Jump Into a Decodable Book

Decodable books are a great tool to practice reading skills and build confidence.  They help new readers sound out and decode words. Decodable books are designed to encourage children to practice their knowledge of letters and their corresponding sounds. They use specific letter patterns and go in a specific order from simple to more complex.

Why read decodable books? Decodable books help readers practice skills they have learned, so they know how to read most of the words on the page.  When choosing a decodable book, find one that matches a skill that your reader is learning. This is the best way to practice that skill.  Read decodable books alongside other books that help build vocabulary, background knowledge and a love of reading, like our Best of the Best titles!

Finding the Right Book for You

Chicago Public Library has decodable books to help you practice the skills. View the book lists below featuring each skill.

Consonant-Vowel-Consonant Words (c-v-c words)

CVC words have a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern, like cat or mop. The vowel in a CVC word makes the short sound. Books that focus on the CVC pattern are great for beginning readers that know most of their letter sounds.   

Blends and Digraphs

Words with blends in them have two or three consonants that blend together. For example, in the word skip, /sk/ is the blend and in the word fast, /st/ is the blend. Each letter in a blend will make a sound.  Words with digraphs in them have two consonants that together represent one sound, such as /sh/, /th/ or /ch/. Some examples of words with digraphs include: ship, chat and bath. Even though digraphs are made of two letters, those two letters work together to make just one sound.

Vowel-E Words

Vowel-e words follow a pattern of vowel + consonant + e, like lake, slime, and hope. Words with this pattern usually have a vowel that makes its long sound and the e is silent. Sometimes these are called magic e words.

R-Controlled Vowels and Vowel Teams

Words with r-controlled vowels have a vowel + r. Sometimes this pattern is called the “bossy r” because the “r” takes over and the vowel makes a new sound. Some examples include: car, dirt, turn, and storm. Words with vowel teams have two or more vowels together that make a sound. Sometimes vowel teams also contain consonants to create a vowel sound like /ow/ in throw. There are many teams with different rules, such as: seed, pain, boot and say.

Multisyllabic Words

Multisyllabic words have more than one syllable that can be read in chunks. Examples include: muffin, swimmer and eating.