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63 Short Stories for Middle School: Free PDF Downloads

short story books middle school

Below you’ll find the best short stories for middle school: our 16 favorites, One Page Stories, Funny Stories, Mysteries, Horror, Science Fiction, Literary, Classics, and Adventure.

Want stories for high school ? Go here .

Lamb to the Slaughter

The landlady, the most dangerous game, the pedestrian.

  • The Monkey’s Paw

The Hitchhiker

Sorry, wrong number, third from the sun, time enough at last, the black cat, the cask of amontillado, the lottery, the 9 billion names of god, harrison bergeron, the disciple, the scholarship jacket, hearts & hands, story of an hour, the dinner party, a tent in agony, one of these days, names/nombres, the story of the bad little boy, seventh grade, affair at 7 rue de m, ransom of red chief, adventure of the speckled band, three tools of death, night drive, on the sidewalk bleeding, click clack the rattlebag, the elevator.

  • Dracula’s Guest
  • The Wife’s Story

The Terrible Old Man

The necklace, the lady or the tiger, after 20 years, the rocking horse winner, an occurrence at owl creek bridge, the gift of the magi, the boar hunt, the treasure in the forest, three skeleton key, a sound of thunder, hey you down there, the eyes have it, mars is heaven, there will come soft rains, the friday that changed everything, a christmas memory, the circuit, treasure of lemon brown, everyday use, one friday morning, rules of the game, 41 short stories for high school: free pdf, the funniest book ever set in a cadaver lab, best short stories for middle school: free pdf.

Below we’ve selected our favorite 16 short stories for middle school. These 16 stories can be found in our free PDF download (click thumbnail to preview). Accompanying lesson plans can also be found at TpT with over 182 pages of thought-provoking and engaging material.

What’s in our lesson plans? See here .

short story books middle school

By Roald Dahl In a fit of rage, a wife murders her husband. Now what is she to do? How will she get rid of the evidence?

short story books middle school

By Roald Dahl A young man in search of lodging for the night finds more than he bargained for at a mysterious bed & breakfast run by a strange old woman.

short story books middle school

By Richard Connell A madman hunts human beings for sport on his private island. But with his latest “guest” he may have finally met his match.

short story books middle school

By Ray Bradbury A man goes out for a walk in a dark, lonely city of the future only to discover that sometimes even walking is an act of rebellion.

short story books middle school

By Ray Bradbury The classic tale of the dangers of technology replacing reality and a critique of lackadaisical parenting.

short story books middle school

The Monkey’s Paw

By WW Jacobs The greatest tale ever told about being careful what you wish for, with one of the finest endings ever penned.

short story books middle school

By Lucille Fletcher A radio play written by a master of the form about a man driving the lonely American highways, and the hitchhiker who appears time & again.

short story books middle school

By Lucille Fletcher A woman asks an operator to connect her call but ends up dialed into a party line where two men are discussing a murder.

short story books middle school

By Richard Matheson A family looks to escape their home planet to avoid impending nuclear war. Can they make it out without getting caught?

short story books middle school

By Lynn Venable All he wanted was a little time to read. Then the bombs fell, and he finally had all the time he could ever want.

short story books middle school

By Edgar Allan Poe A man descends slowly into alcoholism, madness and murder in Poe’s twisted tale of a man haunted by the ghost of the cat he has killed.

short story books middle school

By Edgar Allan Poe The all-time classic tale of the perfect revenge. Fortunato thinks he’s getting a rare taste of wine, but Montresor has other plans.

short story books middle school

By Shirley Jackson Perhaps the greatest twist ending in 20th Century fiction. A wicked tale of a small town lottery and the danger of tradition.

short story books middle school

By Arthur C Clarke A group of monks atop a mountain need a computer to help them write down all nine billion names of God.

short story books middle school

By Kurt Vonnegut In the future, excellence in any way. is forbidden and strictly controlled. Until one young man decides to rebel.

short story books middle school

One Page Short Stories for Middle School

Some days all you have time for is a one page short story. Or maybe a two pager. The stories below are some of the shortest tales you can find for free online, written by a variety of masters: O. Henry, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Martha Salinas, Philip K. Dick and more.

By Anton Chekhov “Who is the more humane executioner, one who kills you in a few seconds or one who draws the life out of you incessantly, for years?”

short story books middle school

By Oscar Wilde Everyone knows the story of Narcissus who wasted away staring at his reflection. But what about the pool’s point of view?

By Marth Salinas Martha spent years earning that jacket. But some teachers want to give it to a school board member’s daughter.

short story books middle school

By O Henry “Among the newcomers were two young men, one of handsome presence…the other a ruffled, glum-faced person…The two were handcuffed together.”

By Kate Chopin “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.”

short story books middle school

By Mona Gardner A lovely and lively dinner party. A daring wager put to all in attendance. A cunning guest who knows more than she’s letting on.

By Stephen Crane An encounter with the local wildlife goes horribly wrong when an old black bear walks into a tent looking for some food.

short story books middle school

By Gabriel Garcia Marquez A dentist must remove the tooth of the local Mayor, who happens to be a sworn enemy. He takes the job.

By Julia Alvarez “At the hotel my mother was Missus Alburest, and I was little girl, as in, ‘Hey, little girl, stop riding the elevator up and down. It’s not a toy.’”

short story books middle school

Funny Short Stories For Middle School

Few writers have the knack for crafting funny short stories for middle school. Laughter on the page is a tough trick, but some authors pull it off time and again.

short story books middle school

By Mark Twain Once there was a bad little boy named Jim — though, if you notice, you’ll find that bad little boys are nearly always called James…

By Gary Soto A seventh grade boy finds himself trying to impress his crush and relying on the suspect advice of his friends.

short story books middle school

By John Steinbeck A young boy who loves to chew gum discovers one day that his wad of bubble gum enjoys chewing him! An amusing tale of the supernatural.

By O Henry “We chose for our victim the only child of an influential citizen named Ebenezer Dorset. He was a boy of ten, with red hair.”

short story books middle school

Mystery Short Stories for Middle School

Who doesn’t love a good mystery short story for middle school? Whether a story of classic detection like Sherlock Holmes or a wonderful twist on murder most foul, mystery stories are a delight.

By Arthur Conan Doyle A classic mystery of a locked room murder, Doyle considered this to be the finest short story he ever wrote.

short story books middle school

By GK Chesterton A troubled girl’s father is found dead, and Father Brown must unravel his mysterious murder by one of three deadly weapons.

By Will F Jenkins Madge just wanted to pick up her husband, but an unexpected passenger leads to dark and terrible truth about the human soul.

short story books middle school

By Shirley Jackson Why did Charles hit the teacher? Was it just because the teacher made him write with red crayons?

