70 Great Short Stories to Teach in Middle School

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A good short story is a perfect teaching tool. Because they require less time to read, they are an easy way to expose your students to new authors and genres. Also, the best short stories are every bit as engaging and meaningful as the best novels. We asked our audience on Facebook and Instagram to share some of their favorite short stories for middle schoolers. Here’s the big list!

  1. A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury
  2. The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” by Rod Serling
  3. Hearts and Hands” by O. Henry
  4. The Fir Tree” by Hans Christian Andersen
  5. The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant
  6. The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
  7. The Lady or the Tiger” by Frank Stockton
  8. Baseball in April” by Gary Soto
  9. The Circuit” by Francisco Jiménez
  10. Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen
  11. The Open Window” by H.H. Munro (Saki)
  12. The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe
  13. The Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry
  14. Fixed Income” by Sherman Alexie
  15. The Wife’s Story” by Ursula K. Le Guin
  16. On the Sidewalk Bleeding” by Evan Hunter
  17. The Bet” by Anton Chekhov
  18. My Favorite Chaperone” by Jean Davies Okimoto
  19. The Treasure of Lemon Brown” by Walter Dean Myers
  20. Seventh Grade“ by Gary Soto
  21. Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes
  22. Everyday Use” by Alice Walker
  23. Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl
  24. One Friday Morning” by Langston Hughes
  25. A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” by Gabriel García Márquez
  26. Charles” by Shirley Jackson
  27. Click Clack the Rattlebag” by Neil Gaiman
  28. Names/Nombres” by Julia Alvarez
  29. To Build a Fire” by Jack London
  30. The Fly” by Katherine Mansfield
  31. Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan
  32. Liars Don’t Qualify” by Junius Edwards
  33. The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty
  34. Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe
  35. The Friday Everything Changed” by Anne Hart
  36. The Scholarship Jacket” by Marta Salinas
  37. Amigo Brothers” by Piri Thomas
  38. Wild Flower” by Amrita Pritam
  39. The Years of My Birth” by  Louise Erdrich
  40. The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury
  41. The Fun They Had” by Isaac Asimov
  42. Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut
  43. A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor
  44. Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros
  45. Thank You, M’am” by Langston Hughes
  46. Believing in Brooklyn” by Matt de la Peña
  47. Valediction” by Sherman Alexie
  48. Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid
  49. When I Lay My Burden Down” by Maya Angelou
  50. All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury
  51. The Medicine Bag” by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
  52. Stop the Sun” by Gary Paulsen
  53. Mother and Daughter” by Gary Soto
  54. The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe
  55. The Hitchhiker” by Lucille Fletcher
  56. The Landlady” by Roald Dahl
  57. The Smallest Dragonboy” by Anne McCaffrey
  58. The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst
  59. My First Free Summer” by Julia Alvarez
  60. The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
  61. The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry
  62. Fish Cheeks” by Amy Tan
  63. The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell
  64. Sol Painting, Inc.” by Meg Medina
  65. Main Street” by Jacqueline Woodson (link is to collection where story can be found)
  66. Raymond’s Run” by Toni Cade Bambara
  67. The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin
  68. What’s the Worst That Could Happen” by Bruce Coville
  69. The Monkey’s Paw” by William Wymark Jacobs
  70. The Boo Hag” by Veronica Byrd

If you’re searching for more short stories, check out these recommendations compiled by the Seattle Public Library, the Short Story Guide, and Barnes & Noble.

Plus, we love these anthologies: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, and  Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton, Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi, et al.

Don’t miss our list of favorite middle school poems, too.

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