Finding the Right Books for Your Students

Hi-Lo, or High Interest / Low Reading Level books, are designed for readers who are reading below their grade level and therefore require books that match their current grade and reading interests, but are written at a level they can read with success. Hi-Lo books appear age-appropriate, but contain content that uses vocabulary and sentence structures that match, or are slightly more challenging than their current reading level.

Students who can read fluently (that is, without having to pause too many times while reading a story) are more likely to remember, or comprehend, what they have just read. Once they have become fluent readers at a particular reading level they should try moving up to a higher level.

When browsing High Noon Books, look for the information stating the reading level of the books (shown in the green box), and the age or grade level of the readers who will be interested in the books (shown in the purple box).

Search High Noon Books by Reading Category:

Search High Noon Books by Reading Level
and Subject Category:

You can either search by category (left menu bar) or use the search tool located in the red box on the High Noon Books home page (also located at the top of this page). With the search tool, you can look for titles within a certain grade level or range of levels. You can also focus your search on specific subject areas such as mysteries or sports.

If your student is reading below their grade level, start with books that are at least two reading levels below their grade level (for example, a fourth grader should try reading a book with a Level 2 reading level).

If you don't know your student's reading level:

Try having your student read the following passages. Select reading levels that are slightly challenging for the student.

Phonics-Based Reading

  • Sound Out A (beginning sound skills)
  • Sound Out B (all phonic skills in Sound Out A, plus additional skills)
  • Sound Out C (all phonic skills in Sound Out A and B, plus additional skills)

Sight Word Based Reading

  • Leela & Ben (Level 1 readability, focusing on the 950 most frequently used words in English)
  • Secret Spies (Level 2 readability, focusing on the 1,200 most frequently used words in English: Level 1 words plus additional vocabulary)
  • Test of Courage (Level 3 readability, focusing on Level 1 and Level 2 vocabulary, plus additional vocabulary)

About Lexiles and other reading level indicators:

Lexiles and other popular rating systems provide a way for educators to select books based on a common method of classification. Many books that students read in the classroom have a rating attached to the book, such as the Fountas and Pinnell rating system (which ranges from "A" to "Z") or the Lexile rating system (which uses numbers as the rating). These ratings are based in large part upon vocabulary, sentence length, and sentence structure, and are useful as a general guideline that teachers can use to select and compare different books that use the same rating system.

Lexiles and other rating systems do not measure factors like:

  • whether the story contains predictable text, that is, whether the reader can reasonably predict the content of the next paragraph based on what they have read in the previous paragraph
  • the complexity of the plot, that is, whether the story contains a single plot or switches between subjects, stories, and characters
  • the book format (book size, type size, amount of supporting pictures or graphics)

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