MBRA: Reading Difficulty Table

LEX example table

Syntactic (a)
Series/CategoryTitleLEXmean U-valueTPS Lexile
Sheldon Basic Reading At Home (1st pre-primer, 1961) -836722.7N/A
Sheldon Basic Reading Here and Near (2nd pre-primer, 1961) -806283.7N/A
Dick and Jane The New We Work and Play (2nd pre-primer) -786033.5N/A
Dick and Jane Friends Old and New (2nd grade, part I) (1965) -594518.2N/A
Boxcar Children The Yellow House Mystery -584588.6440L
Dr. Seuss The Cat in the Hat -544547.1260L
Little Critter Just Shopping With Mom -534706.3AD200L
Dick and Jane We Play Outside (through page 82) (1960s) -534504.0N/A
Elson Basic Readers Book Three (1931) -5144313.5N/A
Boxcar Children The Boxcar Children -5141511.1490L
I Can Read Book, Level 2 Frog and Toad Together -503937.7330L
McGuffy's Reader McGuffy's Eclectic 2nd Reader -4941312.3N/A
Boxcar Children Surprise Island -4938610.0530L
Boxcar Children Mystery Ranch -493758.6440L
Elson Basic Readers Book One (1930) -494177.9N/A
I Can Read Book, Level 2 Frog and Toad are Friends -483388.1400L
Curious George Curious George Takes a Train -484168AD360L
Little Critter Just a Bully -484489.6N/A
Elson Basic Readers Book Two -4739310.0N/A
McGuffy's Reader McGuffy's Eclectic 1st Reader -474168.8N/A
Little Critter Our Friend Sam -474327.7220L
Clifford Clifford We Love You -454165.2120L
Love & Kisses, Eloise -4545416.0N/A
Classics Illustrated Junior The Wishing Well -434198.2N/A
Black Beauty -4242125.41010L
Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham -422935.630L
Berenstain Bears (First Time Books) The Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight -3936312AD680L
Elson Basic Readers Book Four (1936) -3837015.9N/A
Little Critter Just Fishing With Grandma -373668N/A
Narnia The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe -3735315.5940L
Berenstain Bears (Beg. Reading 1) The Berenstain Bears and the Baby Chipmunk -373496.4N/A
Houghton Mifflin Literary Readers Book 2 (1989) -373478.6N/A
Little Critter Just a Snowy Vacation -363758N/A
I Can Read Book, Level 2 Mouse Soup -353487.2240L
The Great Brain The Great Brain -3535514840L
McGuffy's Reader McGuffy's Eclectic 3rd Reader -3433717.0N/A
A Picture Book of A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln -343099.6AD630L
Rikki Tikki Tavi -3334216.1800L
Babe Ruth Saves Baseball!, by Frank Murphy -333196.7450L
From Slave to Soldier -332987.4460L
Oz The Wonderful Wizard of Oz -3334818.71000L
The Mole Family's Christmas -3032213.9N/A
A Picture Book of A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. -2930410.6AD680L
Half Magic -2931712.9830L
Berenstain Bears (Chapter Books) The Berenstain Bears and the Red Handed Thief -293499.7500L
Spiderman Spiderman (Amazing Fantasy #15, Aug 1962) -293377.7N/A
Oz Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz -2833117.01020L
Magic Tree House Vacation Under the Volcano -282967.3410L
Hardy Boys The House on the Cliff -2830811.7740L
Little House Little House in the Big Woods (first 1,000 words) -2830817.4930L
Curious George Curious George Makes Pancakes -283589.1AD340L
Oz Ozma of Oz -2732118.51070L
McGuffy's Reader McGuffy's Eclectic 4th Reader -2731619.4N/A
Heinlein Juvenile Have Space Suit, Will Travel -2731111.9770L
Graphic History Young Riders of the Pony Express -262888.3GN670L
Landmark Book Famous Pirates of the New World -2630915.4N/A
The Story of Ferdinand -2632314NC710L
Richard Scarry The Best Balloon Ride Ever -252917.6N/A
Harry Potter Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone -2429013880L
A Picture Book of A Picture Book of Robert E. Lee -2326213.3AD780L
Animal Farm -2330317.11170L
The Picture of Dorian Gray -2330513.4970L
Dick and Jane More People and Progress (2nd book, 6th grade) -2329311.3N/A
