The best short stories for middle school students, chosen by teachers

A good short story is a perfect learning tool. As they take less time to read, these are an easy way to introduce your students to new writers and genres. Also, the best short stories are as interesting and meaningful as the best novels. We asked our listeners on Facebook and Instagram to share some of their favorite short stories for high school students. Here’s the big list!

  1. Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder”
  2. “The Monsters Are Doing On Maple Street” by Rod Searling
  3. “Hearts and Hands” by O’Henry
  4. Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Far Tree”
  5. Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace”
  6. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”
  7. Frank Stockton’s “Lady or the Tiger”
  8. Gary Soto’s “Baseball in April”
  9. Francisco Jimenez’s “The Circuit”
  10. Wendellin van Drenen’s “Flipped”
  11. “The Open Window” by H. H. Munro (Saki)
  12. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Mask of the Red Death”
  13. And Henry’s “The Ransom of the Red Chief.”
  14. “Fixed income” by Sherman Alexi
  15. Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Wife’s Story”
  16. “Bleeding on the sidewalk” by Evan Hunter
  17. Anton Chekhov’s “The Bet”
  18. Jean Davis Okimoto’s “My Favorite Chapron”
  19. “The Treasure of Lemon Brown” by Walter Dean Myers
  20. “Seventh Grade” by Gary Soto
  21. “Flowers for Algaron” by Daniel Kiss
  22. “Daily Use” by Alice Walker
  23. “Lamb for slaughter” by Roald Dahl
  24. Langston Hughes’ “One Friday Morning”
  25. “A very old man with huge wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  26. Shirley Jackson’s “Charles”
  27. Click Neck Guyman’s “Click the Rattlebag”
  28. Julia Alvarez’s “Name / Name”
  29. Jack London’s “To Build a Fire”
  30. Katherine Mansfield’s “The Fly”
  31. “Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan
  32. “Liars do not qualify” by Junius Edwards
  33. Liam O’Flaherty’s “The Sniper”
  34. “Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe
  35. Anne Hart’s “Everything Changed on Friday”
  36. “The Scholarship Jacket” by Marta Salinas
  37. “Amigo Brothers” by Pierre Thomas
  38. Amrita Pritam’s “Wild Flower”
  39. Luis Erdrich’s “Year of My Birth”
  40. Ray Bradbury’s “The Veldt”
  41. Isaac Asimov’s “The Fun They Had”
  42. “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut
  43. “Hard to Find a Good Man” by Flannery O’Connor
  44. “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros
  45. “Thanks, ma’am,” Langston Hughes said.
  46. “Believing in Brooklyn” by Matt de la Pena
  47. “Validation” by Sherman Alexi
  48. “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid
  49. Maya Angelou’s “When I Lay Down”
  50. Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day”
  51. Virginia Driving Hawk Snive’s “The Medicine Bag”
  52. Gary Paulsen’s “Stop the Sun”
  53. “Mother and Daughter” by Gary Soto
  54. “The Tale-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe
  55. Lucille Fletcher’s “The Hitchhiker”
  56. Roald Dahl’s “The Landlady”
  57. “The Smallest Dragonboy” by Ann McCaffrey
  58. James Hearst’s “The Scarlet Ibis”
  59. Julia Alvarez’s “My First Free Summer”
  60. Shirley Jackson’s “Lottery”
  61. And. Henry’s “The Gift of the Maggie”
  62. “Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan
  63. Richard Connell’s “Most Dangerous Game”
  64. “Soul Painting, Inc.” By Meg Medina
  65. Jacqueline Woodson’s “Main Street” (link to the collection where the story can be found)
  66. Tony Ked Bambara’s “Raymond’s Run”
  67. “Moving away from Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin
  68. “What’s the Worst Thing That Happened” by Bruce Coville
  69. William Weimark Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Claw”
  70. Veronica Bird’s “The Bu Hague”

If you’re looking for even shorter stories, check out these recommendations compiled by the Seattle Public Library, Short Story Guide, and Burns & Noble.

Also, we like the collections: A Thousand Beginnings and Ends, compiled by Ellen Oh and LC Chapman from We Need Divers Books, and Meat Cute: Sona Charaipotra, Dhoneel Clayton, Nicola Eun, Ebie Joboi, and others. People are destined to meet.

Don’t miss our favorite high school poetry list.

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