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about beyond decodables

Beyond Decodables is the result of many years of partnership, piloting, iterative improvements, and rigorous research with the Boston Public Schools. These books have been reviewed by multiple teachers, district leaders, researchers, and children in order to ensure they are ready to support your readers.

A big thank you for the invaluable partnership of Brooke Childs, the support of the Boston Public Schools Department of Early Childhood, and series illustrator Meghan Shea. Texts currently available were created in conjunction with BPS and most are also available on the Focus on Early Learning website.

meet dr. julia lindsey


Dr. Julia B. Lindsey is the creator and author of Beyond Decodables. Julia is an early literacy consultant, former elementary teacher, dog-lover. She specializes in supporting districts, curriculum publishers, and program developers in giving children access to high-quality, research-based foundational reading experiences. Julia's work also focuses on ensuring children receive culturally sustaining and empowering literacy instruction from an early age. Seeing the need for children to apply phonics in meaningful texts, Julia (along with various partners and supporters, including her doctoral advisor, Dr. Nell K. Duke) offers a new framework for thinking about books for beginning readers-- Beyond Decodables.

Julia received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan's School of Education, specializing in Literacy, Language, and Culture. She also received an MAT from Relay Graduate School of Education and a BS in Psychology from Davidson College.

Julia is also the author of the new book, Reading Above the Fray, available everywhere books are sold.

more about reading above the fray

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Praise for Reading Above the Fray​

“Reading Above the Fray is a wonderful resource, a book I read from cover to cover. The scholarship is impeccable, citing the central and most impactful studies surrounding foundational skills and their importance to reading acquisition. Authored by a passionate educator, the book is rich in stories, lessons, activities, and ideas. It is a joy to read and will become a well-worn guide for teachers and students of reading!”

— ANNE E. CUNNINGHAM, Professor, Learning Sciences and Human Development, University of California, Berkeley; author of Book Smart: How toDevelop and Support Successful, Motivated Readers

“This book speaks to something near and dear to my heart—the power of early literacy to lead to lifelong learning and immeasurable opportunities. With clarity and precision, Dr. Lindsey cuts through the distracting noise around reading instruction. Her book should be required reading in preservice and inservice programs. With it, we can chart a course forward to literacy for all.”
— SHARIF EL-MEKKI, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Black Educator Development

“One of the best books I’ve read on decoding and phonics. With passion for teaching, Dr. Lindsey interprets reading science in ways that are directly transferable to the classroom. Her book is chock full of techniques, activities, and strategies—a veritable ‘go-to’ resource. This is exactly the kind of translational work the field needs!”
— HEIDI ANNE MESMER, Professor of Literacy Education, Virginia Tech; author of Letter Lessons andFirst Words: Phonics Foundations That Work

“In Reading Above the Fray, Julia masterfully connects the deep research base on how kids learn to read to what teachers can do tomorrow in their classrooms. What I love even more about the book is her focus on the joy of helping students develop the tools they need to achieve reading success.”
— SUSANNE NOBLES, Chief Academic Officer, ReadWorks

“Accessible, timely, and easy to use, this is a book that needed to be written for teachers, literacy coaches, and school administrators looking to develop efficient and effective literacy instruction. Dr. Lindsey simplifies the complexities of foundational skills instruction, synthesizes research by bridging it to practice, and provides routines that can be implemented the very next day. I predict it will become a primary resource that educators return to time and again.”
— REBECCA MILES, Early Literacy Consultant and Coach Coordinator, Berrien Regional Educational Service Agency

“If you think a professional book about decoding and foundational skills can’t be engaging, think again! Dr. Lindsey artfully combines wit, wisdom, and classroom realism with evidence-based routines that we can implement immediately. Most important, she centers each chapter on children, calling us to value and build upon the strengths, perspectives, and cultural assets they bring. This book is a win for educators and, by extension, the children and families they serve!”
— ANNIE PETROZZELLI SPEAR, Literacy Specialist, Consultant, and Author

“Elementary teachers have been waiting for this one! Dr. Lindsey explains not only the ‘why’ behind the essential elements of decoding, but also provides explicit guidance and routines to help any teacher swap out ineffective practices for more effective and efficient research-based ones. She makes it easy to align instruction to reading science
and teach ‘above the fray.’”
— KATHARINE NOONAN, English Language Arts Instructional Coach, District of Columbia Public Schools


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