Why book review sites for each grade level of readers?

  • Because reading change lives.
  • Because every grade level has special needs–and the right books help.
  • Because good readers do well in school, and that means a bright future–and the right books help.
  • Because books introduce readers to the wider world–and the right books help.

The GradeReading.NET suite of sites provides recommendations for contemporary grade-level appropriate books for each gradelevel – it’s an online, constantly updated grade level reading list for Common Core.

Why 21st Century, Contemporary Literature for Kids?

What does your child or student watch on TV?

  • Reruns of “I Love Lucy”?
  • Reruns of “Gomer Pyle”?
  • Reruns of “Lassie”?

There’s nothing wrong with classics, but if your student ONLY watches reruns, something is out of whack.

Today’s students need today’s literature.
Not reruns.

A recent study of books read by kids revealed that Dr. Seuss was the most popular author for K-3rd grades. The classics are great, we love them. But it appears that classics are 75-80% of what kids are reading in school. Something is out of whack.

Instead, GradeReading wants to encourage kids to read contemporary literature, nonfiction and fiction. Publishers are turning out exciting, engaging, contemporary work in every genre and with appropriate text complexity. Kids are missing out on books meant for their generation.

Common Core Standards Require New Reading Levels

Education reform, the Common Core State Standards, also requires a more complex texts at an earlier grade. We recommend contemporary books with grade-level appropriate text complexity.

Each grade level has recommended Common Core Standards reading levels (text complexity), as measured by a Lexile score. Lexile is a measure of the grade level and text complexity of a book. All books included in this site are within this Lexile range.

  • K-1: below 420L
  • 2-3: 420-820L
  • 4-5: 740-1010L
  • 6-8: 925-1185L
  • 9-10: 1050-1335L
  • 11-12: 1185-1385L

However, it’s a bit more complicated than that. For example, the classic novel Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck has a Lexile of 480L, which puts it in the 2nd-3rd range. But the topics and emotional content of the book is high school level. We take into account the content of a book before including here. Books recommended here are within the correct Lexile range AND the content is recommended for each specific grade.

More questions? Read our FAQ.

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Sue Poduska

Sue is a lifetime lover of books and is dedicated to putting quality literature into the hands of young people. When she is not directing activity on the grade reading sites, she is a Co-Regional Advisor for the Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She writes both fiction and nonfiction for picture books through middle grade books. Email her at sue.poduska@gmail.com.


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