Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Selecting a Book at Your Reading Level

     The idea is that you can choose to read books that will help you gradually improve your reading.  These books will challenge you just enough that they won't be either too easy or too frustrating.
    Of course, sometimes you read a very easy book just for fun, or to keep your little brother or sister busy while Mom fixes dinner.  Other times your parents or teachers will have you  read a book that is really challenging for you, and they are there to help you understand it.
     Also, if you are really, really interested in reading a book, you will make it through a difficult book without much help.  That has happened to a lot of kids with the Harry Potter books.  Those books have lots of tough vocabulary, but kids have been so interested in the stories that they read and enjoy them anyway.

      Here are some guidelines you can follow to choose books that will exercise your muscles without causing great pain.

1.  Use Lexile Levels.
      If you have taken the SRI test, you can go to lexile.com and look up books to find their lexile level, or you can find lists of books within your best lexile range.  Usually your optimal (best -- where you'll be flexing your reading muscles) range runs from 100 points below your target level to 50 points above.

SRI and Lexile Levels

2.    A Simple Way to Choose a Book at Your Level

3.    Check inside the front cover of the books in our media center.  Many of them have been labeled with their lexile levels.

4. Special note:  Sometimes there are books that you just shouldn't miss reading that are below (but not too far below) your present reading level.  Your English teacher will often approve those books for you to use for class projects.


If parents are concerned about certain books, one guideline for age appropriateness is to check recommended grade levels with the reviews on Amazon.  

Focus on the Family  reviews many books at  http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/protecting_your_family/book_reviews_for_parents/a_c.aspx