Tips for Finding Kids eBooks and Audiobooks by Reading Level

Are you looking for eBooks and downloadable audiobooks that are at the right age and reading level? You've come to the right place! With so many great options at the King County Library System, it's good to have some solid strategies for narrowing it all down. Below I'll cover all the best ways to find just the right digital content.
To start off, it's helpful to know your Lexile or Accelerated Reader (AR) scores if you're not already aware of them. To figure that out, take a look at this handy reading level correlation chart. It will help you convert any age, grade level, or other reading level framework to the right AR or Lexile score.

Finding leveled books in Overdrive

Our biggest provider of eBooks and downloadable audiobooks is Overdrive! Did you know that Overdrive has a Kids page with filtering options? Those filters allow you to narrow down by grade or reading level.
You can find the filterable kids collections in the Libby app by tapping the "Library" icon and scrolling down to the "Guides" section. Select "Kids."
On the Kids eBook landing page, check for the "Reviews" tab once you select a book.
Start by selecting a collection on the main page, such as "Available eBooks for Kids." You can then apply the appropriate filtering options. These options include:
  • "Interest Levels" for broad age ranges.
  • "ATOS Levels" for Accelerated Reader scores.
  • "Lexile Measures" for Lexile scores.
  • "Text Complexity" for grade levels.

TumbleBook Library and Bookflix

There are also a couple of other great databases for reading eBooks.
TumbleBook Library is a curated database of children’s read-along eBooks for grades K-6. To find the right reading level, choose the "TumbleSearch" option at the top of the page. This will allow you to search by Lexile or AR score.
BookFlix Video Storybooks also offers read-along eBook options. It pairs fiction books and nonfiction books on particular topics. To find the right reading level, click on the apple-on-a-book icon at the top right of the page. From there, "Resources and Tools" will allow you to choose eBooks by grade level or Lexile score.

Using the Library Website and Catalog

Our librarians have also created a collection of great booklists by grade level. On the booklists page, you'll just want to check for the section titled "KCLS RECOMMENDS: KIDS - AGE & GRADE LEVEL."
The Advanced Search option in the catalog is also another great tool. It allows you to search by Lexile score. Scroll down until you see "Reading Level" and enter the Lexile range you're looking for. One tip for advanced readers: try setting the Audience filter to "Children" or "Teen" to help filter out adult books and older content.

Beyond the Library

If you're interested in resources beyond the library, you can also check out:

Assessing Age-Appropriateness

One caveat to frameworks such as AR or Lexile is that they are based on text complexity, not necessarily the age of the content.
Common Sense Media is a great way to asses the age-appropriateness of a book. You'll find tons of reviews from both parents and kids. They recommend the best age range, as well as a variety of measures such as:
  • Educational Value.
  • Positive Role Models & Representations.
  • Violence and Language. 
Professional book reviews are another way to assess the age appropriateness of a book. You can find reviews from professional publications in the catalog or on Overdrive.
  • In the catalog, just select the book you're interested in and scroll down until you see the "From the Critics" section.
  • On the Kids eBook landing page, check for the "Reviews" tab once you select a book.
And finally, you are always welcome to reach out to library staff if you need further help! Bookmatch is a great way to get personalized reading recommendations for any reader.
Updated 2/23/22.