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 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.
There Will Come Soft Rains
Nature is indifferent to the conflicts and suffering of mankind.
The Open Boat
A group of four men struggle to survive in a small dinghy.
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
A Confederate sympathizer is hanged by Union soldiers.
To Build A Fire
A man ignores warnings and slowly freezes to death in the wilderness.
The Cask of Amontillado
Edgar Allan Poe
This is a classic and suspenseful tale of revenge told from the perspective of the murderer.
A young boy's obsession with the girl next door leads him on a journey that ends in a harsh realization.
Story of An Hour
This is a classic short story from the early feminist writer, Kate Chopin, in which a woman is overcome by the death of her husband.
Excerpt from The Jungle
In this disturbing piece of political fiction, muckraker Upton Sinclair describes how the meatpacking industry benefits from its shockingly unsanitary practices.
Making a Fist
Naomi Shihab Nye
A child has a realization about her own mortality.
Address to the Commonwealth Club of California
Chavez describes the terrible conditions for Mexican farm workers, and calls for change.