My Child Has an Accelerated Reader or Lexile Reading List: How Do I Find a Book?


If your child has been assigned the task of finding a book from their Accelerated Reader or Lexile reading lists, you might wonder what those terms mean.

After a teacher tests a child for their reading level, the teacher will assign children a reading level that will be shared with their parent or caregiver.  Parents or caregivers can then help their child choose books based upon that reading level.

I found the Library's Novelist K-8 Plus electronic resource to be the ideal source for books when finding books by reading level.  Most schools use either Accelerated Readers or Lexiles.

Accelerated Reader or Lexile Reading Levels

Novelist K-8 Plus defines the two reading levels:

  • "Lexiles are a measure of how difficult a book is to comprehend. By matching the Lexile level for a reader with the Lexile level of a particular book, you can ensure that the young reader will have a successful reading experience."
  • "Accelerated Reader (AR) levels are also used to find the right books for a reader based on grade range (Interest Level) and text difficulty (Book Level, also called ATOS)."

As the reading levels are assigned, teachers expect that through consistent reading practice, reading levels will rise steadily.

Using the Reading Level to Find a Book

Novelist K-8 Plus has very straightforward directions for finding the ideal book for your child.  For either type, use "Advanced Search."  Here are a couple of examples:

  • Lexile: A child has a Lexile reading level of 100. 
    • Go to Advanced Search
    • Scroll to the Limit Your Results section, limit by Lexile Range or Score (Novelist will include books 100 points below and 50 points above your child's Lexile measure)
    • Limit by Grade Level.
    • Click on search
    • If you don't limit by Grade Level, you can limit to age (Ages 0-8, Ages 9-12, Teen.)
    • Scroll through the results to find books that are of interest in your child's reading level
  • Accelerated Reader: A child has a reading level (Book Level) of 1.2 (The first number means the grade level or First Grade + month or Second Month) 
    • Go to Advanced Search
    • Scroll to the Limit Your Results section, choose Lower Grades (LG) (K-3)
    • Enter the limiter, Accelerated Reader (ATOS) Book Level
    • Click on search
    • Scroll through the results to find books that are of interest in your child's reading level

Once you have your results list, you will notice of few things about each book listed that will be useful when finding books that your child likes:

  • Check the Library Catalog: Use this to find if your local library has a copy of the book.  If not, you can always request or place a hold on the book from another library.
  • Title Read-alikes or Author Read-alikes or Series Read-alikes: This useful feature will allow you to choose other titles or authors or series that are similar to what your child likes.  Since children at this age like familiar characters or series, this is quite a useful feature!

Other Useful Features

Find the menu at the top of the page.  You will find additional useful features of this electronic resource:

  • Browse By: You search by genre, appeal or award winners.  According to Novelist K-8 Plus, appeal "helps readers determine why they enjoy a book and whether a particular book will fit their style. You can use appeal to find books based on the type of character you like, the pacing or tone, or even the style of illustration. Themes are popular and recurring plot elements found in fiction. Themes describe the overall plot, while appeal terms describe the storyline, tone, writing style, and other aspects of a book’s content."
  • How Do I: Answers questions about various features in Novelist K-8 Plus.

If you would like other resources for beginning readers besides Novelist K-8 Plus, see our Kids page:

There are additional resources under the Books & More menu:

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!