Books with simplified spelling patterns, which beginning readers can tackle independently with success. Please choose a level at which your learner can independently read 95% of words, or 90% of words if they’re reading to you, so you can help them with some words.

Decodable books we have at least samples of at Spelfabet:

Other decodable books we are aware of but don’t have copies yet:

The UK publisher Barrington Stoke also has books with enlarged font, simplified text and themes suitable for struggling older readers. Available in Australia via Allen and Unwin (on their website choose “Advanced Search” then Filter by Imprint – Barrington Stoke) or Seelect Educational Supplies.

The Dangerous Games books from Blake Education are written at about an eight-year-old decoding level but of interest to students aged 8-14, and they have other “Hi-Lo fiction” which can be a nice step in between between decodable books and mainstream books.

Decodable Big Books (note that books that are part of classroom programs have an interactive whiteboard version)

47 thoughts on “07. Decodable books

  1. Robin

    Thanks for this list! I’ve been so frustrated by the lack of decodable books for my son.
    We also like All About Reading and Now I’m Reading series. We’ve both been losing our reading motivation but I think this list will help us get started again!

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    1. alison Post author

      You’re most welcome! I was researching this area for myself/my clients so it just made sense to make it available to others. Thanks for the nice feedback.

      1. Mel

        The long list is fantastic, but if I was trying to convince my AP to purchase a set to show that decodables are the way we need to go for our special ed students, is there a particular resource you would recommend? (NSW)

        1. alison Post author

          The books we use most with students aged 8 and over are the Phonic Books Catch-up books, which also have workbooks that are very useful for aides and parents to help kids work through, and they have activities targeting all of the Big Five. I have a cupboard full of them and we lend them out in sets to our clients. It’s rare to find an older child who doesn’t like at least some of the stories.

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  5. Donald Potter

    Blend Phonics Lessons and Stories by Donald Potter

    Here are 62 of the best decodable stories for kindergarten and first grade, or anybody who needs to learn to read from the ground up. This is the free edition. You can purchase my inexpensive paperback from Amazon or Barnes & Nobles. Each story includes a phonics lesson, decodable story, 4 comprehension questions, and spelling words.

    1. alison Post author

      Donald, thankyou for this, I have added a link to this and the beginners’ program page. I’m just printing off your free books now and will bind them and show people, and when I get a chance also think about where else the link might usefully be added on my website. Thanks again and all the very best, Alison

  6. Kalpana Jay

    As an early years teacher, I could not agree with you more on the need and relevance for Decodable Readers. This is a wonderful list, thank you for putting it together!
    What about SSP? Have you had an opportunity to review the Speach Sound Pictures program?
    Found it in one of the schools that I taught.

    1. alison Post author

      Hi Kalpana, Thanks so much for the nice feedback, glad you’ve found my site useful. I have had a look at the Speech Sound Pictures program from Qld and it has many evidence-informed features, but I don’t promote it via this website, though I am not able to discuss why here. Sorry about that. All the best, Alison

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  13. Megha

    I am a management graduate and write for 12th pass students for various career options. I write for a good blog. I want to write about a lot of things out there, please guide me on how I can become a good blogger.

    1. alison Post author

      Sorry, Megha, how to be a good blogger is not the subject of this blog, just google it and you’ll find plenty of good advice. Alison

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  21. Felicity

    Hi Alison,

    My 7yr old son has just completed your holiday program and it has been the first time I have heard him sound out a word at home whilst reading despite trying to teach this all through prep! Thankyou soooo much, I am blown away by what you are doing. We were given all the wobbly blocks this year such as high frequency word lists, trying to get the prep students to write stories with adjectives which of course was fine for some students but very hard for others still grappling with reading and writing basics! I was feeling overwhelmed with knowing how to help my son and found out about your group from another parent, so happy I had the conversation! It us such a relief to hear someone make sense of learning to read! My son was looking at pictures of boats and saying ship, very useful, NOT!!

    1. alison Post author

      Hi Sophie, I think you mean Snappy Sounds, and I do have a few of their books, they were written by knowledgeable people so I’d expect them to work well. I just haven’t had time to go through them in detail. Must get onto it! Alison

      1. Sophie

        Yes Snappy Sounds -oops! Thanks for your reply. Might try to get a sample before committing but they seemed good. Thanks!

  22. E. Greyson

    This is an amazing list, thank you! Have you tried the Miss Moss series? I got the first book for my dyslexic daughter (who has completed through VCE syllables but is not quite ready for full chapter books yet). She is doing well with it and likes the cute pictures.

    1. alison Post author

      Thanks for the nice feedback, much appreciated. I haven’t tried the Miss Moss books, but I did buy other Usborne Phonics books, but was quite disappointed in them, they don’t seem to follow a systematic sequential phonics sequence, and contain quite a lot of difficult spellings in the early books. So I have relegated them from our phonics cupboard to the waiting room shelf. I’ll have a look for the Miss Moss books now. Thanks for the tip! Alison

      1. E. Greyson

        Thank you for the response! Does anything like LeapFrog still exist? Or maybe an app version. Would kindle books work in a similar way? We are always looking for texts that will help.

  23. Tayla Kleinschmidt

    Hi Alison have you had a chance to look at sunshine books? Particularly from set 4 onwards. I am unsure if they are truely decodable books as they are marketing themselves as.

    1. alison Post author

      I have bought some of the Sunshine books, and they are Ok though each set introduces a LOT of new information. I have Sets 1 to 6 in front of me now. The sequence is:
      Set 1. s a t p i n m d
      Set 2. g o b h e r f u l
      Set 3. c k ck j qu v w x y z zz ff ll ss
      Set 4. th, sh, ch, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo (as in book then food)
      Set 5: ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er, then one book reviewing all these patterns
      Set 6: /f/ and /w/ spelt ph and wh, spellings of /ae/ as in say, name, eight, they, vein, basin; spellings of /ee/ as in beach, these, chief, baby, donkey, be; spellings of /ie/ as in my, tie, time, find; spellings of /oe/ as in slow, home, toe, go; spellings of /oo/ as in grew, blue, June, brutal, and ?? could?? (weird, that’s not the same sound); spellings of /or/ as in saw, haunt, talk, four (but not for, caught, brought, wall, warm etc); spellings of /er/ as in bird, her, learn (but not curl or work); ou as in count (But not ow as in now, weirdly), and oy as in boy (but not oi as in coin, again weirdly).

      So I think they have a bit of a way to go on their sequence, as it’s probably too slow then too fast then too slow again for the majority of kids. But they are at least starting to move away from horrible predictable texts! All the best, Alison

    1. alison Post author

      Yes! Lots! All the Little Learners apps can do this: Also the Dandelion Launchers iBooks: The Fitzroy Readers apps also do this: The Decodable Readers Australia books also have a ‘read to me’ function: There are probably others but I hope that gives you the idea. Alison

  24. Cindy

    Thank you! It’s so hard to find Decodable books with American accent! Most of them don’t even have the audios!

    Thanks again!


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