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reading levels

Accelerated Reader (AR)

Search the AR BookFinder to find AR books by genre and book level. You can also visit your school library website to access your school's AR list and then check the library catalog to see if the item is available.

Guided Reading (Fountas and Pinnell)

Lexile Framework for Reading

Search the Lexile Find a Book website to find books within a Lexile range or to look up the Lexile score for a title. To check the availability of a title, follow the Worldcat Link on the Lexile website or check the library catalog.

A Word about Reading Levels

Reading levels printed on the covers of books vary widely among publishers since they each use a different formula to calculate reading levels. Therefore, what may be a first grade book for one publisher might be a second grade book for another.

One way to see if your child is ready for a particular book is to use the 5-finger rule: Have your child read two pages of the book. For each word the child has trouble with, hold up a finger. One or two fingers mean the book is on the easy side; three fingers mean the book is about right; four to five fingers mean the book is too difficult. The child can try the book again when he or she is ready. Also, asking your child questions about the story they are reading will give you clues to whether your child is understanding what he or she reads.

Don't be alarmed if your child brings home a book that you feel is too "easy." Some researchers think children read in wavelike patterns—at times reading easy books, then harder books, and then back to easy ones again. Reading books that are easy for them is not only enjoyable, but it helps them gain speed in reading. A child reading an easy book that he or she enjoys is learning a love of reading, and we need not be concerned that they will stop their reading development at that stage. One day they will become bored with their easy reading and will move on to another author or another type of book.

As our children become good readers, we are often tempted to push them or urge them to read books that are within their reading abilities but that are above their understanding. It is not enough that children can read the words, they must also have had enough of life's experiences to understand what the author is trying to say.

Finding books about topics your child is interested in will help him or her enjoy the reading experience. See a librarian or search the library's catalog to find nonfiction books that might appeal to your child.

Produced in conjunction with Community Unit School District 220 and Saint Anne Elementary School.

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