Football Camp, by Tim Green -2329912.2880L
A Picture Book of A Picture Book of Sacagawea -2125012.6AD800L
Nancy Drew The Bungalow Mystery -2127212.0770L
Harry Potter Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire -2130913.3880L
Elson Basic Readers Book Six -2129017.8N/A
The Berenstain Bears and the Big Election -202828.3N/A
Golden Book History of the United States (v1) -2028516.5N/A
I Never Had it Made -2030221.51130L
Bailey School Kids Frankenstein Doesn't Plant Petunias -192559.4570L
Bailey School Kids Angels Don't Know Karate -1926510.1570L
Treasure Island -1929621.71100L
The Ransom of Red Chief -1827514.9N/A
The Fellowship of the Ring -1827313.8860L
Merit Badge Mystery The Berenstain Bear Scouts & the White Water Mystery-182677.4370L
Pulp: G-8 and His Battle Aces Squadron of Corpses -172649.1N/A
Chronicles of Prydain The Book of Three -1728311.3770L
The Hobbit -1728616.11000L
Sherlock Holmes A Scandal in Bohemia -1729113.01060L
Baseballs' Greatest Hitters (by S.A. Kramer) -172509.3660L
Chronicles of Prydain The Black Cauldron -1627312.6760L
Knight's Castle -1626811.0860L
Sherlock Holmes A Study In Scarlet -1628816.31060L
Chronicles of Prydain Taran Wanderer -1529312.7870L
D'Aulaires' Book Of Greek Myths -1528018.31070L
Oz The Marvelous Land of Oz -1527919.1N/A
Heinlein Juvenile Space Cadet -1527111.8N/A
Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of the Iliad -1426325.41300L
H.P. Lovecraft Horror The Statement of Randolph Carter -1430320.2N/A
W.I.T.C.H. W.I.T.C.H. A bridge between worlds -1427610.7N/A
Aesop's Fables (ISBN:0-448-05803-0) -1326616.3N/A
McGuffy's Reader McGuffy's Eclectic 5th Reader -1226722.5N/A
Pulp: The Shadow The Shadow Unmasks -1125711.1N/A
Arsene Lupin The Arrest of Arsene Lupin -1025914.4N/A
Edgar Allan Poe The Cask of Amontillado -92789.8700L
Tom Swift and His Megascope Space Prober -922910.6N/A
Chronicles of Prydain The Castle of Llyr -824511.4790L
Pulp: Doc Savage The Land of Terror -722910.4N/A
The Call of the Wild -723818.01120L c
Smithsonian Magazine: Biology Smithsonian: The Origins of Life (Oct 2010) -623319.0N/A
How and Why Wonder Book Mushrooms Ferns and Mosses -423016.6
Pulp: Doc Savage The Man of Bronze -422711.0N/A
H.P. Lovecraft Horror The Doom that Came to Sarnath -422928.6N/A
Pulp Magazine Fiction The Masked Alibi -321413.3N/A
College Textbook: Physics Physics, Part 1, by Resnick and Halliday -319121.6N/A
McGuffy's Reader McGuffy's Eclectic 6th Reader -323323.9N/A
Newspaper Sports Illustrated Article(s) -323420.9
The Illiad (Fagles translation) -223527.01330L
History of Civilization The Age of Napoleon -221017.0N/A
History's 100 Greatest Events -121722.4N/A
Smithsonian Magazine: Astronomy Smithsonian Magazine: Lucky Bird (October 2011) -120719.9N/A
Newspaper Wall Street Journal Editorials 021218.7
Smithsonian Magazine: Biology Smithsonian: Something New Under the Sun (Apr 2011) 020219.7N/A
U.S. Constitution (spelling errors corrected) 119342.7N/A
Smithsonian Magazine: History Smithsonian: The Cherokees vs. Andrew Jackson (Mar 2011) 220120.7N/A
Dungeons and Dragons AD&D Monster Manual (1st edition) 318617.8N/A
Dungeons and Dragons AD&D Players Handbook (1st edition) 418226.1N/A
Washington's First Inaugural Address 523155.11700L b
Smithsonian Magazine: Archaeology Smithsonian: El Mirador: The Lost City of the Maya (May 2011) 719424.1N/A
Smithsonian Magazine: History Smithsonian: Fort Sumter The Civil War Begins (Apr 2011) 818520.8N/A
Scientific American: Biology SciAm: Cancer Clues from Pet Dogs (Dec 2006) 1119322.5N/A
Court Ruling Roe vs. Wade (1973) 1317725.2N/A
Lit. Crit. Parody Transgressing the Boundaries    (explaination) 2015229.1N/A
  1. Syntactic difficulty is measured in tokens per sentence (TPS).

