Book review on “Beating the Odds” on reading disabilities

I would recommend visitors read this book review, which I first published on January 17, 2010, on “Beating the Odds” by Howard Margolis and Gary G. Brannigan. It is, without a doubt, a very interesting and helpful book.   

For the most part, I see Beating the Odds as a textbook for prospective teachers and practitioners, as opposed to a handbook for parents. However, that said, all the information parents need to help their children is in the book.

For example, Chapter Four (starting at page 62) explains the seven components to reading successfully — knowledge that everyone needs to understand before they can help someone overcome reading difficulties. As the authors state: “The logic used to identify the seven components is straightforward. It answers the question: What do struggling readers have to know and do and believe to read successfully?” 

While there is a great deal more in the book that what I have summarized here, the one thing I would add to one or more of the components is the necessity of being able to read silently — because reading is not only a visual and cognitive process, but subvocal and verbal as well. Meaning, that when you read silently, you can “hear” what you are saying in your head. That hearing and processing is crucial, in my opinion.

In any event, I highly recommend Professors Margolis and Brannigan’s book because the information on what reading is and how to evaluate a child’s reading abilities and skills is very important if they are ever going to “beat the odds” and overcome reading disabilities.

Endnotes: My thanks to the authors for sending me a complimentary copy of the book.