There are many studies highlighting the importance of reading to and with your children. It is one of the most important activities you can do with your child. Feed your children on books! Reading allows for creativity and imagination to develop. Encourage thinking and check comprehension by asking questions as you read. Good reading skills are the foundation to a great education.

Language develops one step at a time. For young children who are learning letter sounds and phonograms, Starfall.com is a free, interactive website.

You may also want to check out our Reading Recommendations for Primary Grades (see below). For new readers, it is important to match text with the reader’s ability level, which helps guard against young readers becoming overwhelmed by the text. A tried and true method for evaluating whether a book is at an appropriate level for your reader is the Five Finger Method. Open the book you are evaluating to any page and hold up five fingers. Have the student begin to read. Each time that they encounter a work that they either cannot sound out or do not understand, lower one finger. If all five fingers are down before the student finishes the page, the text is too difficult. Students are challenged by a two or three finger text, but can be frustrated and lose valuable reading practice while wrestling with a book that is far above their reading level.

A reading level is sometimes shown on the back of children’s books. However, this can still be confusing as there are several different systems used to level books. We have created an estimated reading level conversion chart using some of the most common scales, in the hopes of assisting you in choosing great reading materials for your child.

There are many sites that provide reading lists, but Accelerated Reader offers an extensive leveled book list. It is an easy way to find titles that are just right. It is also a great way to move up incrementally as your reader improves.

Scholastic Book Wizard is also a great resource. By entering a title, you can determine the reading level of a book.

Children do need access to complex stories and vocabulary, but they can gain that learning by hearing stories read aloud to them. This also provides a great opportunity for you to model good oral reading skills.

Grade Level
WPM Grade Level Text
Guided Reading
Accelerated Reader
DRA
Reading Recovery
Lexile
Kindergarten
0 - 5
A
.1
A – 1
1
BR – 220
Kindergarten -
Grade 1
5
B
2 – 3
2
10
C
4
3 – 4
Grade 1
20
D
1.0 – 1.9
6
5 – 6
220 - 500
25
E
8
7 – 8
30
F
10
30
35
G
12
11 – 12
Grades 1-2
40
H
14
13 – 14
450 – 500
45
I
16
15 – 17
Grade 2
55
J
2.0 – 2.9
18
18 - 20
450 – 620
65
K
20
Grades 2-3
70
L
24
550 – 620
75
M
28
Grade 3
80
N
3.0 – 3.9
30
550 – 790
Grades 3-4
85
O
34
770 – 790
90
P
38
Grade 4
105
Q
4.0 – 4.9
40
770 – 910
105
R
Grades 4-5
105
S
860- 910
120
T
50
Grade 5
125
U
5.0 – 5.9
860 – 980
Grades 5-6
125
V
950 – 1040
110
W
60
110
X
110
Y
Grades 7-8
135
Z
80
1000 – 1160

Reading Recommendations for Primary Grades

Please note that some of the reading listed below is meant to be read aloud to children and others are for children to read themselves.

Ahlberg, Janet and Allan
    The Jolly Postman

Aiken, Joan
    The Moon's
    Revenge

Andersen, Hans Christian
    The Little Mermaid
    The Ugly Duckling
    The Emperor's New Clothes
    The Little Match Girl
    Princess and the Pea
    The Red Shoes
    The Snow Queen
    Thumbelina
    The Steadfast Tin Solider

Ardizzone, Edward
    Tim and Ginger
    Tim and Charlotte
    Tim and the Brave Sea Captain
    Tim All Alone
    Tim in Danger
    Tim's Friend Towser
    Tim to the Rescue

Aulair, Ingri and Edgar
    Book of Greek Myths
    Book of Norse Myths

Bennet, William
    The Book of Virtues
    The Children's Book of Virtues
    The Children's Book of Heroes
    The Children's Book of America
    Our Country's Founders
    The Moral Compass

Beskow, Elsa
    Pele's New Suit
    Children of the Forest

Burgess, Gelett
    Goops and How to Be Them

Burton, Virginia Lee
    Katy and the Big Snow
    The Little House
    Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Carrick, Donald
    Harald and the Great Stag
    Herald and the Giant Knight

Carroll, Lewis
    The Walrus and the Carpenter
    The Hunting of the Snark

DePaola, Tomie
    Stega Nona
    The Knight and the Dragon
    The Art Lesson
    Shh! We're Writing the Constitution
    Legend of Indian Paintbrush
    The Quilt Story