  2. The 1700L score for Washington's First Inaugural Address is taken from the "Lexile Framework for Reading Map" document. The 1700L value does not appear in the Lexile database. Interestingly, the "Lexile Framework for Reading Map" at the Lexile.com website is different.

  3. Lexile reports many different scores for The Call of the Wild. Excluding the versions that appear to be edited or simplified, the range is from 780L to 1170L. 1120L seems a good value as it matches the LEX and tokens-per-sentence scores much better than 780.

Lexile mapping

Grade Reader Measures
(Interquartile Range, Mid-Year)
Text Measures
(from the Lexile Map)
1 Up to 300L 200L to 400L
2 140L to 500L 300L to 500L
3 330L to 700L 500L to 700L
4 445L to 810L 650L to 850L
5 565L to 910L 750L to 950L
6 665L to 1000L850L to 1050L
7 735L to 1065L950L to 1075L
8 805L to 1100L1000L to 1100L
9 855L to 1165L1050L to 1150L
10 905L to 1195L1100L to 1200L
11 and 12940L to 1210L1100L to 1300L

Figure 1. Typical Reader and Text Measures by Grade

Illustrated Glossary (IG):
A text designated as "IG" consists of independent pieces of text such as in the glossary of a book. These independent pieces may be interchanged without affecting the flow of the text. "IG" texts typically contain some or all of the following characteristics:
  • The definitions of words (using such indicators as "or" or a dash) or their pronunciations are contained directly in the text.
  • Technical vocabulary is printed in a contrasting type (e.g., bold, italic).
  • Each topic is presented on one to two pages, with titles and/or captions for each paragraph.
  • Illustrations are incorporated into the text.
  • Texts designated as "IG" are good resources when conducting research on an unfamiliar topic.
Non-conforming Text (NC):
A text designated as "NC" consists of semantic difficulty (vocabulary) and syntactic complexity (sentence length) that is inconsistent with the developmental appropriateness of the text. Typically these texts are written at a higher level than would be suggested by the content and the format of the text. Texts designated as "NC" are useful when matching advanced readers with text at an appropriate developmental level.
Beginning Reading (BR):
A text designated as "BR" is any text that has a Lexile measure of zero or below. The measure is shown only as "BR" without the zero or negative number appearing.
Non-prose Text (NP):
A text designated as "NP" is any book whose content is at least 50 percent nonstandard prose. Some examples are poems, plays, songs, and books with incorrect or no punctuation.
Adult-directed Text (AD):
A text designated as "AD" is one designed to be read to or with readers. The following guidelines should be used when examining an "AD" text:
  • Text placement
  • Sentence length
  • Font size and placement
  • Basic word usage
  • Illustration context
  • Book size
Texts designated as "AD" are useful when reading to a group, and can be used to improve listening-comprehension skills (e.g., making predictions, engaging in discussion, identifying meaning and acquiring vocabulary).