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.
Shauna Singh Baldwin
A woman describes washing her husband’s turbans.
City of Specters
A woman in North Korea catches the attention of government officials when she uses curtains that aren’t sanctioned by the government to cover her windows.
With Liberty and Justice for All?
A fictitious slave of Thomas Jefferson describes her life in slavery in this short story.
A teenage girl decides not to join her family on vacation.
Ruth Spencer Johnson
A black girl in Montgomery, Alabama writes to her cousin about people’s refusal to use the bus as a form of protest.
The Four Dragons
Four dragons work to help people suffering from a drought.
A boy is required to take an intelligence exam by the government once he turns 12-years-old.
A Prayer for the Living
A narrator searches for their loved-ones among the dead, the result of a war and famine.
A boy tells his parents about the naughty actions of a classmate.
The Red Bow
A father is devastated when his daughter is killed by a diseased dog.
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 The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
James Weldon Johnson
A man describes his journey to Paris and his thoughts on the city.