By Evan Hunter “He lay on the sidewalk, bleeding, and he thought only:  That was a fierce rumble. They got me good that time , but he did not know he was dying.”

short story books middle school

Scary Short Stories For Middle School

We love scary short stories for middle school. Better yet though: middle school kids love scary stories themselves. Of all the tales we’ve used in the classroom, few have as much impact as the dark and spooky journeys found here.

By Neil Gaiman “We walked along the upper corridor in the shadows, walking from patch of moonlight to patch of moonlight. It really was a big house.”

short story books middle school

By Ray Bradbury A young man returns to his hometown after getting married only to discover the ghost of a girl he once loved as a boy.

By William Sleator Twelve year old Martin is afraid of the elevator in his new apartment building. He tries to avoid it. He should have tried harder.

short story books middle school

Dracula’s Guest

By Bram Stoker Removed by Stoker from the novel, this tale serves as an excellent introduction to the greatest of all vampires: Count Dracula.

The Wife’s Story

By Ursula K LeGuin “He was a good husband, a good father. I don’t understand it. I don’t believe in it. I don’t believe that it happened. I saw it happen but it isn’t true.”

short story books middle school

By HP Lovecraft Not all old men are as weak and helpless as they seem. This is a truth three misguided thieves discover all too late.

short story books middle school

Classic Short Stories For Middle School

Classic short stories for middle school stand the test of time. They continue to resonate with readers of every new generation. The classic short stories here are among some of the best ever written.

By Guy de Maupassant One of the finest short stories by one of the great practitioners of the form, with a gut kick of a twist ending.

short story books middle school

By Frank Stockton Behind one door a beautiful lady. Behind the other a voracious and hungry tiger. Make your choice very carefully.

By O. Henry Two men agreed to meet again in one spot 20 years later. But when two strangers collide in that spot in the night, they discover the irony of fate.

short story books middle school

By DH Lawrence A little boy believes that he can correctly guess the derby winners each time by riding his rocking horse.

By Ambrose Bierce A man is to be hung at Owl Creek Bridge. But the rope snaps and he escapes. Or does he? One of the great twist endings of all time.

short story books middle school

By O. Henry The classic tale of a man and wife who sacrifice their greatest treasures for each other on Christmas Eve.

short story books middle school

Adventure Short Stories for Middle School

Adventure short stories for middle school take readers far and away. Deep into the jungle. Onto deserted (or not so deserted) islands. Into lonely lighthouses. All these adventure stories are exciting, engaging and full of surprises.

short story books middle school

By Jose Vasconcelos A hunting party deep in the jungle believes they’ve come across the ultimate score. But the tables quickly turn.

By HG Wells Two ruthless treasure hunters have murdered a man for his treasure map. But what they find in the forest i smore than they imagined.

short story books middle school

By George Toudouze My most terrifying experience? Well, one does have a few in thirty-five years of service in the Lights, although it’s mostly monotonous…

By Liam O’Flaherty “On a rooftop near O’Connell Bridge, a Republican sniper lay watching. Beside him lay his rifle and…a pair of field glasses.”

short story books middle school

By Ray Bradbury In the future, hunters use time travel to venture back into the past to hunt the most dangerous game of all time.

short story books middle school

Science Fiction Short Stories for Middle School

Science fiction short stories for middle school push the boundaries of the imagination. They ask what if in ways that few other types of stories can. These science fiction short stories stand out as some of the most powerful of the form.

By Harold Rolseth A wickedly humorous story about a couple digging a well who discover an unknown race deep underground.

short story books middle school

By Philip K Dick It was quite by accident I discovered this incredible invasion of Earth by lifeforms from another planet…

By Ray Bradbury They land on Mars only to discover themselves in a town that looks exactly like one they left on Earth, and it’s filled with people they know.

short story books middle school

By Ray Bradbury What happens in the future when nuclear war has wiped out all of humanity and all that’s left is our technology winding down?

short story books middle school

Literary Short Stories for Middle School

Literary short stories for middle school explore life and all of its mysteries. The stories below capture life at a variety of extremes and reveal powerful insights into life, death, greed, fear and more.

short story books middle school

By Anne Hart A school teacher considers changing the rules, pitting the boys against the girls in a tale of power and jealousy.

By McKnight Malmar A woman arrives home alone on the eve of a great storm. Waiting for her husband, she believes she’s found a body in the cellar.

short story books middle school

By Truman Capote The classic short story recounting Capote’s childhood memories of him and his best friend as they try to gather money to purchase what they need to bake fruitcakes for Christmas.

By Francisco Jimenez The peak of the strawberry season was over and the last few days the workers, most of them braceros, were not picking as many boxes.

short story books middle school

By Walter Dean Myers “There weren’t any more scraping noises, but he was sure he had heard something in the darkness—something breathing!”

By Alice Walker “In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands…I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man.”

short story books middle school

By Langston Hughes “Casually, one day, Miss Dietrich asked Nancy Lee what color frame she thought would be best on her picture. That had been the first inkling.”

By Amy Tan “I was six when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength. It was a strategy for winning arguments, respect from others…”

short story books middle school

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Short Stories for Middle Schoolers

short story books middle school

When I first started seeing short story collections for middle schoolers, I was skeptical: Would tweens appreciate reading short stories? Would they love being pulled out of a story and into a new one every few pages? It turns out some kids enjoy these!

Many teachers say that, particularly when short stories are by authors whom the kids recognize or already enjoy reading, it’s easier to hand-sell them. Other educators have mentioned that short story collections can be great teaching devices for comprehension strategies or understanding how the collection’s theme runs through the stories. You can have student groups or partners work on individual stories, too. They also work well for short readaloud sessions or homeroom discussions. There are so many fun ways to use them.

For this list, I’m sharing all the middle grade short story collections I know about. Although I’ve read several, but not all of them, I think having a range of options/themes to choose from can be super helpful.

two books of short stories for middle schoolers

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10+ Short Story Collections for Middle Schoolers

Here are some middle grade short story collections worth exploring:

Flying Lessons & Other Stories

Flying Lessons & Other Stories

One of the first short story collections ever published, this book, written by some of the best children’s authors, including Kwame Alexander, Meg Medina, Jacqueline Woodson, and many more, celebrates our individuality and universality. Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold short story collection features kids dealing with tough situations like homelessness and racism and figuring out ways to beat the odds.

The Hero Next Door

The Hero Next Door

This short story collection features authors like R.J. Palacio, Rita Williams Garcia, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Lamar Giles and examines the power of small kindnesses. Being a hero doesn’t only mean wearing a costume and saving thousands of people. Heroes can also be sisters, neighbors, and friends. With a few illustrations scattered through, this is a great choice for elementary and younger middle schoolers.

