Thinking Reading: What Every Secondary Teacher Needs to Know About Reading

By James Murphy & Dianne Murphy Last updated 2024/05/27
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This reader-friendly book, written by two educators, provides great background and professional learning related to reading development, and particularly how it applies in the older grades. While the title includes the word “secondary”, junior and intermediate teachers in Ontario could all benefit from reading this book. Information includes how we learn to read and misconceptions around that process, how to help older struggling readers, and a really useful chapter called, “What school leaders need to know and do about reading”. The question, “What about older kids?” is often asked as it relates to structured literacy, and this book is a really helpful starting point.

Curriculum Connection

B2. Language Foundations for Reading and Writing
This book provides background and professional development to assist teachers in understanding and broadly implementing expectations of the Ontario Language Curriculum in the junior and intermediate grades, as well as providing intervention to students in older grades who are still developing their skills.
Grade(s): 4 5 6 7 8 9
Topic(s): Understanding Reading Development


  1. Before considering the purchase, it would be beneficial to know whose research they are reporting on in this book, or whose evidence is being touted as the best. Also, what is the purpose of choosing this book above others, and why this book was chosen to share with Ontario educators.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Deborah! We carefully curate the books in the resource library based on alignment with the curriculum and research, as well as in response to users’ needs. On the heels of the Right to Read Inquiry, there are lots of conversations in the sector about how best to support the needs of older students experiencing extended difficulty with reading. This book meets that need nicely. If you are interested in learning more, it is available for free in the OCT Library, and here is a webinar the authors hosted for researchED:

      1. Thanks for sharing Una. I ask because I always like to understand firsthand why a book was chosen and the research criteria -not just that it was. Just how my brain works. I was unable to research this in my academic library, and don’t know the background. Thanks for sharing the OCT library. That is a always great resource that is often under utilized.

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