Lexile numbers
January 28, 2010 11:44 AM   Subscribe

How can I determine Lexile or grade reading levels for juvenile nonfiction items that are out of print?

I have been using Lexile.com, and though it works OK for juvenile fiction, it is terrible for nonfiction. I am able to retrieve Lexile numbers for only about 1/10th of the nonfiction items in the school library where I work, mainly items in print.
posted by bad grammar to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I use arbookfind. com, which is part of the Accelerate Reader program but you can use it on its own. It doesn't have everything but it does have a lot.
posted by mai at 11:52 AM on January 28, 2010

Okay so I just tried it on the first juvenile nf book I could think of that is out of print, Giants of Land, Sea, and Air, which is a great book by the way, and the website didn't have it. So it may not help you much.
posted by mai at 11:54 AM on January 28, 2010

Amazon's "Text Stats" pages (example) include Fog and Flesch-Kincaid reading levels for books that Amazon has scanned. This doesn't include most out-of-print titles, but it does include a large portion of in-print books.
posted by mbrubeck at 12:01 PM on January 28, 2010

I am a reading specialist and perform a SMOG analysis to determine textbook reading levels at my school. It takes about 15 minutes, the text and a calculator.

Here is a quick explanation.
posted by NoraCharles at 2:20 PM on January 28, 2010

Thanks. I don't have time to do statistical analyses on all the books, maybe just on series that are written in a standardized way (do one, and it can stand for all).
posted by bad grammar at 7:33 PM on January 28, 2010

I heard Stenner (the guy who invented Lexiles) speak a few years ago. From what I remember, I think that the Lexiles folks make their money by charging the publishers to level their books. If that's the case, there isn't any motivation for the company to provide Lexiles for out-of-print books. Also, I think the system is proprietary, so Lexile scores can't be determined by anyone other than that company.
posted by TEA at 6:14 AM on January 30, 2010

Oh--I forgot to add that different readability systems often vary wildly in their grade equivalencies, so I'd be wary of using one system on some of the books in your collection and another system on the remaining books in the collection.
posted by TEA at 6:17 AM on January 30, 2010

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