Anyone else completely confused by reading levels? There are guided reading levels, Lexile numbers, and Book Levels like the library uses. I found this especially confusing when my kindergarten and grade 1 students were beginning to read. I assumed you just get a beginner reader, but guess what – it’s NOT that easy! Many beginner readers are actually for 3rd graders! YIKES! Don’t worry, I can explain reading levels, give you book recommendations by grade, and take all the work out of finding your child the best books to read by reading level!
Making Sense of Reading Levels
What Level Books should my Child be reading by Grade!
I think one needs a masters degree in nonsense to make sense of reading levels! Seriously there are 3 different systems used: Lexile, Book Level (like most libraries) and Guided Reading (Scholastic) that parents must try to understand. And if you google it, there isn’t much useful information out there either.
I even talked with my local librarian who gave me a lot of misinformation, ugh! So I did deeper research so I could pick out readers for my kids.
Reading levels by grade
I don’t claim to be an expert on reading levels by any means, but for all you confused parents here is some help from a mom that was just as confused as you are!
Note: All kids read at their own pace and this is just an average generalization. Please work on reading books at your child’s reading level. For kids who are great readers, they may be reading at books above their reading level.
Don’t miss our hugely popular family Monthly Stories for Kids
Kindergarten Reading Level
Kindergartners are just beginning to read using some basic sight words and decoding simple words. In the library look for books labeled 0.1 – 1.3. For those using the Scholastic Guided Reading level, look for A, B, or C. (That is 25-75 in Lexile). Remember they need 30 minutes of daily reading; practice makes perfect!
- 50 Books for Kindergartners to Read by Themselves
- 45 Must Read Books for Kindergartners (Read Aloud)
First Grade Reading Level
1st Grade students are decoding more words, learning rule breaker rules, and adding more and more sight words. Through the course of the year they can be anywhere from a 1.0 – 1.9 for readers at the library. For those using Scholastic Guided Reading that is B-I or Lexile 50-275. Remember they need 30 minutes of daily reading; practice makes perfect!
- 100 Books for 1st Graders to Read Themselves
- Favorite 1st Grade Read Aloud Picture Books
- 17+ 1st Grade Read Aloud Chapter Books you won’t want to miss!
- Top 25 Chapter Book Series for 1st-3rd Grade
2nd Grade Reading Level
2nd Graders are reading well independently. Although they may start their year in advanced readers, most are ready for simple chapter books by the end of the year. Just like Kindergarten and 1st graders, they need lots of practice to continue advancing. Even though 2nd graders are reading well on their own, they still need time reading aloud to an adult who can help them correct pronunciation, flow, and check reading comprehension to ensure no issues creep up. At the library look for books labeled 1.6-2.9. Using a Guided Reading system look for H-M or 225-450 in Lexile.
- Best 2nd Grade Reading List
- 2nd Grade Read Aloud Chapter Books
- Top 25 Chapter Book Series for 1st-3rd Grade
3rd Grade Reading Level
3rd Graders are comfortable reading simple chapter books on their own. They continue to need lots of practice and time reading aloud as well. At the library look for books 2.2 – 3.9, Guided Reading level L-P, and Lexile 400-650.
4th-8th Grade Reading Level
Although at this point most kids are reading chapter books that are no longer labeled with a reading level, I wanted to give you some tools in case you feel the need to further assess what your child is reading.
- 4th Grade Book List – 3.3-5.5 Book Level, O-T Guided Reading, 600-850 Lexile
- 5th Grade Reading List – 5.0-7.4 Book Level, S-W Guided Reading, 800-1000 Lexile
- 6th Grade 6.7-8.6 Book Level, V-Y Guided Reading, 950-1050 Lexile
- 7th &8th Grade 8.0-9.0 Book Level, X-Z Guided Reading, 1035-1100 Lexile
Find out any Books Reading Level
You can find out any books reading level (Lexile, library Book Level, and Scholastic Guided Reading) by checking AR Book Finder.
Free Printable Reading Logs
- Monthly Reading Log – this free printable has ‘traditional’ monthly themes
- Bookshelf Free Printable Reading Logs – super cute and fun for kids of all ages!
- Pencil Free Printable Reading Logs -print reading worksheet and color a pencil for each book you read
- Frozen Free Printable Reading Logs – kids will have fun tracking their reading and the books they’ve read with this motivating free printable for kids of all ages
- Princess Free Printable Reading Logs – students will have fun tracking their reading with these free printable reading logs
- Super Hero Free Printable Reading Logs – using a favorite theme of kids will encourage kids to read
- Cars Free Printable Book Logs – children will have fun tracking the books they’ve read with these clever free reading log
- Summer Free Printable Reading Logs – students will be motivated to read this summer with these ideas
- Reading Comprehension Bookmarks – this is a great tool for making sure kids are understanding what they are reading
- Reading Levels by Grade – how to pick the right books for every reading level and tons of printable book lists too
Book Report Idea
Looking for other ways to help kids work on reading comprehension and summarizing a book they read? Try these free resources:
- Handy Reading Comprehension Bookmarks (any book: fiction or non fiction)
- Book Report Template
- Book Report for Kids
- Pizza Book Report Idea
- Sandwich Book Report Idea
- 26 more clever Book Report Ideas
- Library Scavenger Hunt – help kids learn to navigate a library, the Dewey decimal system, book genres, and so much more with this pack of free printable scavenger hunts for kids!
- Bookshelf Reading Log – to help encourage kids to read!