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What is a Lexile?
A Lexile is a reading level determined by the difficulty of text based on vocabulary and sentence structure.  A child is assigned a Lexile level based on their ability to read within a certain range on the Lexile scale.  More information can be found at the Lexile website.

Where can I find books in my child’s Lexile level?
The Lexington Public Library does not shelve books according to Lexile level, but you can find books according to a Lexile range at these sites:  Amazon, Lexile, your school’s library catalog, Accelerated Reader Bookfinder, and Reading Counts.

Do the Lexile levels correspond to grade levels?
No. They are based on an individual student’s ability, not his or her age or grade level in school.  However, Metametrics, the company that created Lexile, understands that it may be helpful to compare grade level with Lexile level and has come up with a comparison chart which can be found here.

Why does a book like Diary of a Wimpy Kid have a higher Lexile level than a classic like The Grapes of Wrath?
According to Metametrics:  “In order to Lexile a book or article, text is split into 125-word slices. Each slice is compared to the nearly 600-million word Lexile corpus –- taken from a variety of sources and  genres –- and words in each sentence are counted. The sentence length and difficulty of the vocabulary is examined throughout the book. These calculations are put into the Lexile equation. Then, each slice’s resulting Lexile measure is applied to the Rasch psychometric model to determine the Lexile measure for the entire text.”

“Lexile measures do NOT measure age-appropriateness, the book quality, the book's theme or other such characteristics of the book. For example, The Grapes of Wrath is a fairly simple book to read but may have a theme that is inappropriate for a certain age group. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid may have more complex words and phrases and therefore has a higher Lexile measure."

What is AR and Reading Counts?
Accelerated Reader (AR) and Reading Counts are software programs used by schools to help teachers manage and monitor a child’s independent reading.  After a student reads a book he/she takes a short quiz on the computer.  Passing the quiz is an indication that the student understood what was read.  Points are given for passing the quiz.  Books have different point values based on the length or difficulty of the book.  Some teachers require students to accumulate a certain number of points within a period of time.  More information can be found at the Accelerated Reader and Reading Counts websites.

Are AR/Reading Counts and Lexile the same thing?
No.  However, many teachers will ask students to keep within their Lexile reading level when choosing books to read for their AR or Reading Counts quizzes.

Where can I find AR books or Reading Counts books in the library?
The Lexington Public Library does not label books in this way, and we don’t have a separate collection of these books.  If you need assistance, you may ask a library staff member for help.  You may also find them at these sites: