Reading levels for books

We know finding books for children who are beginning to read is challenging. With so many publishers creating their own reading level systems, 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 struggle to find the right books. That's why we created Welcome to Reading, a leveling system for every book in the library's collection. Welcome to Reading makes it easy to get the right books into kids' hands. Learn more about Welcome to Reading and other leveling systems below.

Welcome to Reading

The library's beginning reader titles in English and Spanish are divided into four categories:

Starting Out (Yellow Reader) | Comenzando (Amarillo)

Building Skills (Blue Reader) | Desarrollando habilidades (Azul)

Reading More (Red Reader) | Leyendo más (Rojo)

On My Own (Green Reader) | Por mi cuenta (Verde)

For each category in English, we've created a color-coded bag with five fun books and a parents’ guide with ideas for creating a stronger reader. You can place them on hold and check them out like any other item:

Starting Out bags

Building Skills bags

Reading More bags

On My Own Bags

Welcome to Reading bags are made possible by The Library Foundation.

Other reading level systems

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 password.

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.