"Twilight" More Difficult Than Hemingway, According To Teacher's Guide

QUIZ: which of these books is considered more "complex" according to Lexile guidelines?

Posted on

Can you guess which of these books are more 'difficult' according to Common Core (a teaching initiative adopted by 45 states)?

  1. 1. Which of these books has a higher Lexile complexity score?

    "True Believer" by Nicholas Sparks
    "Beloved" by Toni Morrison
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Nicholas Sparks: 880L. Morrison: 870L. Both are of "fifth grade" difficulty.

  2. 2. Which of these books has a higher Lexile complexity score?

    "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway
    "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Brown: 850L (5th grade). Hemingway: 610L (3rd grade).

  3. 3. Which of these books has a higher Lexile complexity score?

    "Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank
    "Eyewitness Books: HORSE"
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Sorry, Anne. A picture book of horses is a full 170L more 'complex' and than you. I'm not even kidding.

  4. 4. Which of these books has a higher Lexile complexity score?

    "Cat's Cradle" by Kurt Vonnegut
    "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Hunger Games: 810. Cat's Cradle: 790. Both are of 5th grade difficulty.

  5. 5. Which of these books has a higher Lexile complexity score?

    "Twilight: The Complete Movie Illustrated Companion"
    "The Crying of Lot 49" by Thomas Pynchon
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    A illustrated book about the "Twilight" movies is 1240L while "Lot 49" is 1060L. Sorry Pynchon, you're BASIC. Oh, and "Twilight" itself is 720L, which is more 'difficult' than any Hemingway.

  6. 6. Which of these books has a higher Lexile complexity score?

    "The Prince" by Machiavelli
    "Guiness World Records 2011"
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    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).

  7. 7. Which of these books has a higher Lexile complexity score?

    "The Birth of the Clinic" by Michel Foucault
    "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Hawthorne: 1400L. Foucault: 1350L.

"Twilight" More Difficult Than Hemingway, According To Teacher's Guide

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.

Comics Editor + Chinese-English Translator.

Contact Kevin Tang at kevin.tang+DONE@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.