Books which provide the reading practice for phonics lessons. Please choose books which follow the teaching sequence your learner is studying, and are at the point they have reached in that sequence, so that the words in them are mostly made up of sound-spelling relationships your learner has been taught. Your learner should be able to independently read 95% of words, or 90% of words if they’re reading to you, and you can help them with harder words.

Decodable books we have at least some copies of at Spelfabet (click here for workshops about them):

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

The Reading League in the US has an even bigger list of decodable books here, but most are written for their rhotic accent (final /r/ is pronounced), so are less useful to speakers of Australian English and other non-rhotic accents. Books from the US/Canada usually require some adaptation for use in Australia.

Hi-lo books

MultiLit now has a range of Firecracker books with simplified text which suit struggling older readers. UK publisher Barrington Stoke also has books with enlarged font and simplified text for struggling readers, with plenty of variety for all age groups including teens and adults, Australian suppliers include Silvereye Learning Resources, Seelect Educational Supplies and Readings.

US publisher High Noon Books also has many simplified texts for older readers, click here for Australian suppliers. The Dangerous Games books and other Blake Education Hi-Lo fiction also offer a step up from decodable books for readers not yet ready to tackle mainstream books.

48 responses to “07. Decodable books”

  1. Francis says:

    You may wnat to add to your list of resources.



  2. Robin says:

    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!

  3. Angela says:

    One of my students is really enjoying the Dockside 4 app, thanks for the recommendations! 

  4. […] by letters on the page. This requires a proper teaching sequence for sounds and letters, and decodable books which contain the sound-letter links which have been taught, rather than levelled books of the type […]

  5. […] be given text composed mostly of words with sound-letter correspondences they have been taught (decodable texts). They should not be encouraged to attempt to read text containing lots of spelling patterns they […]

  6. Kate says:

    What an incredible long list! Thanks for compiling all these resources!

    • alison says:

      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.

      • Mel says:

        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)

        • alison says:

          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.

  7. 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.

    • alison says:

      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

    • This is great work Don! Thanks for this! You’re Amazing! Christine Calabrese

  8. This is amazing! What a collection. Thank you very much Alison!

  9. Kalpana Jay says:

    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.

    • alison says:

      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

  10. […] Spelfabet Decodable Books– Books with simplified spelling patterns, which beginning readers can tackle independently with success […]

  11. […] be strengthened by writing letters/spellings in words while saying the relevant sounds, and using decodable books and other practice materials which follow your phonics teaching […]

  12. […] your child reads. These should mainly contain the spelling patterns they’ve been taught (decodable books, there are quite a few free or heavily discounted ones available now). Reading such books builds […]

  13. […] your child reads. These should mainly contain the spelling patterns they’ve been taught (decodable books, there are quite a few free or heavily discounted ones available now). Reading such books builds […]

  14. […] (if they are determined to teach in accordance with the best scientific evidence) get free or cheap decodable books that reflect their teaching sequence. Free ones are great but involve downloading, printing and […]

  15. […] Spelfabet decodable books (free!) – A loooong list of decodable readers (including books and ebooks) for you to try. […]

  16. Megha says:

    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.

    • alison says:

      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

  17. […] the Beautiful Picture, beginners are asked to read books containing the spellings they have been taught, using blending and segmenting skills. Phonemic awareness skills like blending, segmenting and […]

  18. […] One of the excellent Dyslexia Victoria Support folk was telling me the other day that she’s planning to write to public libraries asking them to stock decodable books. […]

  19. […] of other decodable resources and further free resources and information at Alison Clarke’s Spelfabet . This website is all about encouraging early literacy teaching and intervention reflective of […]

  20. […] reading simple books containing the spelling patterns they’ve been taught in phonics lessons (decodable books) can be quite painful, and a little confronting, for […]

  21. […] joy of reading. Typical books for beginners offer joy and hope, but that hope is too often dashed. Decodable books offer joy and […]

  22. […] been taught (I’ve just discovered new printable sets here and here, or my list of all the decodable books I’m aware of is here). If you’re in Victoria please support the Dyslexia Victoria […]

  23. […] should replace repetitive/predictable books with decodable books, which start off with just a small number of sound-letter relationships and very short words, and […]

  24. Felicity says:

    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!!

  25. Sophie says:

    Hi Alison and staff,
    Just wondering if you know anything about the Snappy Phonics decodable readers?

    • alison says:

      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

      • Sophie says:

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

  26. E. Greyson says:

    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.

    • alison says:

      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

      • E. Greyson says:

        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.

  27. Tayla Kleinschmidt says:

    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.

    • alison says:

      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

  28. Cindy says:

    Are there any decodable books with the audio so that kids can practice by themselves at home?

  29. Cindy says:

    This is a great list!! Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it!

  30. Cindy says:

    Do you know the Decodable books with American accent audio?

  31. Cindy says:

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

    Thanks again!

  32. […] Book Selectors | SPELD NSW. » 07. Decodable books. Books with simplified spelling patterns, which beginning readers can tackle independently with […]

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