A Little Bit Super: With Small Powers Come Big Problems

A Little Bit Super

I started reading this one a couple of weeks ago and it is both intriguing and funny. The kids in these humorous short stories each have a superpower they’re learning to live with. One can travel through time and inhabit the body of a random person in history for 24 hours at a time just by hearing a specific date and another can hear animals’ thoughts in the pet store. Featuring authors like Pablo Cartaya and Gary Schmidt, this is a good choice for readers in grades 6 and up who love funny, adventurous stories.

Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors

Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors

For Angela, it came on the basketball court—while playing on the boys’ team. For Penny, it came on a lakeside field trip, inspiring some cringeworthy moments of humor. And to Layla’s disappointment, it came at the start of her first fasting Ramadan, mandating that she take a “holiday.” Whether their period’s coming spurs silence or celebration, whether they are well prepared for it or totally in the dark, the young people in these sixteen stories find that getting a period brings not only changes to their bodies, but also joy, sorrow, and self-discovery.

Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices

Once Upon an Eid

Once Upon an Eid showcases the most brilliant Muslim voices writing today, all about the most joyful holiday of the year: Eid! Eid: The short, single-syllable word conjures up a variety of feelings and memories for Muslims. Maybe it’s waking up to the sound of frying samosas or the comfort of bean pie, maybe it’s the pleasure of putting on a new outfit for Eid prayers, or maybe it’s the gift-giving and holiday parties to come that day. Whatever it may be, for those who cherish this day of celebration, the emotional responses may be summed up in another short and sweet word: joy.

The Door Is Open: Stories of Celebration and Community by 11 Desi Voices

The Door Is Open

Discover stories of fear, triumph, and spectacular celebration in the fictional town of Maple Grove, New Jersey, where the local kids gather at the community center to discover new crushes, fight against ignorance, and even save a life. These stories, edited by bestselling and award-winning Pakistani-American author Hena Khan, are filled with humor, warmth, and possibility. They showcase a diverse array of talented authors with heritage from the Indian subcontinent, including beloved favorites and rising stars, who each highlight the beauty and necessity of a community center that everyone calls home.

On All Other Nights: A Passover Celebration in 14 Stories

On All Other Nights

This anthology that follows 14 different kids through the Passover seder. It features a variety of formats and genres, including verse, prose, non-fiction, and even historical fiction, and includes stories by Joshua Levy, Chris Baron, Laurel Snyder, Adam Gidwitz, and Veera Hiranandani.

On the Block: Stories of Home

On the Block

This forthcoming anthology features authors like Jasmine Warga, Debbi Michiko Florence, and Erin Entrada Kelly and includes 12 loosely interconnected stories about immigrant families living in the Entrada building. This will be a good one to teach about immigration, culture, and of course, family structures.

You Are Here: Connecting Flights

You Are Here: Connecting Flights

You Are Here: Connecting Flights is a series of interconnected stories (a different one per chapter) about 12 Asian-American kids at the international terminal of a major airport. We follow each kid as they deal with microaggressions, disdain, and outright racism. This collection was edited by Ellen Oh and features stories from a star-studded group of authors, including Christina Soontornvat, Erin Entrada Kelly, and Linda Sue Park. This is an excellent collection of interconnected short stories about the wide range of the Asian-American experience.

Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood

Black Boy Joy

Black boy joy is… Picking out a fresh first-day-of-school outfit. Saving the universe in an epic intergalactic race. Finding your voice—and your rhymes—during tough times. Flying on your skateboard like nobody’s watching. And more! From seventeen acclaimed Black male and non-binary authors comes a vibrant collection of stories, comics, and poems about the power of joy and the wonders of Black boyhood.

Freedom Fire: Black Girl Power: 15 Stories Celebrating Black Girlhood

Black Girl Power

Black girl power is… Bringing your favorite stuffed animal to your first real sleepover. . . Escaping an eerie dollhouse that’s got you trapped inside. . . Making new friends one magical baked good at a time. . . Finding the courage to dance to the beat of your own drum. . . And more! From 15 legendary Black women authors comes a dazzling collection of stories and poems about the power we find in the everyday and the beauty of Black girlhood.

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids

Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids

Native families from Nations across the continent gather at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In a high school gym full of color and song, people dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. Young protagonists will meet relatives from faraway, mysterious strangers, and sometimes one another (plus one scrappy rez dog). They are the heroes of their own stories.

Coming of Age: 13 B'nai Mitzvah Stories

Coming of Age: 13 B’nai Mitzvah Stories

What does it mean to become an adult in your faith? Join thirteen diverse characters as they experience anxiety, doubt, and self-discovery while preparing for their B’nai Mitzvah. And whether celebrating with a lavish party or in reception room A with an accordion player, the Jewish rite of passage remains the same. Filled with humor, hope, and history, there’s something in this anthology for every reader.

The Ice Cream Machine: 6 Deliciously Different Stories with the Same Exact Name!

The Ice Cream Machine

Adam Rubin writes some lovely short stories for middle schoolers. In these six stories, set in six distinct worlds, you’ll meet a boy and his robot nanny traveling the globe in search of the world’s tastiest treat, a child mechanical prodigy who invents the freshest dessert ever, and an evil ice cream truck driver who strikes fear in the heart of every kid in town. You’ll be transported to a beachside boardwalk with an ice cream stand run by a penguin, a hilltop realm ruled by a king with a sweet tooth, and a giant alien space lab with a lone human subject who longs for a taste of home. Each story features black-and-white interior illustrations from a different artist, including Daniel Salmieri, Charles Santoso, Liniers, Emily Hughes, Nicole Miles, and Seaerra Miller, making this book unlike any you’ve ever seen.

There they are: 14 excellent short story collections for middle schoolers! Have you read any of these? Which ones did you like? I’d love to hear what your students think about short story collections!

More Book Lists

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  • About Afoma Umesi

Afoma Umesi is the founder and editor of Reading Middle Grade where she curates book lists and writes book reviews for kids of all ages. Her favorite genre to read is contemporary realistic fiction and she'll never say no to a graphic novel.

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short story books middle school

470+ Middle School Short Stories to read

Submitted by writers on Reedsy Prompts to our weekly writing contest . Keeping the attention of a middle schooler is hard. But our collection of gripping middle school short stories will do the trick!

⭐️ Recommended stories

“ an aye for a legg and a legg for an aye ” by mister x.

⭐️ Shortlisted for Contest #183

If Lucky Chances wasn't the worst singles bar in South Florida, it's only because the Board of Health had closed down the others. There were just so many hepatitis cases one county could handle at a time.Woodrow Aye arrived at happy hour promptly at 6:07 p.m., just after clocking out from the big box retailer that kept him gainfully employed, assuming wearing a blue vest and bitching about the Miami sports teams constituted work. After a few spritzes of Drakkar Noir and a drive-thru dinner at BurgerFace, Woodrow walked int...

