Can you guess which of these books are more ‘difficult’ according to Common Core (a teaching initiative adopted by 45 states)?
Nicholas Sparks: 880L. Morrison: 870L. Both are of “fifth grade” difficulty.
Brown: 850L (5th grade). Hemingway: 610L (3rd grade).
Hunger Games: 810. Cat’s Cradle: 790. Both are of 5th grade difficulty.
Finally, a sane answer. But Lexile puts both of these books as more difficult than any other book we’ve surveyed so far. Guiness is ranked at 1380L for complexity (college senior difficulty).
Hawthorne: 1400L. Foucault: 1350L.
"Twilight" More Difficult Than Hemingway, According To Teacher’s Guide
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Arguing that teachers aren’t assigning grade-appropriate reading, Common Core recommends that students get matched up with books with the right “Lexile” score. The thing is, Lexiles measure a book’s complexity by a painfully literal algorithm of sentence length, word choice, and syntax.
To be fair, it’s only meant to be a rough guideline rather than some iron-clad dictum or curriculum. And any teacher knows that a work can have a low Lexile difficulty while being thematically unsuitable for younger readers. But still.
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