Reading levels are meant to provide general information that can guide you when choosing just right books with your child. When selecting books, be sure to follow your child's interests and choose books a little below and above their current level to increase their development. Work with your child's teacher to find the book that is the best fit.

Guided Reading Level (GRL)

The Guided Reading level system, developed
by Drs. Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell,
evaluates book and print features, text
structures, themes and ideas, vocabulary,
language and literary feature to provide
instructional levels, grades K-8. Your child's
GRL is assigned by his or her teacher, who
the provide instruction geared to take
students to the next level of difficulty.

Average grade breakdowns are as follows:

  • Kindergarten: A-C
  • 1st Grade: C-I
  • 2nd Grade: I-M
  • 3rd Grade: M-P
  • 4th Grade: P-S
  • 5th Grade: S-V
  • 6th Grade: V-Y

Lexile (LEX)

Lexile measures for texts are determined by
sentence complexity and word frequency.
Your child receives a Lexile measure after
taking a standardized exam. When selecting
just right books for your child, select texts
that fall within your child's Lexile range (50L
above and 100L below his or her Lexile
measure). While Lexile measures represent
the readability of a text, only you can
determine if a book is suitable for your child.
A text's Lexile measure may be accompanied
by a Lexile Code which provides additional

The codes are as follows:




  • AD: Adult Directed-Refers to picture books that are usually read to a young child, rather than a child reading them independently.
  • NC: Non-Conforming-Applied to books that have a Lexile measure markedly higher than the publisher's intended audience. The NC code can be used to match high-ability readers with a book that's still at an appropriate developmental level.
  • HL: High-Low-Used to indicate when a text has an appropriate difficulty level and developmental level for older struggling or reluctant readers.
  • IG: Illustrated Guide-Applied to books that are usually nonfiction and are often used as reference or to look up fun facts.
  • GN: Graphic Novel-Indicates that a book is a graphic novel or comic book.
  • BR: Beginning Reader-Applied to books that are appropriate for the emergent reader.
  • NP: Non-Prose-Indicates that a book has more than 50% non-standard text, for example plays, poems, songs, recipes, and text with non-standard or absent punctuation.

Developmental Reading
Assessment (DRA)

DRA levels are assigned by your child's teacher and are to be used to select texts for independent reading. For DRA users, reading material is pre-leveled by leveling experts to match the expected reading performance of students K-8. The Developmental Reading Assessment takes into account a book's content when determining its reading level.

Average grade breakdowns are as follows:

  • Kindergarten: A-4
  • 1st Grade: 4-16
  • 2nd Grade: 16-24
  • 3rd Grade: 24-38
  • 4th Grade: 38-40
  • 5th Grade: 40-50
  • 6th Grade: 50-60
  • 7th & 8th Grade: 60-80

Accelerated Reader (AR)

The Accelerated Reader program uses the ATOS readability formula to measure text difficulty based on sentence length, word length, and average grade level of words. The Accelerated Reader number represents the grade and month at which a child will, on average, be able to fluently read the text. For example, 4.5 indicates the fifth month of fourth grade. While the ATOS formula measures the readability of a text, only you can determine if a book is suitable for your child.

Scholastic Readers

Scholastic editors developed a leveling system for their collection of high-interest Readers that put children on the path to reading independence. Scholastic Readers also provide information on text features such as word count and references to Grade Level, Guided Reading Level, and Lexile measures.

The four Scholastic Reader levels are:




  • First Reader-Pre 1
  • Beginning Reader-1
  • Developing Reader-2
  • Growing Reader-3