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.
To a Daughter Leaving Home
A mother watches her daughter ride away on a bike.
Sadie and Maud
Two sisters live very different lives because of the choices they have made.
O Captain! My Captain!
A sailor grieves the loss of his captain, who dies before the completion of their journey.
The Two Brothers
Two brothers trying to live charitably react very differently when they stumble into a fortune.
Allegory of the Cave
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is a piece of philosophy explaining the importance of knowledge in society and for the human soul.
At first glance, an egg seems simple to most, but it’s symbolic value lends to the analysis of our world.
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
The speaker of the poem uses symbolism to explain the connection they feel between their ancestry and identity.
The Selfish Giant
A selfish giant learns a powerful lesson about friendship and kindness.
The Farmer and the Viper
A farmer finds a snake frozen in his field and decides to help it.
Edgar Allan Poe
A man poetically recounts his tale of childhood love—and loss—with a somewhat happy ending.
A Rose for Emily
After the death of Miss Emily Grierson, the people of Jefferson, Mississippi uncover a dark history in this classic piece of Southern Gothic.
Excerpt from 'A Christmas Carol': The Second of the Three Spirits
In this, the third chapter of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge meets the second of three spirits: the Ghost of Christmas Present.
A Horseman in the Sky
A young Virginian man joins the Union Army during the American Civil War and has to make a difficult decision after falling asleep on one of his watches.
The Pardon of Becky Day
John Fox, Jr.
In this story about love and jealousy, a missionary attempts to heal the rift between two feuding families while there is still time to forgive.
The Treasure in the Forest
Two men search for Spanish treasure, letting greed get the better of their awareness.
This short but profound poem deals with the idea of hiding one’s identity.
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."
A family makes a shocking discovery about a baby in this story about lineage and class in antebellum Louisiana.
A woman’s Sunday alone in the park has unexpected emotional consequences.