Reading levels for books

The Multnomah County Library created its own leveling system, Welcome to Reading, for every beginning reader book it owns to create a much simpler way to find books at the right level for our young patrons learning to read. The library knows finding books for children who are beginning to read is challenging. With so many publishers creating its own reading level metrics, and leveling companies like Accelerated Reader and Lexile leveling only titles from publishers that subscribe to their services, it's no wonder parents and educators and the readers themselves struggle to find their right book.

All of the library's Beginning Readers are divided into four categories: Starting Out (Yellow Reader), Building Skills (Blue Reader), Reading More (Red Reader), and On My Own (Green Reader). You can also pick up one of the library’s ready-made Welcome to Reading bags. Each color-coded bag contains 5 fun books and a parent's guide with ideas for how to create a stronger reader.  Starting Out bags, Building Skills bags, Reading More bags, On My Own Bags

With our Welcome to Reading system, young readers will be able to more easily find the books they need to become successful readers, improving their experience with the library and with reading. 

Accelerated Reader Book Search: Search by title, author, quiz number or standard set in the simple search. Go to the advanced search to sort results list in ascending or descending order by title or author, by topic (genre), interest level, book level, accelerated reader points, fiction or non-fiction, English or Spanish language, publisher and publication date. One can also search by series name, awards, and within Accelerated Reader recommended reading lists.

Fry Readability Graph: This site explains how to use and read the Fry readability graph. The graph is available by grade level or by age level.

Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level Test: Scroll down to “Understand readability scores” for a brief explanation of Flesch-Kincaid tests. Follow the instructions using Word or Outlook to discover the reading level of a section of text.

Lexile Reading Level Book Search: Use the Quick Search box (upper right corner) to find the Lexile of a book by title or author. Search by Lexile or by grade level, and limit to the readers' interests for a list of suggested books. The NoveList Plus database provides Lexiles along with a clear explanation of the metric. Access to NoveList Plus requires a Multnomah County Library card and PIN.

Lexiles in Oregon: This site from the Oregon Department of Education provides links with information on how Oregon schools are using Lexiles. Submit text to the Lexile Analyzer, and explore the Lexile Maps for Educators and Families for additional resources. The Maps are available in Spanish.

Reading level guide and comparison chart: Harcourt Achieve presents a PDF chart comparing the grade levels for a number of leveled systems: Fountas and Pinnell, DRA, Early Intervention, Rigby PM, Rigby READS, and Sails.

Teacher Book Wizard: Search by Grade Level Equivalent, Guided Reading, Lexile, or DRA. The BookAlike™ search will find similar books with the same reading level, or ones that are easier or harder to read.