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Reading Levels




Every child is different and grows and develops at a different rate. There's nothing wrong with this, though it does make it more difficult for us to find the right books for them. There are a number of different companies which have developed different systems for assessing a child and/or a book's reading level. These are different approaches to try to accomplish the same goal. Many schools and/or school districts will choose one or more of the reading level systems to use for assessing their students' reading progress. Some teachers will provide this information to the parents or guardians, or you may be able to ask during a parent-teacher conference, or some states use state-wide assessments that will include the reading level information on a report for each student.

If you don't know the reading level for your child, you can estimate it by finding a book series that you already know your child is comfortable reading, looking up the reading level for that series, and using that as a guideline. Please also keep in mind that kids do not need to be restricted to only books at their current level. They can certainly still enjoy reading easier books and sometimes more challenging books as well. The most important thing is to find books the kids actually enjoy reading, so that their love of reading can continue to grow.

How KidsBookSeries.com Rates the Books' Reading Levels

For our search function, we include 5 commonly-used reading level systems to help parents and educators find the right books for their readers, whichever level system their schools and/or states/school districts might choose to use.

Unfortunately, most series books have not been formally assessed by all 5 reading level systems, only by one or two systems in many cases, or sometimes not at all. In order for our search function not to be severely limited in the search results, we have developed an algorithm for estimating the various reading levels based on the information we have available for each series. Therefore, please note that some of the result for these reading level searches are based only on our best estimate of the reading levels, not on actual assessment numbers.

We are a certified partner for the Lexile® Framework for Reading and have the official Lexile measures posted for each book and and a range posted for each series if available. Some of the other assessment numbers, if made available publicly, have also been posted. If you would like to look up the assessment numbers for a specific book, you can go directly to the respective website of each company that developed these reading level systems. To help you look up these reading levels, we have included links to the websites where you can do so in the section below.

Reading Level Systems

Reading Level (RL) - This is the general reading level system used by some publishers who may list an RL number on the back of some of their children's books. The integer portion of the number corresponds to the student's grade level, so that 5.0 or 5 indicates what the average 5th grader might be able to read, while the decimal portion distinguishes the reading level for the given grade during the beginning of the school year or further into the school year, as the students progress in their reading skills throughout the year. There is no central website that we're aware of where you can go to look up this information. But as this is not a proprietary reading level system as far as we know, just a number given by the author or publisher and is publicly available through either the Library of Congress database, publisher website, or by looking at the back cover of some of the books, we do post this information on our book pages if it is available.

Accelerated Reader (AR) - This reading level assessment system is developed by Renaissance Learning, Inc. They not only assess the reading level for a book, but also assign a point value to each book (longer books generally have a higher point value) to distinguish how much you've read in addition to how difficult the reading was. Additionally, they've developed quizzes to go with each book for educators to assess the student's reading comprehension. As far as we know, these quizzes are currently made available through schools and teachers, not to individual parents nor to the home-school market (though you should check directly with Renaissance Learning to get the most up-to-date and accurate information about their products and services). You can look up the AR levels/points/quiz numbers for books here.

The Lexile® Framework for Reading evaluates reading ability and text complexity on the same developmental scale. Unlike other measurement systems, the Lexile Framework for Reading determines reading ability based on actual assessments, rather than generalized age or grade levels. Recognized as the standard for matching readers with texts, tens of millions of students worldwide receive a Lexile measure that helps them find targeted readings from the more than 100 million articles, books and websites that have been measured. Lexile measures connect learners of all ages with resources at the right level of challenge and monitor their progress toward state and national proficiency standards. More information about the Lexile Framework for Reading can be found at www.Lexile.com. You can look up the Lexile measure for books here.

Guided Reading Level (GRL) or F&P Text Level Gradient - This reading level assessment system is a tool developed by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell with input from teams of teachers to help match books to readers. You can pay an annual subscription fee to look up the GRL for books here.

Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) - This reading level assessment system is developed by Pearson Education, Inc. They provide kits for teachers to use to assess their students' reading progress. As far as we know, they do not provide a central website where we can look up the DRA levels for books. Some publishers will provide the information on some of their books, however, such as Scholastic's book wizard tool here (which sometimes also gives you some of the other reading level numbers).

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Page Last Updated: November 15, 2018

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