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.
Excerpt from Honky
Sociologist Dalton Conley reflects in this excerpt from his book on his status as a white middle-class man having grown up in a lower-income community of color.
The Scramble for Africa
This informational text explains the origins and impact of the European and American colonization of Africa that took place during the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
General Assembly of the United Nations
In this historic document, the crime of genocide is defined, as is the punishment and prevention of it.
Cold War Rivals: Cuba and the United States
With the rise of Fidel Castro, Cuba and U.S. relations took an icy turn during the Cold War era.
How American Industry Won World War II
The role of American industry in securing victory for the Allies in World War II is explored in this article.
Introduction to the Holocaust
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This informational text explains what the Holocaust was, who it affected, who carried it out, and how it ended.
The Lady of Shalott
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
In this popular Lord Tennyson poem, the Lady of Shalott leaves her magic tower to pursue Sir Lancelot, but is followed by a tragic curse.
My Last Duchess
A powerful Victorian-era Duke marvels peculiarly over a painting of his late wife, whose fate seems mysteriously related to his intolerance of her friendliness.
The Rape of Nanking and a Forgotten Genocide
The historically tumultuous relationship between Japan and China is discussed and explained in this informational article.
Excerpts from The Awakening
In these excerpts from The Awakening, a woman struggles with her place in the world, especially with the roles expected of her as a woman, a wife, and a mother.
Building a Borderless World
This article discusses the impetus for and impact of the growing trend of worldwide globalization.
Stop and Frisk: Right or Wrong?
An examination of the rationale behind “Stop and Frisk,” a controversial law enforcement tactic, and the impact of its decline.
The Marshall Plan
The Marshall Plan was an American initiative intended to foster economic growth in Europe following the devastation caused by World War II.
On Being Brought from Africa to America
A woman describes being brought to America from Africa as a slave and the impact of the experience on her religious beliefs.
The Great Depression
An exploration of the causes and effects of the Great Depression, and the economic and social reforms that helped bring America’s economy back on track.
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
An examination of the Arab-Israeli conflict, moving from ancient history into the 21st century.
A husband and wife grieve differently about their deceased child.
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.