Fisher, Leonard Everett
    Theseus and the Minotaur
    The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt
    The Two Mountains: An Aztec Legend
    Rip Van Winkle Returns
    William Tell
    other retellings

Gannet, Ruth Stile
    My Father's Dragon

Gerrard, Roy
    Sir Cedric
    Cronco'nile
    Wagons West!
    Rosie and the Rustlers
    The Roman Twins
    Mik's Mammoth
    others

Grahame, Kenneth
    The Reluctant Dragon
Hall, Donald
    The Oxford Book of Children's Verses in America
    The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children's Poems

Harris, Joel Chandler
    The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus

Harrison, M
    The New Oxford Treasury of Children's Poems
    The Oxford Book of Story Poems

Hawthorne, Nathaniel
    A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys

Heller, Ruth
    books about words

Herriot, James
    Blossom Comes Home
    Only One Woof
    The Market Square Dog

Hoban, Russell
    The Mouse and His Child
    The Little Brute Family

Hodges, Margaret
    The True Tale of Johnny Appleseed
    The Hero of Bremen
    The Wind in the Willows
    Gulliver in Lilliput
    retellings

Hort, Lenny
    The Boy Who Held Back the Sea (retold)

Hughes, Shirley
    Dogger

Hyman, Trina Schart
    many retellings

Irving, Washington
    Rip Van Winkle

Jarrell, Randall
    The Fisherman and His Wife
    The Animal Family

Joyce, William
    Dinosaur Bob and his Adventures with the Family
    The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs
    Santa Calls

Kimmel, Eric
    Anansi and the Moss-covered Rock
    Anansi and the Talking Melon
    Anansi and the Magic Stick
    Anansi Goes Fishing
    The McElderry Book of Greek Myths
    The Gingerbread Man
    Medio Pollito/Half Chick-Spanish Tale
    Iron John-Adapted from Brothers Grimm
    retellings

Kipling, Rudyard
    Just So Stories
    Riki-Tiki-Tavi

Lang, Andrew
    The Blue Fairty Book
    all of several other colors

Lawson, Robert
    They Were Strong and Good

Lester, Julius
    John Henry
    Uncle Remus: The Complete Tales
    The Knee-High Man and Other Tales
    folk tale retellings

Lear, Edward
    Nonsense Poems of Edward Lear

Lewis, C. S.
    The Chronicles of Narnia

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
    Paul Revere's Ride

Lurie, Alison
    The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales
MacDonald, George
    The Golden Key
    The Light Princess
    The Lost Princess
    The Christmas Stories of George MacDonald

Mark, Jan
    The Oxford Book of Children's Stories

McCaughrean, Geraldine
    The Golden Hoard
    Stories from Shakespeare
    El Cid
    1001 Arabian Nights
    God's People
    Silver Myths and Legends
    The Bronze Cauldron

McCloskey, Robert
    Make Way for Ducklings
    Blueberries for Sal
    One Morning in Maine
    Time of Wonder
    Lentil
    others

Milne, A. A.
    When We Were Very Young
    Now We Are Six
    The House at Pooh Corner

Neil, Philip
    The New Oxford Book of Children's Verse

Nesbit, Edith
    The Deliverers of Their Country

Potter, Beatrix
    Tale of Peter Rabbit
    Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher
    Jemima Puddle-Duck
    Benjamin Bunny
    Tale of Johnny Town Mouse
    Tale of Samuel Whiskers
    The Roly-Poly Pudding
    Tale of Timmy Tiptoes
    Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan
    Tale of Squirrel Nutkin
    all

Ransome, Arthur
    The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship

Russell, William F.
    Classic Myths to Read Aloud

San Souci, Robert D.
    The Talking Eggs
    FA Mulan
    Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    Robin Hood and the Arrow
    N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims
    Young Merllin
    Young Arthur
    other retellings

Silverstein, Shel
    verse

Steig, William
    Brave Irene
    The Magic Pebble
    Yellow and Pink

Stockton, Frank
    The Griffin and the Minor Cannon (Maurice Sendak illust.)

Suess, Dr.
    Green Eggs and Ham
    One Fish, Two Fish...
    Foot Book
    If I Ran the Circus
    Yertle the Turtle
    Marvink Mooney Will You Please Go Now
    any

Wisniewski, David
    Elfwyn's Saga
    The Warrior and the Wiseman

Wilde, Oscar
    The Selfish Giant