“ The Student's Struggle ” by Michał Przywara

⭐️ Shortlisted for Contest #155

Harvey Deenwaller really shit the bed when he tried out for the basketball team, because he forgot what we all knew: junior high school was bullshit. Trying leads to judging, judging leads to failing, and failing leads to being a loser. Of course we only heard about him, but it was all anyone talked about all day, and when we got into seventh period English we found out that Stacey McCain had seen it. She was ...


⭐️ Shortlisted for Contest #135

When the giant sea spider swallowed the entire town of Cobble, it was decided that something should be done about it. Flee, the next town over and slightly higher up, had watched the unfortunate event from their balconies and terraces, very pale and very shaky, and also very quiet—in case the sea spider decided to look up and think about dessert. But lucky for the town of Flee, the sea spi...

short story books middle school

Introducing Prompted , a new magazine written by you!

🏆 Featuring 12 prize-winning stories from our community. Download it now for FREE .

✍️ All stories

“ call me isabelle ” by mccampbell molly.

Submitted to Contest #249

 "Call me Ishmael.” Kai’s teacher asked the class why this was one of the most important lines in literature. He knew that it was one of those lines that came off like fireworks. It went off with a bang. Left you wanting more. Promising lots of sparkly stuff later.    But what if it had read, ‘Call me Isabelle,’ he thought to himself. Would it have had an even bigger impact? Nah…People wouldn’t have accepted it back then. Shoot, they didn’t accept it now. He sighed and tri...

“ Perilous Playground of Pubescents ” by Erin Keeney

Submitted to Contest #246

Perilous Playground of Pubescents“Impossible. You can't do it, Mrs K. we know you can't!!”These little 5th grade shits, she thought, always taunting their substitute teacher. Mrs K was enduring this latest gig at a private school in an affluent Chicago suburb for the last couple of years. She’d finally settled a decades long divorce, her youngest son was off to Boston, and her 70th birthday loomed. Attorneys fees left her bankrupt, and no amount of 'The Secret', as many times as she watched that DVD and practiced the techniques, was&n...

“ My Worst Enemy ” by Dominic Figueroa

Max liked to sit alone at lunchtime on the playground, which was enclosed by wooden boards with red paint flaking off. His favorite thing to do was to listen to the rhythmic squeak of the swing as he swung back and forth. Every time that he kicked his legs out at the height of the swing, he felt free like an eagle taking flight. It was the only place that he felt free. “Here we go again,” Max murmured under his breath as two of his classmates approached. The two boys start...

“ Sewer Pipe Village ” by Robert Pyke

Dad raised Robbie sternly. Every man was sir or mister. And every man, whether as stern as Dad or as kindly as Uncle George, was to be obeyed without question. That was before Robbie’s evening in Sewer Pipe Village. Sewer Pipe Village was the name Dad gave a dozen giant concrete cylinders strewn in a clearing of scrub—cottonwood and sassafras—across the tracks from their home in Indian Hills. It was along the South Crick, a ditch really, part of a system to drain the swamps south of Lake Michigan, land far enough from the beach for steelwork...

“ Kings of the Jungle Gym ” by Natalie Ballestero

The sun beat down upon the black asphalt of the playground where the many ages of children mingled during their last afternoon recess. The sounds of basketballs bouncing, and chatter filled the warm air. Off in the distance sat the many jungle gyms that the children didn’t bother to use anymore, and sitting upon the very top of one were two young boys. They sat upon their perch looking down upon the playground as if they were the kings of the domain that lay below them. Their faces showed their shared boredom of their cur...

“ Little Boy Blue and His Striped Balloon ” by Leilani Velazquez

Submitted to Contest #242

“Lilia. You’ve gotta think. Where did you see Thomas last?”Lilia sighed heavily, staring blankly down at her palms. “We went to the museum.”.“What … museum?” “In the woods. Oh, ma. I’m sorry. I really really am.” Lilia scrunched her face and sat weeping in her chair. “Officer Rick”“It’s pronounced Rick-ee, ma’am”“Officer Ricky, You’ve gotta believe I had NO idea about Lilia and her friend sneaking off into the woods like this. I wouldn’t have allowed it. We’ll talk about this later young lady, but you need to give us more informati...

“ One Size Fits ” by John K Adams

Submitted to Contest #241

Britney offered her friends a plastic container filled with cookies made ‘all by myself.’Kerri held up her hand and shook her head. She’d tried the last and previous batches. Friend or not, there are limits.Taylor sighed, picked one and eyed it as if examining forensic evidence. She felt Britney watching as she nibbled and suppressed a wince.The three sat at their usual lunchtime table under the trees in the school patio. Lunch was almost over.“I made them myself with my Easy Bake Oven,” Britney said. Every time she brought cookies, which wa...

“ Unexpected Betrayal ” by Keila Aartila

I hopped off the school bus, hitting the ground at a dead run ahead of my two younger brothers; dropped my book bag at the house door and ran down to the barnyard. I couldn’t wait to touch the little horse who would be waiting to see me, after a full day of going through the motions of attending my Middle School classes. I wanted to get home to continue the training of my young horse. He was coming along sop well! The horse had been purchased for a small fee from a poor quality situation. He was of unknown breeding, and a non-extraordinary b...

“ A Fable: The Gardener and the Potter ” by Mary Bendickson

A Fable: The Gardener and the Potter Samuel, a slightly stooped, aging gentleman of humble means in a humble village, visited with his eldest daughter. “Is all well with you and your new husband?”“All is wonderfully well. He treats me like a precious flower. Seeing to my every want and need. Gordon is such a hard worker. He works from sun-up to sun-down in our fields growing the best crops any gardener would be proud of.” Marigold marveled.“Is there anything you need from me, My Dear?”“Well, the only thing I could request is that you pray f...

“ Woodland Avenue, Brookside ” by Jim DeMaio Jr.

It's taken me a long time to think seriously about this former friend and someone who passed away at eighteen years old. He's someone I've never forgotten about, and he haunts my dreams.Joe was a really sensitive, loving kid who was always taller and skinnier than me. When my family built a house in the township of Mendham I started going to the elementary and then the middle school. I was in Mrs Thomas' class and it's likely there I first met Joe.His parents lived in a stone covered ranch house on Woodland Road and Summit Road. The house se...

“ My Gemini ” by Marcos Argueta

Submitted to Contest #240

Hello, Alexis. I guess I'll just start this by telling you, I love you. It's crazy. We've talked a handful of times but I think there's something right here. I think you know this too. I mean why else would you kiss me. To drive me crazy? When you told me that you liked my vibes I thought you were just being kind. I like that you're nice is natural. When you laughed at my jokes, I wished I could be funny forever. It's hard being hilarious. When your fingers played with my lips and you bit the bottom one, I lost it. I'm not normal anymore. ...

