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25 Best Short Stories for the Middle School Classroom

Middle school can be one of the most challenging times in the life of the average tween.

Read Across America
Photo by Stephen Lovekin

Students typically enter sixth grade at 10-11 years old and exit as a 14-15 year old eighth grader. During these ‘wonder years’, they should participate in a diverse language arts curriculum which incorporates the comprehension and analysis of fiction (novels, short stories, poetry, myths, dramas, etc.) and nonfiction (essays, articles, biographies, etc.) with other skills such as written expression, grammar, and vocabulary development.

The American Library Association lists numerous associations and events such as the National Education Association, Read Across America, Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.), National Banned Books Week, and Teen Read Week that exist for the sole purpose of fostering a love of the written word.

Listed below are 25 Best Short Stories for the Middle School Classroom. The list is in no particular order, and does not include myths, folktales, fables, or other such generic topics which are important but tend to not have a specific author for reference.

1. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

2. “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury

3. “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant

4. “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes

5. “There Will Be Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury

6. “Hearts and Hands” by O. Henry

7. “Rikki Tikki Tavi” by Rudyard Kipling

8. “The Dinner Party” by Mona Gardner

9. “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe

10. “The Landlady” by Roald Dahl

11. “To Build a Fire” by Jack London

12. “Charles” by Shirley Jackson

13. “The Lady, or the Tiger?” by Frank Stockton

14. “The Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry

15. “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell

16. “The Fun They Had” by Isaac Asimov

17. “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury

18. “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry

19. “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs

20. “Raymond’s Run” by Toni Cade Bambara

21. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving

22. “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes

23. “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl

24. “The Treasures of Lemon Brown” by Lindsey Joseph

25. “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury