Lorraine Peoples has degrees in education, elementary curriculum, and instruction, and she has taught reading to elementary school children in public and private schools for thirty-three years. Over these years she has come to the conclusion that anyone can learn to read, and these readers will enjoy the process, given the process is complete, and will become lifelong readers.
Lorraine has discovered that children with poor reading skills are typically missing essential elements of phonics rules. She likens these missing elements to missing rungs on a ladder. If one or two ladder rungs are missing; the ladder will be difficult, if not impossible, to climb. Conversely, if those rungs are completed, climbing the ladder will occur with ease. So it is with reading. If basic skills are taught, and missing pieces completed, children will advance quickly toward good reading.
"You Can Teach Someone to Read" is divided into six units:
Basic phonics and the most used sight words
Using the consonants and vowels to decode words and next most used sight words
More of the most used phonics rules and the next most used sight words
Decoding longer words using syllable rules, mores suffixes, compound words, and contractions
How to make sense from written words
Each of these units include:
Easy-to-follow lesson plans
Tips on how to teach students in the way they learn best
A series of unique yarns, called "Silly Stories," that make phonic rules fun to learn and more memorable
An appendix is also included listing consonant and vowel sounds, sight and phonetic words, plus rules used to figure out words.
I found much of the book to be useful and interesting. The "Silly Stories" were great and I think the children will enjoy them, as well as learn the rules being captured by them. I also liked the pictures, charts, and tables scattered throughout the book, as well as the materials included in the appendix.
I was worried about the emphasis on sight words, due to my bias against the "look-say" whole-word memorization-type reading programs; however, after studying Lorraine's lists of sight words, I felt better about her rationale for their inclusion. Many of the words were ones I had recently told my own children that, "I can't explain why the word is pronounced like that, since it violates everything we've learned, but please just memorize it and let's move on."
I would recommend, "You Can Teach Someone to Read," by Lorraine Peoples. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Also, if you just need a good reference book on phonics rules, this would be a good addition to your home library.