Evidence-Based Books 
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 Below you will find a selection of key texts based on verifiable scientific evidence of how children learn to read. You will find texts to help you understand the SoR and others that assist you in the classroom.


If you are looking for a copy, try accessing them through your library. They are also available to purchase from online book stores or via the links below. RTA provides direct access to purchasing these books as a service to visitors to this site and receives a small commission when you buy in this way. Prices are the same whether you buy them through the links below or directly via Amazon.com.au. 

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Language at the Speed of Sight:

How We Read, Why So Many Can't

and What Can Be Done About It

by Mark Seidenberg

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This is the book that opened my eyes to the Science of Reading. Seidenberg has a great way with words and while some of the content is decidedly for the scientists among us, reading this book gave me the evidence I needed to change my opinion about how to teach reading.

Reading in the Brain

The New Science of

How We Read

by Stanislas Dehaene

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Dehaene (pronounced 'der-hun') is one of the most respected neuroscientists in the world and he also happens to be an excellent writer. I recommend this book to every teacher.

Equipped for

Reading Success

by David Kilpatrick

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A comprehensive, step-by-step program for developing phonemic awareness and fluent word recognition. The essential guide for teachers. Spiral Bound.

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David Kilpatrick has made a major contribution to the research-to-practice literature and this is perhaps his best known book. 'Practical, effective, evidence-based reading interventions that change students' lives'.

The Cognitive Foundations of Learning to Read

by Wesley Hoover & William Tunmer

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Written by legends in the field , this book is written by the two researchers who originally worked with Phillip Gough and were involved in developing the Simple View of Reading.Hoover and Tunmer propose a clear hierarchy of skills needed to enable reading. A concise evidence base for teachers.

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Engelmann is one of the greatest proponents of Direct Instruction and this book has been successfully used by thousands of parents around the world. This is a step-by-step program designed to be used for 20 minutes a day.

Reading Reconsidered

by Lemov, Driggs & Woolway

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Written for teachers of more experienced readers, this text describes what rigorous reading instruction entails, and includes videos to show you how to apply it. 

Reading for Life

by Lyn Stone

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Lyn Stone is a linguist in private practice but she is much more than that, as anyone who has heard her speak can testify. Lyn is a great communicator in print and in person who has a deep and detailed understanding of what it takes to ensure more children learn to read. Her book is a classic and highly recommended for teachers and parents as an introductory text to the SoR.

The Reading Comprehension Blueprint

by Nancy Hennessy

Foreword by Louisa Moats

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You can do no better than this book on comprehension. Nancy Hennessy has made a long career as a researcher understanding this skill and the fact that Dr Moats has written the introduction says a great deal. 

The Voice of Evidence in Reading Research

by McCardle & Chhabra

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This book tells the story of reading research like no other. Highly recommended to understand how we got to the point where the SoR research was ignored.

Sweller's Cognitive Load Theory

by Oliver Lovell

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Ollie Lovell is probably best known in the SoR community as the very skilled broadcaster of his podcast, the Education Research Reading Room. He is also an accomplished teacher and now, the author of this extraordinary book on cognitive load theory and the effect on young readers. Important reading.

Speech to Print:

Language Essentials for Teachers

By Louisa Moats

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Dr. Louisa Moats is a highly respected and experienced teacher and researcher of reading. This is the 3rd edition of her famous guide for teachers, with 'focused chapter exercises, real-world examples, recommended teaching principles, and sample classroom activities'. A great resource for any skilled teacher of reading and writing.

Making Sense of Interventions for Students with Developmental Disorders

by Caroline Bowen and Pamela Snow

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In this book, aimed at both parents and professionals, the authors discuss the non-evidence-based interventions that proliferate in the fields of children’s speech, language, literacy, fluency, voice, communication, attention, cognition, working memory, behaviour and social connectedness. They explore the science – or lack thereof – behind the interventions and suggest evidence-based alternatives that enjoy stronger scientific support.

The Writing Revolution

by Judith C.Hochman &

Natalie Wexler

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The Writing Revolution (TWR) provides a clear method of instruction that you can use no matter what subject or grade level you teach. The model, also known as The Hochman Method, has demonstrated, over and over, that it can turn weak writers into strong communicators by focusing on specific techniques that match their needs and by providing them with targeted feedback. Recommended by 

Reading Science in Schools.

Reading Pathways

by D.G. Hickes

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Now in its fifth edition, Reading Pathways offers an easy-to-use, highly effective approach to teaching reading accuracy and fluency to students of all ages, using a unique pyramid format. Recommended by Lyn Stone.

Robust Comprehension Instruction

with Questioning the Author

by Beck, McKeown & Sandora

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This practical K–12 teacher resource explains the "whats," "whys," and "how-tos" of using Questioning the Author (QtA), a powerful approach for enhancing reading comprehension and engagement. Thorough yet concise, the book shows how to plan lessons using both narrative and expository texts, formulate open-ended Queries, and guide class discussions around them. 

Recommended by Reading Science in Schools.

Once Upon a Word:

A Word Origin Dictionary

for Kids 

by Jess Zafaris

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The English language is made up of words from different places, events, and periods of time. Each of those words has an exciting story to tell us about where, when, how, and why they came about. Once Upon a Word is packed with easy-to-understand definitions and awesome word origin stories. With this dictionary for kids, you can understand the history and meaning of English words, improve your vocabulary and spelling, and learn to play with language.

Recommended by Lyn Stone.

Why Knowledge Matters:

Saving Our Children from Failed Educational Theories

By E.D. Hirsch

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Decades of reliance on social constructivist thought has eroded the explicit teaching of general knowledge. Professor Hirsch explores the ramifications of this, drawing on recent findings in neuroscience to provide new evidence for the argument that a carefully planned, knowledge-based elementary curriculum is essential to providing the foundations for children's life success and ensuring equal opportunity for students of all backgrounds.