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.
Excerpt from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar: Act III, Scenes I & II
In these excerpts, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar reaches its climax as the conspiracy to remove him from power succeeds.
Excerpts from The Awakening
In these excerpts from The Awakening, a woman struggles with her place in the world, especially with the roles expected of her as a woman, a wife, and a mother.
A clever man is unfairly tricked by three selfish rogues from his town and decides to give the three a taste of their own medicine.
A rousing poem celebrating Columbus’s perseverance even when success was far from certain.
Fear Is Simple and Profound
Julia Butterfly Hill
Julia Butterfly Hill uses an extended metaphor to explain how fear hinders people from “trusting the great mystery within.”
The author laments his inability to understand his paramour while eloquently reveling in the feelings that her nature evokes in him.
The Last Class: The Story of a Little Alsatian
In this story set on the border of France and Germany after the Franco-Prussian war, a young Alsatian boy is met with a surprising announcement when he arrives at his French class.
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.
Giovanni Boccaccio, translated by Mark Musa and Peter Bondanella
In an ironic twist of fate, a man loses everything for his love of a beautiful and wealthy woman.
How Boots Befooled the King
A king challenges the young men of his kingdom: he who is able to fool him shall have his daughter's hand in marriage.
On Disability Rights: Highlights from Speeches by Ed Roberts
Roberts, a pioneering leader in the disability rights movement, speaks about his experience fighting for education and accessibility for people with disabilities.
Sir Francis Bacon
In this passage, Bacon discusses the notion of revenge, why some seek it, and the consequences of this fixation.
Verses Written by a Young Lady, on Women Born to Be Controll'd!
A speaker laments the position of women as was then conceived natural: subservient to men.
On the Doctrine of the Feeling of Power
In this passage, Nietzsche explains how the "feeling of power" drives all humans.
I like to see it lap the Miles
A speaker depicts the arrival of the "iron horse," or railroad engine and its train.
To My Dear and Loving Husband
A woman professes her love to her husband.
To His Excellency, General Washington
An ode to the future first president, commending his achievements as general in the American Revolutionary War.
Excerpt from "Self-Reliance"
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson expounds his Transcendentalist beliefs about individuality and nonconformity.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 11
In chapter 11, Douglass describes his escape from slavery, and the challenges he faced upon becoming a free man.