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Alternatives to Leveled Readers

Studies have found that early leveled readers do not support orthographic mapping. Because these texts rely on picture cues rather then decoding, studies have also found that leveled readers can actually be harmful to some readers.


What are Decodable Books?

Decodable readers are an alterative to leveled readers. Decodable books are carefully crafted to only include phonological and morphological patterns that have already been taught. As a result, selecting a decodable book for your child requires you to know what patterns your child knows and what patterns are in the book.


Are Phonics Book Sets the same thing?

No. While "Phonics Book Sets", sound like something good and helpful for struggling readers, they are not something that I would recommend. When I first started my Science of Reading journey, I also mistakenly assumed that a phonics book would be decodable and phonics controlled text. It is not, and you don't know that until after you have purchased them. I noticed many readers struggled to read these books and I did not see the reading results with these texts. While the sets have a scope and sequence, the texts do not limit the phonics patterns; they only bold the targeted phonics pattern. This results in students being expected to read words that they have not been taught. This is problematic.


As I continued to explore other available texts, I was really happy when I did discover these books and authors. The books listed below are books that I have either purchased for tutoring or authors who I have purchased from and am comfortable recommending. If you think I am missing a fabulous decodable book, please leave me a comment, I would love to add it to our growing decodable library.


CVC Books

  • limited to CVC words

  • comic book style phrases and illustrations

  • pictures support the storyline but do not promote guessing

  • black and white illustrations

  • Paperback - $16.06




  • limited to CVC words (7 stories)

  • Graphic Novel style phrases and illustrations

  • pictures support the storyline but do not promote guessing

  • Full Colour illustrations

  • Hardcover - NOT YET AVAILABLE IN CANADA









CVC Books with Digraphs & Blends

  • limited to CVC words and digraphs

  • comic book style phrases and illustrations

  • pictures support the storyline but do not promote guessing

  • black and white illustrations

  • Paperback - $16.06




  • limited to CVC words, blends and digraphs

  • comic book style phrases and illustrations

  • pictures support the storyline but do not promote guessing

  • black and white illustrations

  • Paperback - $16.06




  • limited to CVC words, blends and digraphs

  • Graphic novel

  • Pictures support the storyline but do not promote guessing

  • Full colour illustrations

  • Looks and feels like a "real book"

  • Paperback - $14.84





  • Novel Style - no illustrations

  • 2247 words

  • 21 chapters

  • single syllable words

  • looks and feels like a "real chapter book"

  • Paperback - $13.08

  • The author, Cigdem Knebel has written several other early reader novels

  • You can sample the first chapter at Simple Words before purchase


CVCe Books (Magic E Books)

  • limited to CVC words, blends, digraphs and Bossy E

  • comic book style phrases and illustrations

  • pictures support the storyline but do not promote guessing

  • black and white illustrations

  • Paperback - $16.06





CVC Words and Basic Vowel Teams

  • Novel Style - no illustrations

  • 4351 words

  • 21 chapters

  • looks and feels like a "real chapter book"

  • single syllable words (several skills reviewed)

  • Paperback - $13.08

  • The author, Cigdem Knebel has written several other decodable chapter books

  • You can sample the first chapter at Simple Words before purchase









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