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