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I have been in the process of ordering custom AR test disks for books that
we already have and I am very shocked by some of the reading levels
indicated by these tests.  Books that I have always thought of as easy books
have test levels of upper third grade, fourth grade, and higher.  For
example, even some of the Arthur books are rated as third grade because of
the vocabulary.  Yet teachers of these grade levels want their students to
read chapter books with more pages than you find in the typical easy book.
There are some chapter books, such as the Boxcar Children books, that are
rated for high second grade, so many of the third and fourth grade teachers
don't want to use them because they say the books are too easy.  Some books
that I always characterized as appropriate for 5th grade students such as
"The Secret Garden" are rated for middle school grade levels.

It is very hard to find AR books for first and second grade students because
of the test ratings of many of these titles.  Our first and second grade
teachers are some of our best users of this program and I am trying to find
a set of books that will give these young students a variety of books to
choose from.
Madeline L. Buchanan, Library Media Specialist
W. J. Christian School, Birmingham, Alabama  35206
Phone (205) 838-7666 or 231-5277
Fax (205) 231-5279

"Reading furnishes the mind with materials of knowledge;
thinking makes what we read ours."
--John Locke

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