top of page

READERS' COMMENTS about my first book, "Reading with Rules".

From a parent - Why haven’t we been told before? Why wasn’t this information made available earlier? After all, the rules and their reasons are not difficult.   Mark Stoeckel, South Australia.

From teachers and school principals. Paquita has intensively researched and passionately developed a spelling reference text that truly answers the question “why is it spelt like that?” The book delves into spelling rules, codes, history, purpose and ‘tricks of the trade’ to dispel the mysteries - James Peletier, Carnarvon School of the Air. The text is free from jargon, is easy to read, is logical and therefore easy to understand. Every day I experience the need for such a text to support the teaching and learning of the English language in the classrooms. I am impressed with the way Paquita has made the essential links of words of Australian indigenous origins to Standard Australian English - Judith Young, Carnarvon Primary School. I think that ‘Reading with Rules’ will be an extremely valuable reference book for staff and students which will greatly assist in the teaching of reading and spelling - Keith Chambers, Carnarvon Senior High School.  I have no hesitation in recommending “Reading with Rules” as I believe that it will greatly support the raising of achievement in literacy in schools - Carmel Costin, St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic School  Congratulations on having the fortitude and time to produce such a comprehensive book. It will be a valuable resource for teachers to refer to for guidelines of our very complex English language - Ron Ross, East Carnarvon Primary School . This resource, Reading with Rules, is written in everyday classroom language – not cloaked in specialized terminology. Paquita’s demonstration lesson was presented using dress-up materials to act out the rules. This enabled the students to visualize the way words are clustered into groups and over the years have come to obey set rules - James Shaw, Carnarvon Christian School.

From a Western Australian education administrator. This book is a unique resource which needs to be marketed as broadly as possible - Robin Clark, M.Ed., Dip.Ed., Grad. Dip. Ed. Admin

From Dr Tom Burton, Reader in English, University of Adelaide, South Australia.This book impresses me for a wide range of reasons, all of them strong. It demonstrates throughout that English spelling is not some kind of minefield designed by perverse gods to torture hapless children (and, indeed, their teachers), but a perfectly logical system, the rules of which are not only interesting in themselves but fun to learn. The book’s positive approach to what are often perceived as the difficulties of English spelling and vocabulary encourages alertness to and pride in the richness of the sources from which current English has developed. I am acutely conscious of the need for a book that will have a positive impact on the shockingly low levels of literacy that are today the norm – even at tertiary level. I believe Reading with Rules is just such a book.

From Prof. Don W Cummings, Professor Emeritus of English, Central Washington University, USA.Your lists are truly impressive, and it seems to me that you’ve pretty well satisfied your intent to sequence things so that at each list the student can handle the new patterns and so that the emphasis remains on the regularity of those patterns, even with holdouts, your rebels, that you describe so honestly and humorously. Please feel free to quote me: Reading with Rules helps students experience the ruliness of spelling. This is powerful and good, especially for youngsters who are having learning difficulties with the language. Reading with Rules makes it clear that the teaching of spelling can have real substance. Its emphasis on pattern, structure and order is what the teaching of reading and spelling needs.   

COMMENTS about my next book, "The Inside Story on English Spelling".

From a review. Ever wondered why ‘his’ doesn’t have a Z? Or what on Earth is O doing in ‘won’? Ever asked why GH is in through? Or what is the point of silent letters? At last a book which spills the beans on English spelling. English spelling has rules and lots of them. Paquita Boston explains why English spelling is so difficult, much harder than spelling in most other languages. Boston also reveals the various codes that govern English spelling and describes how these codes are keys to hidden treasure, the cultural inheritance of all English speaking people. Boston treats spelling as a game as serious as any sport, with as many rules and as many game changes. After reading this book you’ll actually enjoy spelling and no longer view English as a ‘funny language without many spelling rules’. Instead, you will want to share the inside story on English spelling with young and old. 

From Texas, USA. Thank you for The Inside Story on English Spelling! I've recently checked it out from the local library and am enjoying it so much that I purchased it on I am a dyslexia therapist in private practice in the United States (Texas). I am searching for ways to help struggling spellers. Thank you for all the time and energy you have devoted to making spelling make sense! - Benita B.

From the editor. Words are my tools of trade. So I needed no encouragement to edit a book called The Inside Story on English Spelling. Any wordsmith would leap at a job editing a book which promised to explain English spelling. I was not disappointed. Each chapter revealed information which should be public knowledge. Revelations lost in time, locked in ivory towers or even suppressed during the course of history, all come to light in this book.
It’s out in the open now and we will all be richer for the Inside Story on English Spelling. My editing profile is available on internet sites:, and  I can work through the ether to deliver quality editing services just as you can access this book via the internet on Amazon, Kindle, Kobo, etc.  Philippa Hadlow, New Zealand.

From the author.  I’m Australian, so I speak English. I learnt to read in the fifties. There was no TV and so we all read for pleasure, as well as for school. If you could not read at school you were kept down, lost your friends. I used to wonder about the spelling of some words but I did not start finding out about spelling until our children began to wonder, too. One did more than wonder. When I could not explain the spelling of some words he said, ‘Mum, you are telling me to learn stuff you do not understand.’ I had to agree. I mean, why isn’t xylophone written zylophone? Or zilofon? And why doesn’t it rhyme with anemone? Not only that, the local language, PNG Pisin, was very easy to read. I wondered why English is so hard, why its spelling is so crazy. It’s taken ages, finding out. We left PNG in the eighties and set off to irrigate the Outback of Western Australia where I discovered that Aboriginal language dictionaries use very logical spelling rules. We moved west, to the coast, where many of the irrigation farmers come from Portugal, Vietnam and Italy, all of which have very logical spelling rules. The gay abandon with which we treat the alphabet amazes and mystifies them. I agreed, and said I was slowly getting answers. One said, ‘Keep going, we’d like to help our children read. Speaking English is easy now, but reading and writing? Too hard.’ I noticed their shelves were full of Portuguese books. It was slow work. I had to go way outside education academies for answers. To help teachers, who are not trained to answer questions about spelling, I recorded my discoveries by rearranging the dictionary for them. I put easy words first, and built up the rules and reasons for harder and harder words. But the mere size of this book, Reading with Rules, is quite daunting for teachers. So I’ve written a chatty book, The Inside Story on English Spelling, to reassure adults everywhere that English spelling has its reasons, and some very interesting reasons at that.

bottom of page