Road to Reading: A Program for Preventing and Remediating Reading Difficulties

by Benita A. Blachman and Darlene M. Tangel, Paul H. Brookes, Baltimore, Md., 2008, 468 pp., $79.95 softcover

Administrators are well aware that a student’s early success in school is directly related to literacy ability. Road to Reading: A Program for Preventing and Remediating Reading Difficulties details a research-based instructional program intended to improve phonemic awareness and related skills leading to increased reading ability.

Co-authors Benita A. Blachman, professor of education and psychology at Syracuse University, and Darlene M. Tangel, reading specialist and chair of the special education committee in Oriskany, N.Y., used their research to create an instructional program to use with students having difficulty learning to read in general classrooms. With the recent focus on response to intervention to remediate early literacy difficulties, this is a timely addition to the literature.

The authors guide educators through six levels of the program. They have created sample lesson plans, including materials on the CD-ROM. The five-step lesson-plan format is described in depth and suggestions for customizing the lessons are offered.

Road to Reading is an excellent resource for educators not skilled at creating remedial lessons for struggling students. Blachman and Tangel have composed a well-organized method for delivery.

Administrators who are not literacy experts can clearly understand the premise behind the program and help to guide staff members through implementation. Districts seeking to create a literacy remediation program for the primary grades would find this an appropriate tool.

Reviewed by Edythe B. Austermuhl, superintendent, Deerfield Township School District, Rosenhayn, N.J.