“ Just When You Think You Know Her ” by Jeremy Stevens

I was always the first to bed. I would ask if she’d like to join, but she’d always have late night things to take care of, things she couldn’t get done during her busy day. Tabitha had a tough job, and I often commended her on how well she was able to balance work and home. I knew she loved me. It was our mutual respect for each other’s space that had kept us so close, for so many years.Or, so I thought.We met at the fundraiser. She was part of the production, and I was, well, a benefactor. Don’t get me wrong here: it wasn’t a black-tie affa...

“ Property of Calypso ” by Karol P

Submitted to Contest #239

   The twelfth tree in front of Allen Redvers Middle School bloomed pink two months early. It was only March; the flowers were the effect of the striped blue-and-yellow crochet wrapped around its trunk and branches like a sweater. Carden Bailey and Ozri Geller stood in front of it, gazing up.    “Calypso strikes again,” said Ozri. Carden didn’t answer, touching the tree with one pink-gloved hand. It was warm, as i...

“ Remnants ” by Russell Mickler

Bright. The boy shielded his eyes from the sun. Insects buzzed, and a stench of fresh-mown hay and cow manure lingered. Silhouettes of long cattle shelters and silos wavered on the horizon. Dairy farm. A half mile from home. 2,640 feet; a mile is 5,280 feet. In the distance, a yellow school bus rounded a corner to accelerate up the country road. He checked his analog wristwatch, his fingers forming a sharp right angle. Late. Four minutes. There are sixty minutes in an ho...

“ Lost Connection ” by C.N. Jung

Submitted to Contest #238

“Nah, bro. That’s crazy!” Levi couldn't believe his ears. He chomped down on a cheese puff, feeling the artificial cheese cling to his fingers. The orange dust was everywhere, but who cared? "You're telling me she actually said that with a straight face?" He flicked the crumbs off his hand with a little more force than was necessary. "Yeah, for real, I swear!" The crackle from Levi’s hea...

The Best Middle School Short Stories

Sometimes the thought of a thick novel like Dickens’ or Twain’s can be overwhelming, especially at the end of a long day. The solution? Middle school short stories. Offering middle schoolers the immediate gratification they so often crave, short stories are also a great way to introduce teens to new authors and genres. And there’s no reason to expect them to be any less meaningful or engaging than a novel. Some of the biggest names in the business — and we’re talking names like Neil Gaiman, Gabriel García Márquez, and Kurt Vonnegut — would count their short stories among their best works. 

Want to get your hands on some middle school short stories?

Whether you’re still in middle school or not, these middle school short stories — written with perpetually tired teens in mind — are the perfect reading material for anyone looking for a quick fix of the written word. 

They’ve been gathered together from submissions to Reedsy’s weekly short story competition , in which writers are given a creative prompt and asked to write a story between 1,000 and 3,000 words. The ones you’ll find here have been tagged as “middle school” short stories, hopefully because they’ve been written to engage middle school students and not because they’re set in the hallways of a middle school (that could bring back some traumatic memories). But either way, you’re in for a rollercoaster ride! 

At the top of the page, you’ll find all the stories that stood out to our judges as being a cut above the rest — so what better place to kickstart your reading. And if you'd like to read the best of the best entries from across 40+ genres, be sure to check out Prompted , our new literary magazine — there's a free copy waiting for you!

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Imagination Soup

Short Stories for Middle School and Upper Elementary Students

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Read short stories for middle school and upper elementary school students with your middle grade readers, ages 9 – 12; those elementary and middle school students who enjoy a short passage of text. Interestingly, short story anthologies are not abundant for tweens. Even still, there are some great short story options to keep kids reading shorter texts.

Short stories offer students an alternative to a longer novel and give teachers quick passages to use as mentor texts or for reading lessons about things like themes, literary tools, and so forth.

Do you use short stories with your readers?

Short Stories for Middle School and Upper Elementary

Short Stories for Middle School & Upper Elementary (Ages 9 – 12)

short story books middle school

Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell  by Illustratus If you like ghost stories, this is a worthy addition to your library. Disturbing illustrations and 13 original stories make for a creepy, frightening reading experience.

middle grade books with short stories

Other commonly used short stories for Middle and High School include:

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson ( read it here )

Harrison Bergeron (often used in high school) by Kurt Vonnegut ( read it here )

Stories by Gary Soto

“The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant ( read it here )

“The Tell-Tale Heart” Edgar Allan Poe ( read it here )

“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry ( read it here )

science fiction short stories by Ray Bradbury ( read more about them here )

Short Stories for Middle School and Upper Elementary

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Melissa Taylor, MA, is the creator of Imagination Soup. She's a mother, former teacher & literacy trainer, and freelance education writer. She writes Imagination Soup and freelances for publications online and in print, including Penguin Random House's Brightly website, USA Today Health, Adobe Education, Colorado Parent, and Parenting. She is passionate about matching kids with books that they'll love.

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I would add some of Gary Paulsen’s short story collections to this list: Guts, How Angel Peterson Got His Name…, My Life in Dog Years.

Thank you, great ideas!

Best Short Stories for Middle Schoolers

the best short stories for middle schoolers

For decades the short story has been a hallmark of the middle school Language Arts classroom. Short stories are so versatile that they can be taught as a whole unit, used to review a skill, or featured as a complement to a writing unit or novel study .

Below is a run-down of 11 of the best short stories for middle schoolers. For each story below, you will find a short summary and some teaching tips for easily integrating the story into your curriculum.

The Tell-Tale Heart

“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe is a psychological thriller appropriate for middle school students. The story is from the perspective of an unnamed narrator who starts the story as the simple caretaker of an elderly man but ends as the old man’s murderer. The plot of the story describes the narrator’s descent into madness and the steps he takes before, during, and after the vicious crime. The end of the story is often a horrific surprise for readers as Poe outlines how his narrator covers up the murder and subsequently confesses his crime to the police.

This story is one of Poe’s shortest stories, so it is easy to add to an already established unit of study. This text is perfect for helping students understand the concept of an unreliable narrator. The short length and engaging characters also keep students motivated in going back to the text to find evidence.

The Yellow Wallpaper

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a classic short story from the 1860s that describes a young woman who slowly succumbs to mental illness. In the beginning of the story, readers learn that the narrator is going to spend the summer at a country estate with her husband (who is also her doctor) and her sister-in-law in an attempt to help her recover from “nervous depression” after the birth of her baby. While at the country house, the narrator becomes more and more obsessed with the unique yellow wallpaper in her bedroom. She thinks there is a woman trying to escape from the wallpaper. By the end of the story, the narrator has succumbed to her mental illness and believes she can free the woman in the wallpaper.

