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.
Red Cloud's Speech after Wounded Knee
Chief Red Cloud
Oglala Lakota leader Red Cloud’s remarks following the Wounded Knee Massacre recall the years of false promises made and mistreatment shown to the American Indian people by the U.S. federal government.
The Life of a U.S. Industrial Worker
This informational text asks students to imagine what it would be like to live as a worker during the U.S. Industrial Revolution.
A husband and wife grieve differently about their deceased child.
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.
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.
The Pit and the Pendulum
Edgar Allan Poe
In this story, an unnamed narrator describes the torments endured as a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition.
An ironworks manager leads his friend on an eerie tour of his company shortly after discovering a secret.
The Man in the Well
A group of children abandon a man to die in a well in this poignant portrayal of the cruelty of children.
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.
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.
America and I
A new immigrant tells of her struggles trying to achieve the American dream.
Excerpt from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Chapter 12
The final chapter of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, this excerpt follows Alice back into the real world, reflecting on her incredible experiences in a land of nonsense.
Paul Revere's Ride
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The legendary tale of Paul Revere celebrates the story of the night that sparked the American Revolution.
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.
A family makes a shocking discovery about a baby in this story about lineage and class in antebellum Louisiana.
The Wives of the Dead
Two women receive shocking visits in the night as they grieve over the deaths of their husbands.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A man pauses for a thoughtful moment in the woods.
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.
Excerpts from We
In this excerpt from a Russian novel, a spacecraft engineer named D-503 describes life in the dystopian One State.