key “ingredients” with the student: relationships; strengths and weaknesses; self-advocacy and responsibility; review and preview; motivation and incentive; synthesis and analysis; rhythm and routine; and practice and repetition. She provides step-by-step explanations of how the educator and student can then explore and use these “ingredients” in different ways and in different combinations to successfully address particular areas of difficulty. The approach is clearly explained, and the author provides many useful examples, tried-and-tested practical tips
Book summary retrieved
15. Dyslexia Advocate! How to Advocate for a Child with Dyslexia within the Public Education System
Sandman-Hurley, Kelli. Dyslexia advocate! How to advocate for a child with dyslexia within the public education system. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016.
This book should be on the shelf of any school administrator, educator, and parent. It contains sensible and well-researched approaches for helping students with dyslexia within the public education system. Every SPED employee should be required to read this book before assessing and completing an IEP for students with reading difficulties. Read this book, and banish useless reading goals forever.
16. Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, and What Can Be Done About It
Seidenberg, Mark. Language at the speed of sight: how we read, why so many can’t, and what can be done about it. Basic Books, 2017.
This is one of the more narrative books on reading issues. Language often reads more like a good novel, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s not equally well-researched and informative. Seidenberg explores the educational world to discuss why so many teachers aren’t given the basic educational understanding to teach reading well in the United States.
17. Dyslexia Screening: Essential Concepts for Schools and Parents
Selznick, Richard. Dyslexia Screening: essential concepts for schools and parents. Bookbaby, 2015.
If a school wants to get started with some practical interventions for students with dyslexia, then this book is a must. It’s a thin volume that outlines exactly how any school can get started with screening and intervening on dyslexia. It also outlines what is included in each step of reading assessment, from screening to comprehensive testing.
18. The Shut-down Learner: Helping Your Academically Discouraged Child
Selznick, Richard. The Shut-down Learner: helping your academically discouraged child. Sentient Publications, 2008.
Selznick hits the mark with Shut-down Learner by carefully and competently outlining where a student should be
19. Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level
Shaywitz, Sally. Overcoming Dyslexia: a new and complete science-based program for reading problems at any level. Vintage, 2005.
Considered one of the first and perhaps best introductions to the latest fMRI research regarding dyslexia and the brain, Shaywitz’s Overcoming Dyslexia has become synonymous with understanding how reading occurs in the brain. Shaywitz distills much of the “new” science into actionable items for parents, teachers, and administrators. For her latest research and writing, go to the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity website.
20. The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads
Willingham, Daniel. The Reading Mind: a cognitive approach to understanding how the mind reads. Jossey-Bass, 2017.
One of the latest reading books to enter the market, The Reading Mind benefits from its predecessors and seems to sum up the latest research with the perspective of hindsight being 20/20. Willingham fills in the gaps from other books and clarifies some of the misunderstandings with well-researched examples that make fine points about the need for solid reading instruction across the grades.
21. Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain
Wolf, Maryanne. Proust and the Squid: the story and science of the reading brain. Harper Perennial, 2008.
Although fairly dated, Wolf’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in the science behind reading and dyslexia. Many reviewers consider this the book you “actually want to read about brain science.”