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.
My Lost Youth
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A speaker remembers the vivid longings and wild emotions of his boyhood.
The Land of Story-Books
Robert Louis Stevenson
A child is immersed in imaginative play while his parents "sit at home and talk."
Forever Young: America's Obsession with Never Growing Old
In this article, psychiatrist Dale Archer argues that the value which American culture places on youth and age shifted over time.
The Children's Hour
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The author of "Paul Revere's Ride" writes a poem about his daughter's idyllic childhood.
The Bear and the Two Travelers
A traveler abandons his friend in the face of danger.
Joseph's Dreams from Genesis 37
A story about jealousy that leads to betrayal from one of the oldest surviving texts in the world
Excerpt from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Tom Sawyer starts the "Tom Sawyer Gang" and makes all his friends, including Huck, swear an oath.
After Twenty Years
After twenty years of silence, a policeman meets an old friend who is a wanted criminal in Chicago.
Clownfish and Sea Anemone
Clownfish and sea anemones have a symbiotic relationship, depending on each other's unique traits in order to thrive.
The Complexity of Fear
Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D.
In this heavily researched article, Dr. Mary C. Lamia delineates between anxiety and fear.
FDR's First Inaugural Address
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
With the nation in the grips of the Great Depression, our 32nd President announces "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
The Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe
A man is slowly driven mad by the sound of a beating heart under his floorboards.
Everyone succumbs to the unbridled power of fear, which takes the shape of a pigeon in this classic story.
I Hear America Singing
During the urbanization of America, Walt Whitman championed an America alive with nature, art, and the beauty of the human imagination.
Out Where the West Begins
Arthur Chapman wrote this poem in 1917 in response to some Western governors who were having a dispute over which states should be considered "The West."
From 'The World Before Him'
Horatio Alger, Jr.
This American fable captures the hopeful vision of success for the "everyman" in America's Gilded Age.
The Declaration of Independence
Following a series of abuses from King George III, the thirteen American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain through this document.
JFK's 'Race to Space' Speech
President John F. Kennedy
In 1961, the prospect of being the first nation to land on the moon was central to American exceptionalism.
'Day of Infamy' Speech
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
The day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, FDR delivered this speech to the nation.