I never thought that I would be writing a book about phonics. I’ve grown
weary, along with other teachers and learners, of the supposed war be-
tween phonics and whole language (Carbo, 1988; Chall, 1989; Taylor,
1989) because I’m convinced that it’s not a war at all; it’s more of a smear
campaign that seems ultimately directed at hurting teachers and students
while supporting the publishers of the phonics programs (see Berliner &
Biddle, 1995; Spring, 1997; Taylor, 1998). That smear campaign is one
motivation for writing this book.