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.
Summer with Papaji
Jyoti Singh Visvanath
Jyoti Singh Visvanath discusses visiting her grandfather in the summer as a young girl.
Mahani Zubaidy Gunnell
Mahani Zubaidy Gunnell describes watching a kite fight as a girl.
Queen Esther and Me
Amalia Hoffman describes the origins and celebration of the Jewish holiday Purim.
A Cobra in the Garden
Mahani Zubaidy Gunnell
A woman who lived in Borneo shared her experiences observing a cobra who lived in her garden.
Excerpt from 'Roughing It': Lost in the Snow
A man and his companions struggle to reach their destination in the snow.
A Woman Who Went to Alaska
Mary Kellogg Sullivan
Mary Kellogg Sullivan discusses the experiences of miners searching for gold in the Klondike region.
Excerpts from Roughing It
Twain recounts his time looking for work in the West in this semi-autobiographical, comic travelogue.
In My Mom's Shoes
Kat Chow reflects on losing her mother and the experience of walking in her mother’s old shoes.
The Drive-In Movies
A boy describes his desire to go to the drive-in movies.
Julia Alvarez discusses the multiple names she has been given over the years.
A boy takes a trip into the forest with his friends.
Junot Díaz explores his experiences with fear after being beat-up as an adolescent.
Hello, My Name Is ______
Jason Kim discusses accepting his Asian identity and his experiences assimilating into American culture.
A Participant’s First-Hand Account of the Boston Tea Party
A participant in the Boston Tea Party describes his role in the famous event.
Last Diary Entry of John Wilkes Booth
John Wilkes Booth
In his final diary entry, John Wilkes Booth justifies his assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and wonders at his fate.
How I Found True Love in an Arranged Marriage
Surabhi Surendra tells the story of how she fell in love with her husband in an arranged marriage.
The Scholarship Jacket
Marta is a straight-A student who has earned a scholarship jacket, but her financial situation – and an unjust school leader – may prevent her from receiving her reward.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 1
In this excerpt from his autobiography, Douglass describes the horrifying abuse of Aunt Hester by the slave master.
Serving in Florida: Excerpt from Nickel and Dimed
In this chapter, Ehrenreich begins her social experiment of living on minimum wage by searching for housing and a job.