Parental Tools

There are many tools at the library that are helpful to parents. Working in circulation, we get many parents who ask for book suggestions for their children based on an AR (Accelerated Reader) or Lexile level.  These numbers can be confusing if you do not know what you are looking for. Our youth services librarians have worked hard to fix this problem.

These levels are determined using special testing by the school districts. These numbers and levels are an easy way for young readers to find books that they are able to read but also help advance their comprehension. Student’s scores take into account the difficulty of the material and the ability to understand the text.

Chelsea recently updated our Lexile level book lists along with our reader’s advisory books in the children’s department.  All the books on the lists are items that we have in our collection.  Each of the levels are broken down into 100 point increments. She has even placed the AR level conversions on the lists to help find books for that category as well. Lexile levels can be searched on our catalog as well.  Many books have them as part of their record.

There are several online tools that can be used to help parents find books that are appropriate for the their child as well. has book lists with their scores, descriptions, similar books and even vocabulary words. Plus you can narrow down options to specific topics of interest.

Or does your child need to take AR tests?  Try visiting This site has many books that have AR tests available. The site has the levels, points that can be earned, ratings, grade levels and quiz numbers. AR bookbags are locations where the child or parent can make a list of the books that they are interested and print it to take with them to the library. How neat is that?!

But everything does not have to be related to school scores or reading levels. What about if the book or movie is appropriate for your child? A resource that I have come to use often when parents ask about what age range certain items are targeted at is It has reviews on movies, books, TV shows and much more. There are ratings from parents and kids available as well as age ranges and scores based on things like violence, language and positive messages.

With school starting, things start to get a little hectic but one way to beat the stress of it is finding useful tools that make it easier. Check out these resources to help your kids achieve more in school and have fun doing it.