Decodable Books and Stories
 contain only the letters, sounds, and learned words that have been taught to a student. This highly controlled vocabulary encourages the use of decoding strategies and discourages guessing at unfamiliar words. Illustrations may support and enhance the text but are NOT designed to replace the text or to be used for guessing what the text says. These books promote errorless learning by sticking with patterns the student has a been taught to decode. At least 95% of each book should contain words the student can sound out.

These books do have limitations. The scope and sequence of sounds presented varies across different programs and publishers. Be sure to check out the various levels before deciding if a particular book or series is right for your student. Another concern is that the books written for the early levels of these programs may limit exposure to rich syntax and vocabulary. Be sure to share more complex books by reading aloud to your students or by using or Learning Ally so that student have the opportunity to listen to higher levels of text. Many of decodable books contain illustrations aimed at young children and may not appeal to older readers. Authors must manipulate the text to include a limited vocabulary set and this can result in stilted storytelling. Finally, because the text is so controlled, it is difficult to include stories that contain non-fiction subjects.

Read the blog Shanahan on Literacy for suggestions on how to improve students' knowledge base even while focusing on reading instruction.

With the strengths and weaknesses of decodable books in mind, the following list was compiled with links to information about the scope and sequence of each book set when available. Listings are in alphabetical order by publisher. If you know of additional publishers creating decodable readers, please leave a note in the comment section. Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement.


Academic Therapy Publications - High Noon

1. Phonic Books - Dandelion Launcher Series. See the scope and sequence and book set information HERE.  

2. Phonic Books - Alba Series is a fantasy adventure series of 12 books for readers age 8-12. Find the scope and sequence for each set HERE. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find additional Phonic Books Series.

(Find additional Scope and Sequence information across various Phonic Book series.)

3. Sound Out Chapter Books - Set A1 - Six Books total. Three of the books focus on CVC words, final double consonants, -ck endings, suffix -s. Three books focus on open-syllable long vowels, CVCe, and vowel pairs (ai, ay, ea, ee, ie, oa). See their WEBSITE for more information.

Barton Reading and Spelling System

Stand Alone Chapter Books - Sets are sold as part of the Barton Reading Program. Books from levels 3-5 may be purchased separately as a set or individually. Some of the stories are based on classic fairly tales or fables. See the Scope and Sequence of the 10 Levels of the Program. To start browsing individual titles, go to the section for Stand Alone Books for LEVEL 3

Continental Press

Early Phonics Readers - Books are sold individually. Each book focuses on a different short vowel sound. Find books HERE.

EPS (Educator's Publishing Service)

1) Primary Phonics has six levels, each sold as a set. See the description of the COMPONENTS of each level starting with 17 consonant sounds in Level 1 and ending with hard/soft c and g, silent letters, less frequent diphthongs and digraphs in Level 6. Books are sold in sets only.

2) Let's Read SeriesMoves from regular spellings to less regular spellings. Find more information HERE. There are 8 books in the series. Each book is sold separately and contains drill words and sentences without illustrations. The first book focuses on CVC words within sentences of 2-5 words. When students get to book 8, the average sentence length is 14-27 words and irregular vowel patterns are incorporated. Reading at this level focuses on short stories that are longer than previous books which often include unrelated short paragraphs. 

Fly Leaf Publishing 

Books to Remember - Find the scope and sequence of the 14 levels HERE. Many of their books are available for free through their ONLINE PORTAL through the end of the 2022 school year. Books in Series 1-3 are sold as a set or separately. Click on the set and then see the link in the description for the single titles page. Example: Series 1 - SINGLE TITLES

Sizzy Books -

Fun Phonics - The publisher is now offering these books as FREE downloads. Books include black and white illustrations and may be read online or downloaded and printed. Sentence completion activities appear at the end of each book for comprehension. Find the scope and sequence of the books HERE. Actual books may be downloaded on the WEBSITE.


SPELD (Specific Learning Difficulties)

SPELD SA Phonic Books - These books are free and may be printed or shared online. They may also be loaded onto an iPad, tablet, or computer. They include 93 books across five levels. The sequence of sounds presented correlates with the sequence taught in the Jolly Phonics synthetic phonics program. Learn about the books and the sequence at the SPELD SA WEBSITE. Work sheets and comprehension questions are also available.

Spell Links  

Decodable Books - May be printed or used online as a virtual resource. The set contains 27 reproducible and decodable books that focus on spelling patterns in addition to high frequency irregular words. Find this resource HERE. 

Voyager Sopris Learning 

Power Readers Series - The set contains 28 decodable books and uses the same characters throughout the series. Books are sold in sets only. Information may be found on the WEBSITE.  Pre and post activity pages support phonics concepts. Students begin with one syllable short vowel words and progress to two syllable closed vowel words. Stories include fiction, realistic fiction, and poetry. 

Wilson Reading System

Fluency Readers were designed for use with the Wilson Reading System but can supplement any reading program that introduces short vowels within words and progresses to more challenging patterns. Each reader includes five short stories of 200-250 words along with fluency practice, word lists, and phrases. Fluency readers are sold in consumable packages 6 so that students can track their progress on the graph inside of the book. There are three levels plus a Basic Reader for additional practice. See the Wilson WEBSITE for more information.

Whole Phonics 

Whole Phonics Books are available in three levels. Level 1 focuses on short vowel sounds while Level 2 adds consonant digraphs. Level Three adds ing, ink, ang, ang, consontant blends and the suffixes -ed, -ing, -ed, -s, -es. Books include colorful illustrations and may be purchased individually or in sets. Find more information HERE


Superkids Reading Program is designed for grades K-2. Stories center on 14 "superkids." Books must be purchased in sets, kits, or reading bundles. See their online STORE for pricing and their WEBSITE for details about the program.

WEBSITES has a list of additional decodable readers including books for older students.

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