Check our Glossary of Reading related terms :


A character in a story is someone that we learn about and who takes part in the story.


The contents are the page/s of a book that tell us where to find chapters and information. The contents of the book can be found at the front of the book.


Dialogue is another word for speech.


A fiction book is one that is made up and not always true. Some fiction books are written based on fact but a lot of the details and events are made-up; fictitious.


An index is a list of key terms or words found in a book. The list appears at the back of the book and tells the reader on which page they can find more information about the key word or term they are looking for.


The narrative is the story that is told through the book. It is made up of characters the things that happen to them which are the events.

Non Fiction

A non-fiction book is one based on fact. It is not made up. Some examples of non-fiction books are autobiographies, encyclopaedias, any information books about dinosaurs or cars for example.


Phonics is a method of teaching reading in which people learn to associate letters with the speech sounds they represent, rather than learning to recognize the whole word as a unit.


The plot is the story outline. When you recount to someone what has happened in a book you are telling them the plot; a very basic outline of what happened.


Speech is what is said in the story. Most commonly we know when we are reading speech because of two things-

  1. speech marks appear around the words eg. “Hi John”
  2. speech begins on a new line.

There are exceptions to these rules and some publishers/authors now do neither of these things. Books which are printed in this way will not be helpful to your learning reader.


A text is anything that can be ‘read’. This means any written information can be referred to as text. BUT anything we ‘read’ visually like posters, videos, photographs are also referred to as text.


The theme of a book is the message the author wants the reader to understand once they have read the book. Theme is sometimes also called the message, main idea or lesson.


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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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