CommonLit is a free collection of fiction and nonfiction for 5th-12th grade classrooms. Search and filter our collection by lexile, grade, theme, genre, literary device, or common core standard.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Acceptance Speech
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.
“Jabberwocky” tells the story of a boy who must follow his father’s advice as he encounters a creature called the Jabberwock.
Excerpt from “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street”
A narrator hires a scribe who doesn’t do as he is asked.
Puerto Rican Obituary
Five Puerto Ricans find that they were unable to fulfill their dreams in America.
The Rocking-Horse Winner
In this short story, a boy tries to provide for his family by betting on horse-races.
“The Worst Birthday” from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Tensions rise at home as a boy must suppress his magical abilities around his non-magical family, who has forgotten his birthday.
A speaker tells a grown up that he should try “growing down”.
President Reagan's Speech at the Brandenburg Gate
President Ronald Reagan
President Ronald Reagan delivers this famous speech imploring General Secretary Gorbachev to take down the Berlin Wall and reunite Germany.
Here We Aren't, So Quickly
Jonathan Safran Foer
In this avant-garde short story, a man reflects on his life and his relationship with his family.
Walking Down Park
A speaker reimagines the modern world as an idyllic wildlife landscape.
J. Patrick Lewis
The poet assumes the voice of journalist and civil rights activist Helen Zia and explains how she uses words to share her perspective with others.
Was It a Dream?
Guy de Maupassant
A grieving man visits the grave of his deceased lover, where he discovers an awful truth.
The Little Red Hen
Florence White Williams
A hard-working Red Hen must balance being a mother to her chicks and planting wheat seeds, while three other lazy animals look on.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
In this poem the speaker empathizes with the experiences of a caged bird, using vivid imagery to illustrate its oppression.
In this poem, a speaker describes the happiness he finds in eating a summer peach.