Looking for a leveled book list you can take to the library? Keep reading!
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Today’s post is for the parents who want to support their child’s beginning reading efforts at home – but they visit the library and don’t know where to begin.
Let’s talk easy reader book series.
- My First I Can Read
- Step Into Reading
- Hello Reader
- Ready to Read
- I can Read
And that’s just the beginning! The maddening thing is that each collection of books – and even books within the same series – are wildly different when it comes to reading level.
What’s a parent to do?
The first thing to do is understand guided reading levels. These are the levels that many teachers use when they teach small reading groups.
Level A books are hard to find at the library, because they’re very, very simple. In fact, teachers usually have to order these books from special publishing companies. But if you hunt, you can find a small collection at your library, such as the books listed above.
Level A books typically have predictable language patterns, high frequency words that are used over and over, and a single line of text per page.
Level B books are very similar to A books, but they may have two lines of text on a page. There is a direct correspondence between the text and the pictures; the print is clear and easy to read. Like level A, level B books are in short supply unless you special order them.
Level C books are longer than level B books, but they still have only a few lines of text per page. The pictures are still very important in supporting meaning. Some level C books use pattern and repetition.
As you move into level D, you will notice that the stories are slightly more complex. The illustrations support the text, but children will need to pay more attention to the print. Words often contain more inflectional endings, such as ing, ed, and s.
As we move to higher levels, the amount of text gradually increases. Level E books have 3-8 lines of text per page. Stories are more complex, and repeating patterns are less frequent. While the illustrations are helpful, students will need to do more problem solving to figure out new words.
Since level F texts are slightly longer than level E, the print is smaller. Text carries more of the meaning, and children need to use sight word knowledge as they read. Unlike lower level books, level F books have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
These books contain more challenging ideas and vocabulary, and the sentences are longer than lower level books. Level G books introduce children to new vocabulary.
Level H books are very similar to level G, but the vocabulary and language continue to get more complex. There is less repetition as the books continue to sound more like stories.
Level I books have a more complex story structure. Illustrations provide low support, and there are more sentences on each page.
I have found level J to be a magical level. Many, many wonderful books are written for children at level J. Even better – many come in a series. At this point your child is starting to read fluently and maybe even read in his head. Level J books often have short chapters, include dialogue, and have a clear font with space between the lines.
Level K books are simple, but slightly longer than level J books. Chapters are short. The books include illustrations on most pages, but they are not essential to understanding the text. Layout is still reader-friendly; level K books have a large, clear font with clear spaces between the lines.
As stated many times in the above post, I no longer recommend the early levels (about levels A-G) for early readers because kids really need to sound out words as they learn to read.
It’s all about helping them permanently store the words in their sight vocabulary. Research tells us that this happens when kids match the sounds to the letters (fancy words: phonemes to the graphemes), and it’s hard for them to do this when they’re not looking at the words at all, but rather looking at pictures to solve words.
I know that many teachers still use the early levels with young readers (I certainly did until diving deep into the research led me to reconsider).
But if you are teaching brand new readers, let me encourage you to use decodable text instead. Search “decodable” in the site’s search bar. In the future I’ll be adding free decodable texts to this website.
I want to read the whole book in this website without printing it. How can I do that?
Heather Groth, Customer Support
Hello Kisanet! Just scroll down to the yellow button that says “Click To Download” and it will open up the entire booklist in a pdf format. You can read it from there without printing.😊
I wish the schools can make a sit down with the parents or even make a video for parents like me who don’t know what book to give to their child. You made it so easy for me to distinguish what level mine is in I or J yay!!! And help her get books under those categories to help improve vocabulary, and comprehension. My mistake was I was letting them select an easy book then selecting them the correct book.
Here’s a great audio documentary that talks about Fountas and Pinnell:
Yes, thank you, I’ve read that article several times actually. The problem I have with it has to do with this:
“But Adams soon figured out the disconnect. Teachers understood these cues not just as the way readers construct meaning from text, but as the way readers actually identify the words on the page. And they thought that teaching kids to decode or sound out words was not necessary.”
If that’s how a teacher truly feels, then the 3 cueing system will not work and promoting it may damage readers, as the article states. But I promote a balanced approach that includes daily phonics instruction.
