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What is Leveled Reading?

Oct 01 2020 by readling 31379 views

Matching kids with just right books can help them achieve more through leveled reading.

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When we talk about leveled reading, we are not only talking about levels of books, but also kids' reading levels.

Researchers have discovered that for kids who do not have high reading comprehension, whether a book's reading level is right or not can make big differences.

Back in 1880s, researchers started working on text leveling and one of the most popular reading levels have been used in schools is Guided Reading Level (GRL), which was developed by two renowned teaching specialists, Gay Su Pinnell and Irene C. Fountas, in the late 1990s.

How Does Guided Reading Work?

Guided Reading is used to assess children at the beginning of every school year by classroom teachers. Every child will be assigned a guided reading level based on “Thinking Within the Text” which includes: word knowledge, information comprehension, self-monitoring and correcting, summarization, fluency and “Thinking Beyond the Text” which includes: prediction, connections, synthesis, inference and analysis or critiques. The levels range alphabetically from A to Z, with level A representing the lowest level and level Z the highest.

Books are also assigned guided reading levels from A-Z based on guided reading categories: genre, text structure, content, themes and ideas, language literary features, sentence complexity, vocabulary, words, illustrations, book and print features.

Why is Guided Reading Useful?

If reading materials are too difficult for your kids, they will get frustrated and lose interests and confidence in reading, which is something we never want to see. However, if kids are reading books that are too easy, they are not learning, and they mostly often get bored easily.

Therefore, reading materials at a “just-right” reading level is what we look for. Books that are at or a little bit above your kids’ reading level are “just-right” reading materials which fit them best and help them most.

How Do Readu Help?

GRL is very helpful for parents and kids, but while this leveling system is based on manual leveling from reading specialists, the quantity of books leveled is very limited, which is roughly 70,000 till 2020.

With more than 5 million children’s books on our platform, Readu believe leveling more books will be very helpful.

Readu expects to employ Natural Language Processing (NLP) and deep neural network to build our own leveling system that can quickly process a vast number of books and automatically produce each book’s reading level and other relevant readability metrics in seconds.

With AI technology, Readu will have the largest leveled books database for all budding readers.

How Can I Find Books at My Child’s Guided Reading Level?

Book levels of Readu leveling system are equivalent to GRL in order to make it easier for parents to understand.

If your kid has finished assessment by his/her teacher, please go ahead to our huge pool of books for books at your kid's reading level at Leveled Books page on

If you don't know your kid's reading level yet, you can have your kid assessed on Readling App, or you can scan books your kid has finished recently, add them into "Have Read" in your reading log, and you will get an average level of books read which normally can be quite similar to your kid's reading level. The more books you add into the reading log, the more accurate the assessed reading level will be.


  • WB: Wordless book
  • LB: Label book ( Books with only one word or a very short phrase on every page)