CommonLit The Library
CommonLit is a free collection of fiction and nonfiction for 3rd-12th grade classrooms. Search and filter our collection by lexile, grade, theme, genre, literary device, or common core standard.
Bound for a New Life
Ruth Spencer Johnson
Two children work in Jamestown, an English colony in America.
With Liberty and Justice for All?
A fictitious slave of Thomas Jefferson describes her life in slavery in this short story.
Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice?
Paul Tullis discusses the Grosmaires’ journey forgiving and reconciling with the young man who murdered their daughter.
Standing Up by Sitting In
Ruth Spencer Johnson
Black and white students challenge the unfair treatment of black people by sitting at a lunch counter for whites in this drama that is set in the 1960s.
Door to Freedom
After being forced from his home country of Hungary during wartime, Pal attempts to get immigration papers to go to America.
Route 1 North, Philadelphia to Highland Park
A speaker describes driving with his father.
A Prayer for the Living
A narrator searches for their loved-ones among the dead, the result of a war and famine.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A girl’s brother is arrested and sent to a corrupt prison in Nigeria.
Excerpt from “The Overcoat”
In this excerpt from “The Overcoat,” a man attempts to work while his coworkers harass him.
God Sees the Truth, But Waits
Leo Tolstoy translated by Aylmer Maude
A man is sent to prison after he is convicted for a crime he didn’t commit.
Excerpt from Bleak House
In this excerpt from Bleak House, a man asks the narrator to pay his debt.
Excerpt from Song of the Lark
A young girl helps her aunt prepare for her roles in plays.
Welcome to the Underworld
Michael A. Signal
Hermes, messenger of the gods, gives a tour of the Underworld.
Excerpt from Heart of Darkness
A seaman imagines what it must have been like for the Romans who first came to England.
The Elephant and the Crocodile
H. Berkeley Score
A Crocodile and an Elephant attempt to find out which is the better animal.
Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World
Thornton W. Burgess
A group of animals search for the best thing in the world.
Excerpt from Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus
An explorer describes his voyage before bringing Victor Frankenstein on his ship.
Excerpt from Tess of the d’Urbervilles
A man encounters someone who reveals a surprising fact about his family ancestry.