‘How to learn to read (or not)’ looks at the stages through which a child must progress on the journey to literacy and the demands of learning to read. It argues that literacy builds on a foundation of spoken language and emphasizes the importance of the skills a child brings to reading. It also discusses the alphabetic principle, phoneme awareness, learning to spell, reading for meaning, and learning to read in different languages. In summary, a ‘triple foundation’ of symbol knowledge, phonological awareness, and rapid naming ability appears to underpin reading development universally. However, there are also additional predictors that are language-specific.