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A Clever Way to Get Your Child Reading: California's Reading List

Your child's STAR report has a great resource that will help you find books geared to his reading level. Here's how it works.

By GreatSchools Staff

As you decipher the bar graphs and national percentile ranks on your child's STAR report, don't ignore the small print in the lower lefthand corner. Here, the state has provided your child's California Reading List Number--a number you can use to encourage your child to read throughout the school year.

Your child's California Reading List Number is determined by his performance on the reading comprehension portion of the California Standards Test (CST). This number will lead you to books that match your child's reading level and are appropriate for his age.

How to Use the Reading List Number

  • First, go to the state's reading list on the Internet here: California Reading List.
  • Search for a book by entering your child's grade level as well as the Reading List Number (01 to 13+) from your child's STAR Report.
  • The site will bring up titles, authors and short summaries of all materials that match your child's reading level.
  • You can refine your search by filling in a keyword, such as "animals" or "mystery."

Instead of selecting books strictly by grade level, the California Reading List allows you to find grade-level books with suitable content. For example, if your seventh grader is reading at the 11th grade level, you can find books written at a high school level that have topics and themes that are interesting for a younger reader.

Where to Find Books

Once you've found some good book suggestions for your child, print out the titles and authors and take your child to your local library or a bookstore, or order books from a vendor on the Internet.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

06/15/2012:
"Thank you very much, this really helped! "
09/29/2009:
"Awesome! This article just opened a whole new world to me. I have never noticed the recommended reading list number. Wow! What a help. Thank you for identifying this resource for me, I am already making use of it!!"
06/15/2009:
"Is there a California state-approved PRESCHOOL reading list? I work for a non-profit that provides high quality children's books for preschool classrooms and we want to align our book selection with those approved by the State. Please advise. Thank you"
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