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 Prayer for the Living
A narrator searches for their loved-ones among the dead, the result of a war and famine.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A girl’s brother is arrested and sent to a corrupt prison in Nigeria.
Excerpt from “The Overcoat”
In this excerpt from “The Overcoat,” a man attempts to work while his coworkers harass him.
God Sees the Truth, But Waits
Leo Tolstoy translated by Aylmer Maude
A man is sent to prison after he is convicted for a crime he didn’t commit.
Excerpt from Bleak House
In this excerpt from Bleak House, a man asks the narrator to pay his debt.
Excerpt from Song of the Lark
A young girl helps her aunt prepare for her roles in plays.
Welcome to the Underworld
Michael A. Signal
Hermes, messenger of the gods, gives a tour of the Underworld.
Excerpt from Heart of Darkness
A seaman imagines what it must have been like for the Romans who first came to England.
The Elephant and the Crocodile
H. Berkeley Score
A Crocodile and an Elephant attempt to find out which is the better animal.
Johnny Chuck Finds the Best Thing in the World
Thornton W. Burgess
A group of animals search for the best thing in the world.
Excerpt from Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus
An explorer describes his voyage before bringing Victor Frankenstein on his ship.
Excerpt from Tess of the d’Urbervilles
A man encounters someone who reveals a surprising fact about his family ancestry.
Chiron, the Wisest Centaur
Hermes, Messenger of the Gods, interviews Chiron the Centaur.
Poem Resisting Arrest
A speaker describes a poem that questions its arrest.
Impossible to Train
Three characters discuss training their pets.
A boy wants to be named the most valuable player during his basketball team’s championship game.
Francesca Lia Block
A blue creature appears before a young girl after her mother leaves.
The Tyrant Who Became a Just Ruler
Maude Barrows Dutton
A cruel ruler decides to be fair to his people.