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.
A Participant’s First-Hand Account of the Boston Tea Party
A participant in the Boston Tea Party describes his role in the famous event.
Last Diary Entry of John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
In his final diary entry, John Wilkes Booth justifies his assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and wonders at his fate.
How I Found True Love in an Arranged Marriage
Surabhi Surendra tells the story of how she fell in love with her husband in an arranged marriage.
The Scholarship Jacket
Marta is a straight-A student who has earned a scholarship jacket, but her financial situation – and an unjust school leader – may prevent her from receiving her reward.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 1
In this excerpt from his autobiography, Douglass describes the horrifying abuse of Aunt Hester by the slave master.
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.
Diary of a Teenage Refugee
A 16-year-old Syrian girl living as a refugee in Lebanon tells about her experiences fleeing her home and living in a camp.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 11
In chapter 11, Douglass describes his escape from slavery, and the challenges he faced upon becoming a free man.
America and I
A new immigrant tells of her struggles trying to achieve the American dream.
From Lithuania to the Chicago Stockyards
A Lithuanian immigrant tells his story of coming to America during the 19th century for a chance at "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage
Former slave and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano remembers his brutal voyage across the Atlantic to Barbados as a newly captured slave.
Little Things Are Big
Jesús Colón recalls a time when he chose not to assist a white woman who needed help on the subway.
What Slaves Are Taught To Think of The North
Harriet Ann Jacobs
In this chapter, Jacobs describes the lies that slave holders told their slaves about life in the free North.