While this tale can be heavy for middle school students, it is a great story to use to teach theme and symbolism . Gilman was a women’s rights activist from the late 19th century, and “The Yellow Wallpaper” represents some of her beliefs in both women’s rights and social reform. This story could be used as a cross-curricular pairing to a social studies unit on social reform or activism.

Thank You, M’am

“Thank You, M’am” by Langston Hughes is a short story with only two characters: Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones and Roger. At the beginning of the story, Roger tries to steal Mrs. Jones’ purse as she walks down the street one evening, but he is unsuccessful. Surprisingly, Mrs. Jones then invites the boy back to her house where she feeds him and talks to him. During their conversation, Roger tells Mrs. Jones that he was trying to steal her purse so he could buy blue suede shoes. Mrs. Jones gives him the money and then asks him to leave so she can get some rest.

This story is a short, manageable piece for many levels of readers. Students are often surprised by Mrs. Jones’ empathy, making the piece a great conversation starter about character motivation. Hughes’ work could also be used to teach theme or as a comparison to one of his famous poems.

The Landlady

“The Landlady” by Roald Dahl follows the events of young Billy Weaver, a seventeen-year-old budding businessman from London, as he finds a place to stay in Bath, England. Billy decides to stay at a bed and breakfast, and after arriving, he converses with the owner, only known as The Landlady, for much of the evening. The engrossing part of this story is the details that are slowly revealed to the reader about The Landlady’s sinister actions. Over the course of the short story, readers learn about missing boys, stuffed pets, and Billy’s tea that “tasted faintly of bitter almonds.” At the end of the story, the reader has to decide what happens to Billy Weaver.

This text is great for teaching or reviewing inferencing. Since Roald Dahl never tells us exactly what happens to the main character, students have to use their inferencing skills to make decisions about the resolution. Middle school students could get really engaged with an activity where they had to put the Landlady on trial for murder, using evidence from the text to prove that she is either innocent or guilty.

“The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury chronicles the lives of George and Lydia Hadley and their two children, Wendy and Peter. The Hadley’s live in an automated house called the Happylife Home where even the simplest functions of tying your shoes or walking up the stairs are done for you. The nursery, another automated element of the house, can be transformed into any location complete with the sounds, smells, and sensations of the whereabouts. The plot of the story revolves around Mr. and Mrs. Hadley’s concern over the children’s favorite nursery location, the African Veldt which portrays a violent, harsh scene. By the end of the story, Wendy and Peter lock their parents inside the veldt. The last scene of the story leaves readers watching the children enjoy a picnic in the nursery with no sign of their parents anywhere.

This story is a good option to use to study suspense, foreshadowing, and the use of dialogue. The story is long, but from the first lines, Bradbury establishes a sense of foreboding. Students could track how Bradbury develops the suspense and leads his readers to the perverse end of the story. Since Bradbury has several other short stories appropriate for middle school readers such as “All Summer in a Day,” students could also use this work as a part of an author study.

The Monkey’s Paw

“The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs is well worth the read. Part 1 of the story introduces the reader to the main characters and the magical monkey’s paw. According to legend, the paw will give three different men three wishes, but the White’s good family friend, Sergeant-Major Morris, claims that the paw is cursed and throws the object into the fire. Mr. White rescues it and–after much debating with his family–decides to wish for 200 pounds to pay off his debts. In Part 2, Mr. and Mrs. White learn that their son has been killed in an accident at work, but his employer will give the family 200 pounds to make up for their loss. During part 3, Mrs. White wishes for her son to return, and a zombie-like figure appears at the kitchen door. Mr. White then makes the final wish, and while readers never really find out what that third wish was, the terrible knocking disappears, and we can make some pretty good guesses.

While this story is longer than others, it is a great piece to use to study plot development and tone. In addition to just identifying the basic plot elements of the story, you could use it to teach the idea of a “catalyst” for plot events. W.W. Jacobs also uses a great variety of rich vocabulary to develop the mood and plot. There are stark contrasts between the tone at the end of Part 1 and the beginning of Part 2, so just that short excerpt could be used for a deeper dive into tone.

The Lottery

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a classic short story that middle school teachers have been teaching for years. This story takes place in a fictitious small town on a beautiful summer day. This town has a long-standing tradition of an annual lottery, and the story outlines what happens during this twisted, ironic, and futile ceremony. Readers eventually learn that Tessie Hutchinson “wins” the lottery, but her prize is actually to be stoned to death by all of the town’s residents. Jackson uses many details and extensive dialogue to draw out the event and build suspense for the reader.

There are so many great ways to use this short story in a middle school classroom. It would be a great introduction to a study of dystopian literature (think The Hunger Games ), a discussion starter on herd-mentality, or a mentor text for using close reading to identify how author’s build suspense.

Desiree’s Baby

“Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin is a short story from the late 1800s that explores the impact of race in Creole Louisiana. Desiree Valmode, the main character of the story, was abandoned as a baby and adopted by her loving parents who struggled to have their own children. Most of the story chronicles Desiree as an adult as she falls in love with the handsome and wealthy Armand Aubigny, a local plantation owner. When Desiree and Armand have their first child, everything is wonderful at first. However, when the baby is several months old, Armand realizes his son has darker skin and it must be because his wife has black heritage. He refuses to acknowledge his wife or son because of his racism. Desiree, completely distraught, leaves her husband with her son and disappears into the Louisiana bayou, never to be seen again. In the final lines of the story, Armand reads a letter from his deceased mother, revealing that it was he and not his wife who had black lineage.

This story is a challenging text due to its sensitive topics, but its relevance in today’s society is sure to engage middle school students. This story is one that should be used in class (not as homework) and could spark great conversation on race, the history of race relations in the US, and themes of racism and sexism in society.

The Story of An Hour

“The Story of an Hour” is another classic short story by Kate Chopin. The setting literally revolves around one hour of time. Set in the late 19th century, Chopin highlights the lack of rights women had during the time period. The main character, Mrs. Louise Mallard, learns from her sister and a friend that her husband, Mr. Brently Mallard, was killed in a railroad accident. For much of the rest of the story, Mrs. Mallard locks herself in her bedroom and struggles with her emotions regarding her husband’s death. While her sister fears that she is making herself ill with grief, Mrs. Mallard is in fact feeling “free” that she is no longer under the control of a man. However, when Mr. Mallard suddenly walks in the front door, Mrs. Mallard does suddenly die, perhaps from grief about the loss of her newfound freedom. 

