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.
How Santa Claus Found the Poor-House
Two young boys living in a "poor-house" in Victorian England receive a Christmas gift like no other--a reward for the resilience and loyalty.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
One of the earliest examples of American fiction with enduring popularity (especially during the Halloween season), this short story about Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman deals with themes of love, fear, gluttony, and truth.
A Rose for Emily
After the death of Miss Emily Grierson, the people of Jefferson, Mississippi uncover a dark history in this classic piece of Southern Gothic.
A Dead Woman's Secret
Guy de Maupassant
While mourning the passing of their saintly mother, a brother and sister uncover a shocking secret.
The Open Window
An anxious man is prescribed rest for his nervous condition but encounters a devious host during his retreat.
Excerpt from 'A Christmas Carol': The Second of the Three Spirits
In this, the third chapter of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge meets the second of three spirits: the Ghost of Christmas Present.
Excerpt from 'A Christmas Carol': Marley's Ghost
In the first chapter of A Christmas Carol, titled “Marley’s Ghost,” a greedy old miser by the name of Ebenezer Scrooge is visited in the night by an old friend, who warns him to change his ways before it is too late.
A man is put in a rather uncomfortable situation when he discovers that he and his female companion are not alone inside of a train compartment.
Lobo, the King of Currumpaw
Ernest Seton Thompson
A man attempts to bring down the biggest, most cunning wolf in northern New Mexico.
Samuel Scoville, Jr.
A young Caribbean boy accompanied by his grandfather goes sponge-diving in the reef where a tiger shark killed his father—and where he faces dangers of his own.
The Fall of the House of Usher
Edgar Allan Poe
In this story packed with Poe's signature brand of macabre and suspense, an unnamed narrator visits an old friend and finds a tale of horror within the decaying manor.
The Griffin and the Minor Canon
Frank R. Stockton
A griffin, drawn from the wild to a nearby town to see a statue made in his likeness, elicits reactions of fear and prejudice from the townspeople.
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
A narrator attempts to do a friend a favor - and gets swindled into hearing a rambling and ridiculous story.
Casey at the Bat
Ernest Lawrence Thayer
In one of the most classic sports poems in history, an arrogant player approaches the base with the weight of the game on his shoulders.
The Story of David and Goliath
The Book of Samuel
In this classic story about the triumph of an underdog, a young shepherd defeats a giant warrior with courage and faith.
A Retrieved Reformation
A notorious bank robber and lock-picker tries to escape his past and become a new man.
Excerpt from Peter Pan: "When Wendy Grew Up"
In this final chapter of the classic novel Peter Pan, Wendy and the boys finally grow up, leaving Peter behind in Neverland.
A Defenseless Creature
A desperate woman enters a bank with an urgent — yet ridiculous — request.
Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
An eccentric doctor administers drinks from the Fountain of Youth to four miserable old friends.