Books & Beyond

Early Reader Levels…What Do They Mean?!

By Anna B.
August 15, 2020

If you’ve ever browsed our Early Reader section, you’ve probably noticed numbers on the sides of many of the books, or friendly names or colors. To make it more complicated, your child might have really like a Level 1 of a particular series, but when you pick up a Level 1 of another series it’s way too hard or too easy. Why is it so difficult?! Don’t even get me started on books that tie-in to shows or movies…such hard words!!!

Short answer: publishers come up with a system of leveling a book for their series. There is no consistency series to series. And if you ask a librarian, they might give you an answer that feels pretty flippant…it doesn’t matter!

Sometimes you will pick books that are too easy and others too hard. It’s a little like Goldilocks; you and your child will try some out that aren’t the best match until you find one that is.

So they breeze through some – great! Did they enjoy it? Fantastic! Maybe it’s too hard and you needed to read it to them—awesome! It’s nice to share stories together, even as your child gets bigger and can read on their own.

And here’s a hint: those just right titles are going to change all of the time. The learning to read process has a slow start but then can ramp up quickly. The more books you bring home, the better! This allows your child to explore, investigate, assess and expand their knowledge.

Just getting started? Be sure to check out our post of great first early readers.