Since “The Story of an Hour” is a very short text of only about 1,000 words, it is a good text to use for students to practice their annotation skills. This story could also be used as a study in perspective. What would the story look like written from a different character’s point of view?

The Treasure of Lemon Brown

“The Treasure of Lemon Brown” by Walter Dean Myers is a short story about Greg Ridley, his problems with school, and a mysterious old man named Lemon Brown. At the beginning of the story, Greg leaves his Harlem home upset over his grades and how he won’t get to join the basketball team. He wanders to an abandoned tenement where he meets Mr. Lemon Brown, a homeless man who used to be a famous blues musician. While he talks with the man, three other men enter the building carrying a pipe, wanting to steal Lemon Brown’s “treasure” that he always talks about. Greg and Lemon work together to outsmart the thieves. Lemon then shows Greg his treasure: a harmonica and newspaper clippings his deceased son carried with him to war. Eventually, Greg leaves the tenement with a new mindset and appreciation for the strict nature of his father.

This story is full of rich vocabulary, character details, and conflict. The multiple types of internal and external conflict would make this a great story for analyzing the impact of conflict on a character’s decisions.

The Open Window

“The Open Window” by Saki is one of his shortest stories, but it still has some of his classic elements. The story begins with Mr. Framton Nuttel arriving at the home of Mrs. Sappleton and her 15-year-old niece, Vera, for a doctor-ordered retreat to the country. Vera greets Mr. Nuttel and tells him the tragic story of the open window. Three years earlier, Mrs. Sappleton’s husband and two brothers went out hunting and never returned. The widow keeps the window open each day in hopes that they will have a way to enter the house if they need to. Mrs. Sappleton eventually comes downstairs and starts a conversation with Mr Nuttel, telling him that she is waiting for her husband and brothers to arrive. Mr. Nuttel thinks she has lost touch with reality until he sees three figures walking across the lawn. In a frightened panic, Mr. Nuttel flees the house, thinking he just saw three ghosts.

This story is such a fun option for middle school students because they often miss Vera’s deception at first and think they are really reading a ghost story. Once students figure out Saki’s true intentions, this story is perfect for analyzing details and the author’s craft. It is also great for discussing the history of the Edwardian Era and the impact of strict social laws during the time period.

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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!  May 24, 2022

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The 12 Best Short Stories for Middle School Students

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short story books middle school

Short stories offer middle schoolers an excellent entryway into literary discussion and analysis. Their length isn't intimidating, and they allow students to sample a wide variety of genres, authors, and literary styles. Many short stories feature meaningful topics and themes, giving students who are just starting to think more deeply about the opportunity to display their insights.

When choosing short stories for middle school students, look for a variety of tales with broad themes with which your students can connect. Those themes might include growing up, friendship, jealousy, technology, or family. The following short stories feature these and similar themes, and all of the stories are ideal for the middle school classroom.

“To Build a Fire” by Jack London

Synopsis : A newcomer to the Yukon territory sets out on a short journey into dangerously frigid weather to meet his friends at a nearby settlement, despite warnings from an older, more seasoned man. The older man warns the newcomer about the temperatures and traveling alone, but his warnings go unheeded. The newcomer sets out with only his dog, a choice that proves foolishly fatal.

Talking Points : man vs. nature, the wisdom of experience, the dangers of excessive self-confidence.

“The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury

Synopsis : The Hadley family lives in a fully-automated home that does everything for them. It even brushes their teeth ! The two Hadley children spend most of their time in a nursery that can simulate any environment. The Hadley parents become troubled when the children use the nursery to visualize hostility toward them, so they shut down the room. However, a temper tantrum by one of the children convinces them to give the youngsters one last hour in the nursery—a fatal mistake for the parents.

Talking Points : the effect of technology on family and society, reality vs. fantasy, parenting, and discipline.

“Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes

Synopsis : Charlie, a factory worker with a low IQ, is selected for experimental surgery. The procedure dramatically increases Charlie’s intelligence and changes his personality from a quiet, unassuming man to a selfish, arrogant one. The changes brought about by the study are not permanent, however. Charlie’s IQ returns to its previous level, leaving him unable to understand what happened to him.

Talking Points : the meaning of intelligence, societal attitudes towards intellectual difference, friendship, grief, and loss.

“The Landlady” by Roald Dahl

Synopsis : Billy Weaver steps off a train in Bath, England, and inquires where he can find a place to stay for the night. He winds up at a boardinghouse run by a strange, eccentric older woman. Billy begins to notice some peculiarities: the landlady's pets aren't alive, and the names in the guestbook are the names of boys who previously disappeared. By the time he connects the dots, it may be too late for him.

Talking Points : deception, naiveté, mystery, and suspense.

“Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” by Rudyard Kipling

Synopsis : Set in India, "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" tells the tale of a mongoose separated from his family. Rikki is nursed back to health by a young British boy named Teddy and his parents. An epic battle ensues between Rikki and two cobras as the mongoose defends Teddy and his family.

Talking Points : bravery, British Imperialism , loyalty, honor.

“Thank You, M’am” by Langston Hughes

Synopsis : A young boy tries to snatch the purse of an older woman, but he trips, and she catches him. Rather than call the police, the woman invites the boy into her home and feeds him. When the woman learns why the boy tried to rob her, she gives him the money.

Talking Points : kindness, equality, empathy, integrity.

“Seventh Grade” by Gary Soto

Synopsis : On the first day of the seventh-grade French class, Victor tries to impress his crush by claiming that he can speak French. When the teacher calls on Victor, it quickly becomes clear that Victor was bluffing. However, the teacher chooses to keep Victor's secret.

Talking Points : empathy, boasting, the challenges of middle school.

“The Mustache” by Robert Cormier

Synopsis : A visit to his grandmother in a nursing home reveals to seventeen-year-old Mike that people exist outside their relationship to him. He realizes that everyone, including his parents, has their own hurts, disappointments, and memories.

Talking Points : aging, forgiveness, young adulthood.

“A Visit of Charity” by Eudora Welty

Synopsis : Fourteen-year-old Marian begrudgingly visits a nursing home in order to earn Campfire Girl service points. She meets two elderly women; one woman is friendly and happy to have company, and the other woman is cantankerous and rude. The encounter is strange and almost dreamlike. The two women argue with increasing intensity until Marian runs out of the nursing home.

Talking Points : the true meaning of charity, selfishness, connection.

“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe

Synopsis : In this dark tale, a mysterious narrator attempts to convince the reader that he is not a madman, even though he murdered an old man. Worried about getting caught, the narrator dismembers the victim and hides his body in the floorboards under a bed. Later, he becomes convinced that he can still hear the old man’s heart beating, and thus that the police must be able to hear it too, so he confesses to the crime.

Talking Points : the insanity defense, the power of a guilty conscience.

