Kelly's book recommendations

Read October Red & White logo Read October is a literacy and dyslexia awareness program run by the International Dyslexia Association Ontario Branch.  Read October promotes reading while raising money to purchase dyslexia-friendly resources for Ontario Public Libraries.

Read October is open to participants of all ages and abilities. Just set a fun and meaningful reading goal for yourself, and then work towards reaching that goal during October.

The Peterborough Public library is committed to providing resources to support literacy development, and this October, we are launching a new Decodable Book collection. 

What are Decodable Books?

Dozen different books in a pileDecodable books typically come in a series or reading order to support a “structured literacy” learning approach. They are usually made up of short texts with repeat letter-sound correspondences that readers already know. Which means that they follow common “sound-spelling” rules. Each book is designed to help readers practice and use the knowledge of these letter sounds to build their skills in “decoding” multisyllabic words.  

Decodable books are quite different from levelled readers that you can find in our “Easy Reader” collection. Levelled readers are focused on meaning and use the “balanced literacy” approach to reading. Children are taught to predict the text, use accompanying pictures to guess unknown words, or memorize a list of common words. 

The structured literacy approach that decodable books use is an effective learning strategy for all new or emergent readers of any age, but it is especially helpful for anyone that struggles with dyslexia or other learning disabilities.

The most challenging problem for individuals with dyslexia is learning how to read.  People with dyslexia struggle to identify the separate speech sounds within a word or learn how letters represent those sounds. It is a myth that individuals with dyslexia “read backwards” or see letters in reverse. This is thought to be true because spelling out words can look “scrambled” as people with dyslexia have trouble linking letters to sounds and forming memories for words.

Decodable texts help build fluency and gain confidence. They are intended as a steppingstone, or what some have described as ‘training wheels”. Having success reading these structured, simple books allows the reader to read faster and better, and that's where the love of reading begins, with knowing they can do it!  After that, they can read anything!

Red Sticker with White letters with word DecodableOur Decodable Book collection can be found in the Children’s area of the Peterborough Public Library. Look for signs or books with this decodable sticker or ask a Library staff member for help.

For more information about reading development and dyslexia visit or email

For further information of the differences between the “balanced literacy” and the “structured literacy” teaching methods, you may want to read a recent article in Today’s Parent, which you can read online or borrow in print from the library.