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.
The Fisherman and His Wife
The Brothers Grimm
A fisherman catches a magical flounder, who grants every wish demanded by the fisherman's wife - until it becomes too much.
Excerpts from 'Song of Myself': 1, 2, 6, 52
This epic poem celebrating American identity has been credited as "representing the core of Whitman’s poetic vision."
Fifth Grade Autobiography
Inspired by an old photo, a child revisits early memories.
Excerpt from 'On Drought Conditions'
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR addresses the “Dust Bowl” problem of the 1930s — during which severe drought and erosion conditions led to a prolonged agricultural crisis.
A woman’s Sunday alone in the park has unexpected emotional consequences.
The Wives of the Dead
Two women receive shocking visits in the night as they grieve over the deaths of their husbands.
Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage
Former slave and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano remembers his brutal voyage across the Atlantic to Barbados as a newly captured slave.
In this poem, a speaker longingly describes a city scene from which he feels isolated.
In this sonnet, McKay, a Harlem Renaissance poet, reveals his mixed feelings about living in "the land of the free."
The Yellow Wallpaper
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A 19th century woman struggles to maintain her sanity in the confines of a yellow room.
The Law of Life
An old man is left behind by his tribe to die of exposure. As he prepares for death, he reflects on a life spent fighting nature's brutal forces.
Lord Arthur Savile's Crime
Lord Arthur Savile receives an ill fortune and then struggles to fulfill this destiny so he may marry.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Written in stream-of-consciousness, the poem follows the lamentations of Prufrock, thwarted by love and his own indecisiveness.
The Machine Stops
E. M. Forester
In this eerily prophetic science fiction story from 1909, E.M. Forster creates a world ruled by 'The Machine' in which isolated people are spoiled with convenience and starved of human interaction.
A traveling salesman named Gregor Samsa wakes up to discover he has turned into an insect.
Sassoon, who was himself a soldier in WWI, describes a soldier's perspective on the battlefield.
Where the Sidewalk Ends
In this playful poem, Silverstein uses an extended metaphor to capture the beauty of a child's imagination.
The War Prayer
A country gone to war is visited by a mysterious messenger who explains the price of victory.