Science of Reading Book List

My Science of Reading post continues to be my most popular post since I’ve started Windy City Literacy almost a year ago. I’ve really enjoyed researching and learning as much as I can about the Science of Reading, and I absolutely love when I get to share that with others!

Recently, I’ve had a few people reach out for book recommendations that would help them expand their own knowledge as they begin their own journey of learning. I thought if there’s a few people that would like a list, then there has to be more of you out there that would be interested too!

I’ve rounded up some of my personal favorites that have helped me better understand the Science of Reading. I would recommend these to anyone….even if you’re either a novice or an expert!

If you can only buy one of these….I would recommend The Knowledge Gap!! It’s my personal favorite on this list!

*Click on any link to purchase from Amazon!

The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System – and How to Fix It

The Knowledge Gap isn’t just a story of what schools have gotten so wrong–it also follows innovative educators who are in the process of shedding their deeply ingrained habits, and describes the rewards that have come along: students who are not only excited to learn but are also acquiring the knowledge and vocabulary that will enable them to succeed. If we truly want to fix our education system and unlock the potential of our neediest children, we have no choice but to pay attention.

Language at the Speed of Sight

The way we teach reading is not working, and it cannot continue. We have largely abandoned phones-based reading instruction, despite research that supports its importance for word recognition. Understanding the science of reading is more important than ever–for us, and for our children. Seidenberg helps us do so by drawing on cutting-edge research in machine learning, linguistics, and early childhood development.

Shifting the Balance: 6 Ways to Bring the Science of Reading into the Balanced Literacy Classroom

From phonological processing to brain research to orthographic mapping to self-teaching hypothesis, Shifting the Balance cuts through the rhetoric (and the sciencey science) to offer readers a practical guide to decision-making about beginning reading instruction. The authors honor the balanced literacy perspective while highlighting common practices to reconsider and revise—all through a lens of what’s best for the students sitting in front of us.

Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers

Filling a critical gap in teacher preparation courses, Speech to Print supplies K-12 educators with in-depth knowledge of the structure and function of language—fundamentals they need to deliver successful structured literacy instruction. Renowned literacy expert Louisa Cook Moats gives current and future teachers comprehensive, accurate, and accessible information on the underpinnings of language instruction.

Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

“Human beings were never born to read,” writes expert Maryanne Wolf. Reading is a human invention that reflects how the brain rearranges itself to learn something new. In this ambitious, provocative book, Wolf chronicles the remarkable journey of the reading brain not only over the past five thousand years, since writing began, but also over the course of a single child’s life, showing in the process why children with dyslexia have reading difficulties and singular gifts.


One thought on “Science of Reading Book List

  1. Hi Liz, This is a nice list of books–of course, I have read them all and I applaud your sharing them with your group. Have you read Reader Come Home? It’s another Maryanne Wolf book–really like it. You also might like Stanislaus DeHaene’s books, as well as Dan Willingham’s work. Keep up the great work and good luck with your move!!


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