Books by Theme

The Cognitive Science of Reading

Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can't, and What Can Be Done About It

By: Mark Seidenberg
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level: Professional

Cognitive neuroscientist Seidenberg digs deep into the science of reading to reveal the ways human beings learn how to read and process language. He develops a careful argument, backed by decades of research, to show that the only responsible way to teach children to read well is to build up their abilities to connect reading with speech and then to amplify these connections through practice, developing skillful behavioral patterns hand in hand with the neurological networks that undergird them.

Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

By: Maryanne Wolf
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level: Professional

Reading is a human invention that reflects how the brain rearranges itself to learn something new. In this ambitious, provocative book, cognitive neuroscientist and scholar of reading Maryanne Wolf chronicles the remarkable journey of the reading brain not only over the past five thousand years, since writing began, but also over the course of a single child's life, showing in the process why children with dyslexia have reading difficulties and singular gifts.

Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World

By: Maryanne Wolf
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level:

A decade ago, Wolf’s Proust and the Squid revealed what we know about how the brain learns to read and how reading changes the way we think and feel. Since then, the ways we process written language have changed dramatically. New research on the reading brain chronicles these changes in the brains of children and adults as they learn to read while immersed in a digitally dominated medium. Drawing on this research, this book looks at concerns around attention span, critical reasoning, and over-reliance on technology ― as well as hopes about what is happening to the reading brain as it changes to adapt to digital mediums. 

Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read

By: Stanislas Dehaene
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level: Professional

The act of reading is so easily taken for granted that we forget what an astounding feat it is. How can a few black marks on white paper evoke an entire universe of meanings? It's even more amazing when we consider that we read using a primate brain that evolved to serve an entirely different purpose. In this book, neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene, author of How We Learn, explores every aspect of this human invention, from its origins to its neural underpinnings. A world authority on the subject, Dehaene reveals the hidden logic of spelling, describes pioneering research on how we process languages, and takes us into a new appreciation of the brain and its wondrous capacity to adapt.

The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads

By: Daniel T. Willingham
Age Level: Adult
Reading Level: Professional

Neuropsychologist Willingham describes the incredibly complex and nearly instantaneous series of events that occur from the moment a child sees a single letter to the time they finish reading. The book addresses reading comprehension (from reading for understanding at early levels to inferring deeper meaning from texts and novels in high school), the connection between reading and writing, and the important role of motivation. Willingham also explores the effects of technology on learning to read and reading.

 

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Rachael Walker
"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!" — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943