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How to Choose Age-Appropriate Books

Each student is an individual and it is not possible to directly map their reading level to their grade-level in school. A better way to find an age-appropriate book is to use a measure of word and sentence difficulty.


  • Step 1: Check report card Check the child's report card to see whether it lists a Lexile reading score. If it doesn't, ask the student's teacher whether the school determines Lexile reading scores for its students.
  • TIP: Lexile is used in some way in all 50 states and by 150 publishers.
  • Step 2: Examine current reading matter Monitor the books the child currently reads to find out their Lexile text measures if they have not received a Lexile score. You can still connect them with age-appropriate books by looking for books with similar Lexile scores.
  • Step 3: Check a book catalog Check a catalog of books to see whether it includes Lexile text measures. Many libraries and online booksellers list Lexile measures.
  • Step 4: Compare the Lexile score Compare the child's Lexile reading score with the Lexile text measure for any book the child is interested in. A book is considered to be appropriate for a child as long as the text measure is within the range of 100 Lexile units, or L, below to 50L above the child's reported Lexile measure.
  • TIP: Lexile reading scores can range from a low of 5L to a high of 2000L. Higher Lexile measures represent a higher level of reading ability. Readers who score at or below 5L receive a measure of BR for Beginning Reader.
  • Step 5: Monitor reading progess Monitor the child's reading ability over time by comparing his or her Lexile scores.
  • FACT: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has a Lexile text measure of 880L.

You Will Need

  • Report card
  • Teacher
  • Lexile reading score
  • Student's current reading matter
  • Book catalogue
  • Lexile text measures for books

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