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.
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'
"Serving in Florida" is the first chapter of Nickel and Dimed, a memoir in which Ehrenreich conducts a social experiment trying to spend a year surviving on minimum wage.
Diary of a Teenage Refugee
A 16-year-old Syrian girl living as a refugee in Lebanon tells about her experiences fleeing her home and living in a camp.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 11
In chapter 11, Douglass describes his escape from slavery, and the challenges he faced upon becoming a free man.
America and I
A new immigrant tells of her struggles trying to achieve the American dream.
Excerpt from 'The Story of My Life'
Keller tells of her early experiences working with Anne Sullivan, who helped her communicate despite an inability to hear, see, or speak.