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.
Poetry Means the World to Me
Tony Medina explores the importance of poetry to Langston Hughes.
We Have Been Friends Together
Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton
A speaker discusses a conflict they are having with their friend.
Sleeping with the Baby
A speaker describes their baby’s difficulty sleeping through the night.
The Sparrow's Quest
A sparrow goes on a journey to find the most powerful thing on earth.
A speaker describes the process of practicing to master a skill.
The Phoenix Bird
Hans Christian Andersen
A narrator describes the origins and power of a mystical bird, the Phoenix.
Sylvia Earle: Deep Ocean Explorer
A speaker describes Sylvia Earle, a famous ocean explorer.
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.