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.
Chief Powhatan’s Address to Captain John Smith
Chief Powhatan addresses Captain John Smith about the violent relationship between the English settlers and the Powhatan people.
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.
President Obama’s National Address to America’s Schoolchildren
President Barack Obama
President Obama speaks to students at Wakefield High School about the importance of education.
Richard Nixon’s Resignation Speech
President Richard M. Nixon
In this speech, President Nixon explains that he is resigning from the office of president for the good of the American people.
President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address
President Barack Obama
President Obama gives his 2015 State of the Union address, in which he discusses economic recovery and fairness.
Manifest Destiny, I Do Believe
In this letter, missionary and pioneer Cordelia writes of her bold plans to travel west and "civilize" the Indians.
The Tempest 4.1.156-8
Soto begins this poem with a line from Shakespeare’s The Tempest to delve into the harsh reality of death and how it is dealt with.
Anthem for Doomed Youth
A soldier laments the loss of his fellow young combatants during the First World War.
Anger as Inspiration
Humanitarian and activist Sami Awad describes how he channels anger to create a commitment to peace.
Edgar Allan Poe
A man poetically recounts his tale of childhood love—and loss—with a somewhat happy ending.
The author laments his inability to understand his paramour while eloquently reveling in the feelings that her nature evokes in him.
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.
A Dead Woman's Secret
Guy de Maupassant
While mourning the passing of their saintly mother, a brother and sister uncover a shocking secret.
Excerpt from 'A Christmas Carol': Marley's Ghost
In the first chapter of A Christmas Carol, titled “Marley’s Ghost,” a greedy old miser by the name of Ebenezer Scrooge is visited in the night by an old friend, who warns him to change his ways before it is too late.
Serving in Florida: Excerpt from Nickel and Dimed
In this chapter, Ehrenreich begins her social experiment of living on minimum wage by searching for housing and a job.
On Disability Rights: Highlights from Speeches by Ed Roberts
Roberts, a pioneering leader in the disability rights movement, speaks about his experience fighting for education and accessibility for people with disabilities.
Why I Refuse to Say I 'Fight' My Disability
In this article, Hitselberger takes issue with the language sometimes used around the issue of dealing with one’s disability.
On a Mountain Trail
Harry Perry Robinson
A suspenseful story in which two men are chased by hungry wolves on a forest mountain trail.
A prominent military man’s rise to success is retold from the perspective of a former teacher, who is astounded at the man's good fortune.