Yes, I see this quote as well:
“Instead, it’s mixing a bunch of different ideas about how kids learn to read. It’s a little bit of whole word instruction with long lists of words for kids to memorize. It’s a little bit of phonics.”
Strong teachers, even those who advocate the 3 cueing system, will recognize how/when to include phonics instruction. I don’t feel that throwing out the 3 cueing system because some teachers use it incorrectly is the answer.
I think the article has good points and promotes appropriate caution, but I don’t agree that the 3 cueing system is wrong or incorrect.
And that’s all I’m going to say on that, because I’ve been led into long drawn out discussions on the topic in the comments here on the blog, which I am not able to do at this time. 🙂 However, please know that I do take your comment seriously and will continue to do my own study on the subject. I may do a podcast episode about this in the future.
Is there a Spanish version available? This is great!
This is Kate, Anna’s assistant. All Anna’s resources are only available in English. We hope you find something helpful on this site!
I love your parent friendly explanation of the Guided Reading levels and your amazing list of books at levels A-Q. Is there any possibility of creating lists for the levels beyond Q (such as R, S, T, U, V and W)?
Thanks so much!
Hi, Amber! My motto is never say never, but that isn’t currently on my to do list. 🙂
I’m so glad someone with a decent website following has taken up this task. I too, created a leveled book list featuring books I found at my library, but I haven’t put any time into getting my site out there. If you’re interested, I can send you the link to my site. My list includes about 20-25 books / level of books. About half of them were listed by publishers or other book leveling experts and another 10 or so I placed at approximately the right levels. It goes up to level I. I’d love to hear what you think of it! If I get positive feedback, I’ll work harder to get it into the hands of teachers, librarians and parents.
Hi Chris! That’s actually in my plans for 2018 … to create more detailed lists for each level, with teaching tips for guided reading within that level. I do think people would be interested in your lists – I suggest creating pinnable images and sharing on Pinterest.
As a special education teacher that relies on our school library for leveled readers – this was very helpful!
You’re very welcome, Andrea! I’m glad these work for your students!
Between you and Becky Spence (thisreadingmama.com), you make life so easy for us. This will be a great handout to parents. Thank you for generously sharing everything you work so many hours on. Yours and Becky’s sites are my first go-to sites when I begin searching for specific materials. Thanks so much!
Thank you, Kari! We appreciate the encouragement so much!
Katie Limbaugh Foristal
Hi! Thanks for sharing all this information. Maybe I missed this in the article, so I do apologize….but, what source did you use to level the books? Did you use Fountas & Pinnell, Scholastic or some other source. Thanks so much for your thoughts!
Fountas & Pinnell text level gradient.
Thank you so much for this list. Please know that libraries simply cannot catalog their books according to these levels. It would create SO MUCH work and require numerous man-hours for them to re-catalog all of their children’s collections according a system that possibly could change in the next couple of years. As a librarian, I do appreciate teachers’ efforts to help their students read books at increasingly challenging levels. However, when parents come and simply ask us at the library, “Where are the Level C books?” it can be frustrating. We want children to choose books mainly based on their interests, and when children feel like they have to say “no” to a cool book because it’s not the right letter level or Lexile number, it kind of breaks our hearts. 🙂 So, lists like are immensely helpful to librarians as well as parents! Thank you!
I meant to say (in my final sentence), “Lists like *this* are immensely helpful.” 🙂
Thanks for your comment, Ally! I realize I worded my post poorly, because I agree with you that libraries shouldn’t (and can’t) level their books this way. I edited the post to reflect that.
I think it’s so important that we help kids find “just right” books – and levels are an important part of that. But I also agree that we don’t want kids to feel limited because of a label on a book. It’s a tough balance to be sure!
Thank you so much for this resource. It is now saved in my file preparing for next year to add to our end of the year summer review packet that we send home for students. I will be adding the DRA level that corresponds to the F&P level as that is what our school uses and that is the level we communicate to parents.
Sounds great, Leslie! So glad you can use it!
I am very grateful for the books levels. Now a lot of clarity in choosing a book.
I’m glad you can use the list, Reda!
