Story Smarts

Story Smarts

The Missing Link to Reading Success
A series of print books by
Dr. Marion Blank & Dr. Laura Berlin
Internationally Renowned Authors of the
Preschool Language Assessment Instrument (PLAI)

Click Here To Purchase ($49.99)

If you answered "yes," to any of these questions, then what you are seeking is reading comprehension. It is a skill that is vital to academic success yet it receives little, if any, systematic attention in the early years of school.

Story Smarts changes all that. Even if your child has not yet learned to read, you can use the program to give him or her competence in this vital realm.


Six sample book covers:

Story 4 cover Story 5 cover Story 9 cover Story 17 cover Story 20 cover Story 23 cover

Click here to view sample pages from Story Smarts


Does my child have to read to be able to use the program?
No, there is no need for a child to read. You present the stories by reading them aloud, much as you do when reading stories to very young children. Of course, if your child is at a level where he or she can read the words, that is fine as well.

How long is each session and how many sessions should I do in a week?
Each story takes about 15 to 20 minutes. It's good to do 2-3 stories a week. That means the program takes 10 to 15 weeks to complete. Generally, stories are not repeated. The goal of the program is not to teach children to "memorize" specific stories. Rather, it's designed to teach them how to extract the invisible core structures that form the basis of stories and make them meaningful.

Why is reading comprehension so elusive for so many children?
To a skilled reader, comprehension seems easy and automatic. It is anything but that. Stories contain hundreds of words, lots of details, and no road map as to which detail is more important than another. That's why—when asked to tell a story— many children respond in a scattered fashion, offering something like a shopping list—where sequence and organization don't matter. With the right materials, these problems vanish. That is what Story Smarts is all about.

What are the results I can expect to see?
As a child advances in the program, over a period of three to four months, you will see that he or she:

  • gets the "main idea"
  • starts predicting the events in stories s/he hears or reads
  • relates events experienced in the course of the day
  • participates more freely in discussions with others

To Purchase:

Click Here To Purchase ($49.99)

About the author:

Dr. Marion Blank is a world-renowned literacy and language expert on the faculty of Columbia University where she created and directed the Light on Learning Program. She has lectured extensively around the world, authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles and books and developed numerous award winning teaching programs (including the ground-breaking reading education site, She is a recipient of the Upton Sinclair Award which honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to education.

Dr. Laura Berlin is a psychologist specializing in the development of language and learning. She has collaborated with Dr. Blank on a number of key projects including the Preschool Language Assessment Instrument (PLAI and PLAI-2), a widely-used test that assesses the verbal communication skills of preschool age children. She has served on a wide range of committees aimed at improving educational and health services in Connecticut where she currently resides.

Please contact us if you have any questions.