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.
An Excerpt From The Story of Cain and Abel from Genesis 4
In this biblical tale, Cain commits the first murder of mankind.
The Frog and the Mouse
A frog betrays a mouse and finds himself in a bad situation because of it.
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 Faith Cure Man
Paul Laurence Dunbar
A poor mother refuses to give up on her ailing daughter, and turns to a spiritual healer when a doctor tells her there is nothing left to do.
A clever man is unfairly tricked by three selfish rogues from his town and decides to give the three a taste of their own medicine.
The Story of Prometheus and Pandora's Box
A retelling of the classic tales of Prometheus and Pandora’s Box, changing the traditionally erudite and lofty tone of myth to one more relatable and down-to-earth.
Edgar Allan Poe
A man poetically recounts his tale of childhood love—and loss—with a somewhat happy ending.
How Santa Claus Found the Poor-House
Two young boys living in a "poor-house" in Victorian England receive a Christmas gift like no other--a reward for the resilience and loyalty.
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 Ambitious Guest
Based on a true event - the Wiley tragedy of Crawford Notch, New Hampshire - this story follows a young traveler with big dreams, who stops by a family cottage in a snowy mountain pass.
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.
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.
A Dead Woman's Secret
Guy de Maupassant
While mourning the passing of their saintly mother, a brother and sister uncover a shocking secret.
The Open Window
An anxious man is prescribed rest for his nervous condition but encounters a devious host during his retreat.
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.
Giovanni Boccaccio, translated by Mark Musa and Peter Bondanella
In an ironic twist of fate, a man loses everything for his love of a beautiful and wealthy woman.
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.
A man is put in a rather uncomfortable situation when he discovers that he and his female companion are not alone inside of a train compartment.