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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.
Recalling Castro's Ascension — And CIA Reaction
Fidel Castro’s rise to power in 1959 was met with varying responses from the CIA at the time.
Jessica McBirney discusses a person’s choices about how to use and save money.
John P. Curtin
The speaker reflects on how technology has evolved over time.
Behind Closed Doors: 'Colorism' in the Caribbean
Michel Martin interviews Frances Robles on her report regarding colorism in the Dominican Republic.
Learning How To Code-Switch: Humbling, But Necessary
In this informational text, Eric Deggans discusses how he communicates differently based on the situation and audience.
The New Painkiller Epidemic
In this informational text, Shelby Ostergaard explores the spike in painkiller use in the United States.
A boy takes a trip into the forest with his friends.
Introduction to World War II
This informational text discusses what led up to WWII, its progression, and eventual conclusion.
The Harlem Renaissance
In this informational text, Jessica McBirney discusses the development of the Harlem Renaissance as an artistic movement.
Loving Decision: 40 Years of Legal Interracial Unions
The outcome of this 1967 court case invalidated laws that prohibited interracial marriage.
First Female Army Rangers Say They Thought of ‘Future Generations of Women’
The first two women to graduate from The U.S. Army Ranger School recount their experience.
Margaret Garner: Defying the Fugitive Slave Act
Abolitionist Levi Coffin recounts the story of Margaret Garner, a fugitive slave who killed her children rather than see them returned to slavery.
Burning a Book
This poem offers a reflection on the nature of censorship and the struggle between knowledge and ignorance.
Junot Díaz explores his experiences with fear after being beat-up as an adolescent.
Inspired by a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and told from the perspective of a pining stable boy, this poem offers insight into love.
The Taming of the Shrew-Induction 1.12
In this Gary Soto poem, the speaker describes what he would do for his love.
On the Death of Anne Brontë
In this poem, Charlotte Brontë discusses the death of her sister.