Choosing What to Read

I often get asked by parents for book suggestions for their kids. I have touched on this topic and shared book selection sites in various posts, but I realized that I don’t have a post that directly deals with this topic and contains all of these useful sites in one place. So here it is. Whether you are looking for books to read aloud to your child, books they can read on their own, books turned in to movies, books in a particular genre, or popular books for your child’s age/grade/or reading level, here are some helpful suggestions and sites that can help you find the perfect books to choose.

What is the right level?

Many schools now use Lexile levels to determine an individual student’s reading ability. These levels are measured using reading assessments from a test or program. Ask your child’s teacher for his/her reading level. Even if your child’s school doesn’t use Lexile levels, they can still give you an idea of where your child is reading. Check out this website which helps you search books based on your child’s Lexile level: If you don’t know your child’s Lexile level, you can also search this site based on your child’s grade, interests, and approximate reading level. For a Lexile grade conversion chart, click here:  For more information about Lexile levels and how they are measured, check out this resource:

If you are looking for a book your child can read on his/her own, you want to search for books that are at his/her independent reading level. If you are looking for books you can read with your child (shared reading), find books that are at his/her instructional reading level. If you are looking for books to read aloud to your child, find books that are one to two levels above your child’s reading level. Children’s listening comprehension levels are generally higher than their reading comprehension levels.

 Sites for finding books:

Find a book based on Lexile Level OR Grade Level:, OR

Find a book turned in to a movie:

Find a book based on interest or popularity

Scholastic’s “The Stacks”:

Kids Read:

 Find a book based on recommendations

By age or category:, OR

By grade level:, OR

By interest:


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. amandastclair
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 21:14:38

    Wow! Ton of great links and useful information. Thanks, Petra! I’m going to check them out. Now I just need the post (or link to a previous post) on explaining the different types of reading. I am usually the reader in this household, but I had Bradley’s dad read to him the other night. He had Bradley reading a book that was too difficult for him and should have been read to him. It was not on his level at all. I was cringing the whole time…but I also let them be because it is important for dad to do some of the reading too. And then I think I need to make him the list of how to help him read, like chunking, using the pictures, etc.


  2. Petra
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 16:28:46

    Thanks, Amanda! What do you mean specifically by different types of reading? Like independent, shared, read alouds, etc and when/how to do each kind?


  3. amandastclair
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 20:45:47

    Yep! That’s what I meant. General info for parents to know the difference.


  4. Petra
    Nov 07, 2012 @ 16:10:57

    Sorry, just saw this. Okay, I will work on a post about that. Thanks!


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