Searching for summer reading help? A free online utility known as “Find a Book” provides a way for parents and students to quickly and easily search for books that match a child’s reading level and interests, as well as locate a local library carrying each title. Visit www.lexile.com/findabook.
Research indicates that struggling learners score significantly higher on standardized tests taken at the beginning of the summer than they do on the same tests taken at summer’s end. The academic loss is particularly evident in reading, and most pronounced among students from low socioeconomic families who may not have access to books. Studies show children who read through the summer months maintain more of their academic skills and are better prepared when school resumes.
“Parents can ensure their children maintain reading skills by checking out the free 'Find a Book' site and building a summer reading list today,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch. “The more parents help their children make time for reading, the more likely they’ll see successful students.”
The "Find a Book" utility uses a student's reading score, reported as a Lexile® measure, from state standardized tests, including the ISAT, to provide a Lexile range and corresponding list of texts within that range. The Lexile range for a reader is from 50L above his or her Lexile measure to 100L below. If a student attempts material above their Lexile range, the text may challenge the student and his or her ability to construct meaning from the reading experience may decrease. Likewise, material below a reader’s Lexile range will provide him or her with little comprehension challenge.
Users of the “Find a Book” search tool can also find appropriate books without a Lexile measure through a search using the child's grade level and comfort with the typical reading materials at that grade level. The search utility will produce a starting Lexile range that can be further refined.
"Find a Book" also offers a Spanish option that allows users to search all of the titles with Spanish Lexile measures. More information on Spanish Lexile measures is available at http://www.lexile.com/about-lexile/el-sistema-para-leer.
Librarians, who have long promoted summer reading, are also encouraged to use “Find a Book.” Library staff can assist parents and students with the “Find a Book” utility and Lexile measures to help them find appropriate books.
“Our Illinois libraries have long promoted year round reading and the `Find a Book’ search tool complements such efforts,’’ said Secretary of State Jesse White, who also serves as State Librarian. “I encourage parents to read with their children every day to ensure a lifelong love of reading. When children begin reading independently, they are not only making academic gains but opening themselves to new worlds.”