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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.
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.
Letter from Birmingham Jail
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., outlines his nonviolence approach to addressing injustice while responding to criticism.
David's Old Soul
Inspired by Langston Hughes’s poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” this poem’s young speaker reflects on growing up.
Inspired by Jean Toomer’s poem “Storm Ending,” this poem compares a new day to a storm.
The Man of the Crowd
Edgar Allan Poe
An unnamed narrator spots a man in a crowd, and follows this mysterious man throughout the crowded streets of London.
Maud Martha and New York
A young woman daydreams about New York.
The Masque of the Red Death
Edgar Allan Poe
Safe inside his home from the disease ravaging the country, Prince Prospero throws an extravagant party for his esteemed friends, only to receive an unexpected guest: Death himself.
A boy tries to impress a girl on the first day of seventh grade.
Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Lecture
Malala Yousafzai receives the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy for education.
Bullying in Early Adolescence
Dorothy L. Espelage
This research digest explores the roles that peers play in promoting bullying in adolescence, beyond the role of “bully” and “victim.”
A Bird, came down the Walk
A speaker observes a bird on the path in front of them.
In My Mom's Shoes
Kat Chow reflects on losing her mother and the experience of walking in her mother’s old shoes.
'Enemies from Within' Speech
Senator Joseph McCarthy
In Senator Joseph McCarthy’s most famous speech, he condemns the threat of communism and accuses the state department of communist infiltration.
The Drive-In Movies
A boy describes his desire to go to the drive-in movies.
A family considers what will happen if they lose their house.