Reading Above the Fray: Reliable, Research-Based Routines for Developing Decoding Skills

­Scholastic. Apr. 2022. 160p. pap. $35.99. ISBN 9781338828726.
The newest addition to Scholastic’s “Science of Reading” collection is an early literacy handbook written by a teacher for teachers. This book is about decoding and phonics. Lindsey uses her impeccable body of research to create a powerful translational work interpreting reading science. She employs a scaffolded approach to teaching foundational skills, starting with decoding and oral language, moving through phonemic awareness and sound-spelling knowledge, and ending with fluency. Of particular value is the focus on bridging to practice: activities and lessons presented here can be used immediately in the classroom. The book is predicated on the “Essential Instructional Swap” of substituting ineffective activities for more effective, evidence-based routines. For example, “Fewer Rhymes, More Phonemes” and “Less Pointing to Text in Predictable Books, More Engaging in Shared Reading.” The depth of research backing this text cannot be overstated. Lindsey refers to the findings of meta-analyses throughout, and the book sports a beefy and current reference section.
VERDICT This title can be used as a handbook for professional educators; its clear organization and focused language will be useful for early literacy teachers.

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