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 Long March
Peggy King Anderson
In 1838, the Potawatomi Indians were forced to leave their homelands and move west on a long and difficult march.
Clinging to Tradition, Mattaponi Fight Reservoir
Representatives from the town of Newport News and the Mattaponi Indians debate the building of a new reservoir.
Girls of the Crescent: Meet the Two Teenagers Fighting for Better Representation in Books
Girls of the Crescent
Two Muslim girls start a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity and representation in libraries and schools.
With Liberty and Justice for All?
A fictitious slave of Thomas Jefferson describes her life in slavery in this short story.
A teenage girl decides not to join her family on vacation.
I went from prison to professor
Dr. Stanley Andrisse discusses how he went from being incarcerated to being a professor.
Ruth Spencer Johnson
A black girl in Montgomery, Alabama writes to her cousin about people’s refusal to use the bus as a form of protest.
“Help Him Up!”: A Witness’s Account of Panic on a Subway Platform
A reporter describes witnesses’ reactions to a man falling onto New York City subway tracks.
A speaker describes their ancestors coming to America through Ellis Island.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A girl’s brother is arrested and sent to a corrupt prison in Nigeria.
The Red Bow
A father is devastated when his daughter is killed by a diseased dog.
Welcome to the Underworld
Michael A. Signal
Hermes, messenger of the gods, gives a tour of the Underworld.
Excerpt from Heart of Darkness
A seaman imagines what it must have been like for the Romans who first came to England.
Excerpt from The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
James Weldon Johnson
A man describes his journey to Paris and his thoughts on the city.
Excerpt from Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus
An explorer describes his voyage before bringing Victor Frankenstein on his ship.
Shooting an Elephant
A British officer must decide whether or not to shoot an elephant that has become aggressive.