Posted by: nancyisanders | October 9, 2014

Writing Opportunity: Let’s Dig Into Chapter Books Part 2

Let’s take one last look at THE RED FLYER ROLLER COASTER.

There’s a lot of stats listed here if you click on the tab for “View Description.”

The word count is: 2600 words.
This tells us that our manuscript needs to be about that length if we’re going to write one at this reading level.

The page count is 40 pages for the published book.

The grade is 2. This series of chapter books is for kids in second grade. The topic should appeal to second graders, the universal theme should be geared for second graders, the characters should appeal to second graders, and the vocabulary level should be geared for second graders.

There are 3 other stats that are all about reading levels. You see them listed at the top and again at the bottom:
Reading Recovery Level: 20
Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading Level: L
DRA2 Level: 24

Does this sound like Greek to you? It does to me. To be honest, I’ve written tons of beginning readers over the years but I’m not familiar with these levels. So I did some research. I’ll share this with you. If you know of other links to share with us to helps us understand all this better, that would be awesome!

Reading Recovery Level:
I found an online pdf file put together of different books at different reading levels. I printed it out to use as a handy reference. You can check out some of the ones at level 20 to compare to this one.

Fountas and Pinnell:
Here’s a site to explore to learn more about these levels. Also, here’s a link to see one of their books on how they level texts.

DRA2 Level: 24
Here’s a chart to help understand what this means, too.

If this is all brand new to you, don’t stress out about it. Just look at the links and digest what you can. The more we look at these things, the more our brain can grasp it. It will eventually gel enough to mean something of value to us as we work on writing our manuscript. For now, just look and know that Kaeden works in this world of leveled reading, so we can become more familiar with it as we go along our journey.

We’ll move forward on the beginning chapter books in the upcoming post.


  1. Great resources! When I taught kdg and 1st gr, I was trained in DRA and Fountas and Pinnell levels for guided reading. I’m mostly familiar with those lower levels. You’ve done more great “undercover” work, Nancy.

    • Wow, that is so cool, Tina! You’re already way ahead of the game for most of us. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m not writing a beginning chapter book right now, but you make me want to try! Great information.

    • Glad this is inspiring you to try something new, Wendy!

  3. Nancy, thanks for doing this! I found another page on the Kaeden website, under the “CORRELATION” tab, which provides a chart showing equivalent levels for Lexile, grades, Kaeden levels, Stage, Reading Recovery, DRA2 and others:
    Clear as mud, right?

    • Christy, this is an awesome link, even though it doesn’t exactly give us a frame of reference for what exactly this all means. But it’s another piece in the puzzle that we can visually connect with. Thanks so much for sharing this gem!

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