Reading Levels

At 6 Sarah's son decided he wanted to read War and Peace. He didn't make it past the first page. :-)

Determining and identifying reading levels is no small feat. Educators have spent decades discussing, researching, exploring and identifying criteria with the intention of being able to designate books into various reading levels. Similarly, a significant amount of time has been spent creating methodologies for determining a child's reading ability.

We are by no means experts in this field—we are, however, mothers, and that calling brings with it a certain amount of expertise. We have each spent hundreds of hours reading to our children, as well as being read to. We understand the importance of being able to find books for every stage of reading in which a child can be successful. We also believe that children are unique and that each child will learn in their own way, and on their own time frame.

With that being said, our goal is to support parents by giving them a general guideline in regards to reading levels. We have determined five different reading levels, and associated each with a general grade and age range. These ranges are somewhat broad, and it is critical to note that some children may not quite fit the mold. Our goal is that parents, who are the stewards of their own children, will be able to use these guidelines and then adjust as necessary to meet the individual needs of their own children.

We took a number of factors into account when determining reading level. For instance, we looked at font size, the number of words per page, general layout of sentences, difficulty of vocabulary, illustrations, and content. If a book was sitting between intermediate and advanced, we took content into consideration. Finally, we checked publisher recommendations and took those into account as well.

On each of the Book Series pages, we have provided example pages for you to view. This should give an idea as to reading level, as well as, a general idea of the writing. All individual books, regardless if they belong to a series or not, will be designated with a reading level. It is interesting to note that some series are very consistent across the board with reading level, while others can vary, so it is still important to look at the individual book's reading level!

Reshelving Alexandria Reading Levels are as follows:

Early Reader

Kindergarten-1st Grade
5-7 years old
Example Titles: Billy and Blaze, Andy and Mr. Cunningham, A Bargain for Frances

Billy and Blaze (click to enlarge)
Andy and Mr. Cunningham (click to enlarge)
A Bargain for Frances (click to enlarge)

1st-2nd Grade
6-8 years old
Example Series: "Here Come" Nature Books by Alice E. Goudey, Fairchild Family Series

Here Come Nature Books (click to enlarge)
Fairchild Family Series (click to enlarge)
Advanced Beginner

3rd-5th Grade
8-11 years old
Example Series: The Green Ember Series, Lois Lenski's American Regional Series, Piper Books

Green Ember (click to enlarge)
Lenski's Regional Series (click to enlarge)
Piper Books (click to enlarge)

6th-8th Grade
11-14 years old
Example Series: Landmark Books, The Wingfeather Saga, Reba Paeff Mirsky Composer Biographies

Landmark (click to enlarge)
Wingfeather Saga (click to enlarge)
Mirsky Composer Biography (click to enlarge)

8th Grade+
13 years old+
Example Titles: Annie Oakley of the Wild West, At That Time: The Memoirs of Robert Lawson, A Tale of Two Cities

Annie Oakley of the Wild West (click to enlarge)
At That Time: The Memoirs of Robert Lawson (click to enlarge)
A Tale of Two Cities (click to enlarge)