Thanks so much Anna for the list. Can you tell me what levels correspond to a particular grade level?
I’m always hesitant to assign grade levels, because kids are at SO many different levels with their reading as beginning readers. But this chart gives you a general idea for the average grade level. https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/library/libraries/firsttuesdays/ReadingChart.pdf
Thank you Anna,
Now I know what kind and level of book that I must give my children to read.
Best regard, Tiibene
You’re welcome, Tiibene!
This is awesome! So grateful for the expanded list. My son is in level K and this will be a perfect resource for summertime. Thank you!
Yes, he’s the perfect age for this list! So glad it came at a good time for you, Michelle!
Thank you for creating this post and list. As a mother of three and having struggled to pick the right books for them to read. I was about to do the same for my next child but now I can find books in level A to start them off on a better step than the oldest. Thank you so very very much. Wish my oldest child teachers had this to help parents like me to assist in the teaching of the future generations.
You’re very welcome, Amy-Lynn! I’m glad you can use this with your kids!
Thank you Anna, I was learning about reading levels this week. This is very helpful.
Best Regards, LIsa:)
You’re very welcome, Lisa!
Anna, this is perfect. I have been referring parents to the scholastic book wizard website so that they could search for books over the summer and find the level before heading to the library. The issue I was having was many of my students do not have computer access to do this. This resource is great because now I can send home this list with my summer study packet and they can go right in and check the books out. The levels correlate to the FP levels which is so beneficial.
My only question is do you have a list for the levels L-O? I do teach first grade but I have some students reading at Third and Secons grade Levels and I would like them to read books at those levels over the summer?
Hi Nicole – You’re not the first to ask for this, so I updated the list to go up to Level Q. You can just re-download it to get the full list. 🙂
Thank you so much for revising it! I have downloaded the new list and this is exactly what I am looking for! Will be adding it to the front page of my students’ summer packets!
Yay! Thanks for sharing it, Nicole!
I wonder how to shop the level books?
You can find any of them on amazon.com.
You’re welcome, Cairn!
Do you know if these levels match the ones on the Fountas and Pinnell reading assessment?
It looks like it does, but I thought I would ask.
Most of these are from the Fountas and Pinnell leveled library, but I did add a few that they don’t have leveled. I read them all first to make sure I felt like they fit with the appropriate level. For the higher levels (G-K), nearly all of them were directly from F & P.
Thank you so much for this amazing list of books.
I’m so glad you can use it, Claudette!
Thank you so much for this. I can’t wait to send it home with my kids.
You’re very welcome, Nancy!
Thank you for all the wonderful resources that you share.
What browser are you using?
Ha, sorry about that, Kathryn! I was replying to someone who was having trouble with the download. What I mean to say was, “You’re very welcome!” 🙂
THANK YOU!!! My son learned to read last summer and was so excited about it, but soon got frustrated because books were either too easy and repetitive or too difficult and he would easily get frustrated. I have been trying to figure out these reading levels at the library because they can be jarringly different from one series level 1 to the next. I am hoping to spend more time this summer reading with him and this list is going to save me! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this! Thank you!
Yay! I’m so glad this is useful for you, Stacy!
Thank you for taking the time to create this list.
I will share it with the parents of my kindergarten students for summer reading ideas.
Thank you so much for passing it along, Deanna!
i have been trying all day to get this list to print. i have gone through all the hints and tried them. i am sorry to be a pain.
What happens when you RIGHT click on the green box, choose “save link as,” and then open from your computer to print?
it attempts to download and then says, failed. ???
🙁 I’m not sure what that would be, Mandy. What browser are you using? Is your internet connection good?
yes to internet. Google Chrome. i will ask my techy husband.
Do you have an updated list?
Just the original, Anna! 🙂 It’s still in the post.
Nevermind I refreshed the page and it appeared! Thanks!
Where is the box to download? I don’t see it on the page…
Right beneath the section entitled “Now What?”, there should be a green box that says, “To get your free printable, click here”. Hope that helps!
This is so awesome! Thank you so much for putting this together!
You’re very welcome, Diane!
Thank you I am preparing this list. I prepare a summer package for my students and I will suggest appropriate levelled books to checkout this summer.