“The Lady or the Tiger” by Francis Richard Stockton

Synopsis: A cruel king has devised a brutal justice system in which accused criminals are forced to choose between two doors. Behind one door is a beautiful lady; if the accused opens that door, he is declared innocent and must marry the woman immediately. Behind the other is a tiger ; if the accused opens that door, he is declared guilty and is devoured by the tiger. When one young man falls in love with the princess, the king sentences him to face the door trial. However, the princess attempts to save him by figuring out which door holds the lady.

Talking Points : crime and punishment, trust, jealousy.

“All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury

Synopsis : The elementary children of colonists on the planet Venus have no memories of ever seeing the sun. The rain on Venus is constant, and the sun shines for just few hours once every seven years. When Margot, a recent transplant from Earth who faintly remembers the sun, arrives on Venus, the other children treat her with jealousy and contempt.

Talking Points: jealousy, bullying, cultural differences.

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Summaries, Analysis & Lists

Book of Short Stories for Middle School: Collections and Anthologies for Middle School

I love middle school anthologies. The stories selected are usually interesting, engaging from the start, easy to understand, and brief—even by short story standards.

I like them regardless of the year they were published. I especially like finding an old one that I have never seen before. It doesn’t matter if they are new and expensive, or second-hand and cheap, or what country they are for. It’s always a treat to look through the table of contents of a middle school story collection.

Some of the books on this page blur the line between middle and high school, or might lean more to high school students. I don’t know if these books were all published as school readers, but they are all of that type.

  • Short Stories for Middle Schoolers

Here are some of the ones I’ve found, most of which I own. I hope you discover a new book of stories. The ones below are a bit older. If you’re looking for something more modern , there are many newer short story collection for teens linked to on the stories for teens page.

Short Story Collections for Middle School

“Little Worlds: A Collection of Short Stories for the Middle School” contains 30 stories. Part 1 has 2 representative stories for each of the usual story elements of plot, character, setting and atmosphere, point of view, irony, symbol, and theme. Part 2 has a further 16 selections.

This book has a lot of often-seen stories, ( The Sniper, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, The Lottery, Miss Brill, The Gift of the Magi, The Monkey’s Paw, The Story of an Hour, Through the Tunnel, To Build a Fire, The Necklace, & The Open Window ) so it’s great if you don’t own many anthologies.

“Currents in Fiction” has 22 stories. According to my experience, 8 of them are more commonly seen and the other 14 are lesser-seen.  After each story there are sections for questions for discussion, vocabulary growth, and suggestions for compositions.

“Stories to Remember” has 16 stories arranged in sections (suspense, mood, theme, the west, sports, young people, & the future). At the most I would only consider 5 of the selections to be common. A highlight for me was The Bishop’s Silver , a part of the novel Les Misérables , sometimes excerpted as a short story. It’s one of the most powerful and memorable things I’ve ever read. It also has sections of questions, vocabulary, and writing topics after each story.

“Stories to Enjoy” has 16 stories. I think my edition is the original because it only has 12. This collection is mostly lesser-seen selections. It has the same after-story features as the last book.

“Inside Stories Volumes 1-4”   are UK published anthologies and, as such, contain lots of stories I don’t usually see. Volume 2 has 26 stories and is aimed at ages 11-14.  Volume 3 has 39 selections, some of them very short fables and parables, and is aimed at ages 14-16. Volume 4 has 45 selections, some of them very short, and is aimed at age 16 and up. I don’t have volume 1.

“Inside Stories 1 & 2 and For Senior Students” is a different series from the one above and is published in Canada.

Volume 1 has 24 stories, many of which you probably don’t see much if you’re used to American anthologies. There are questions to consider after each. This one’s special for me because it’s the anthology that got me interested in short stories. When I was a kid I read The Veldt, Wish You Were Here, The Friday Everything Changed, The Interlopers & Barney in this collection. I still have fond memories of all of them.

Volume 2 has 31 stories and again many aren’t commonly anthologized. Only 3 of the stories are ones that I see frequently. There are questions to consider for each story.

For Senior Students has 34 stories. Only 6 of them are really common. One highlight is that it has War by Luigi Pirandello, which a great story that isn’t seen much.

“Breaking Free: A Cross-Cultural Anthology” has 31 stories and 12 poems. This one is also Canadian so many of the stories will probably be new to you. A highlight is Call Me , where two really busy people talk mostly through their answering machines and impersonal face-to-face meetings. Written over 25 years ago, it seems even more relevant now. Two other standouts are The Stolen Party and So What Are You, Anyway?

“Scholastic Read-Aloud Anthology” has 35 short selections—stories, poems, articles and other writings. Perfect for filling an empty 5-10 minutes. Geared towards younger students.

“Riveting Read-Alouds for Middle School: 35 Selections . . . ” is like #8. A variety of selections with a teaching page for each.

“Short Stories: Characters in Conflict” has its own page.

I hope you found a great short story anthology or collection for middle school.

short story books middle school

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Short Stories for Middle School II

Here are encore short stories to follow our first collection, Short Stories for Middle School . They offer wonderful variety of the short story genre, and a great starting point for classroom discussions. Most importantly, they are great stories intended to spark a life-long interest in reading, while building critical reading and analysis skills. You might also enjoy Civil War Stories , WWI Stories , 75 Short Short Stories , and Poetry for Students

A Clever Thief

  • The Last Dream of Old Oak by Hans Christian Andersen This is a great story that emphasizes the value of perspective that is captured in an unlikely conversation between an ancient oak and a mayfly.
  • The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde The Selfish Giant is one of the five tales that appeared in The Happy Prince and Other Tales , a collection of children's stories that Wilde published in 1888. This is a classic allegory tale, where a hidden meaning is revealed through the telling of the story. This particular story has a strong moral message and seems to reflect the author's own spiritual journey.
  • A Clever Thief by Nancy Bell and S.M. Mitra This Hindu Tale from the Sanskrit asks, "Do you think there was anything good in the character of Hari-Sarman?"
  • The Aged Mother by Matsuo Basho This is a short short story -- a very quick read -- about an aging mother and her loving son. They are subject to a cruel mandate issued by a cold-hearted ruler. The order is terrible, but compliance is the custom.

The Aged Mother

  • One Summer Night by Ambrose Bierce This is a short short story, only 616 words long and it's one that will probably more popular amongst the boys in class. A popular aphorism lifted from Hamlet states, "Brevity is the soul of wit." I include this story as an example of direct and purposeful writing.
  • The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry This story is truly a classic. Even if you already know the story it's still a delight to read. O. Henry takes one smart father, two hapless con artists, and one willful child, then he animates the story with a hefty dose of unintended consequences.
  • The Tell-Tale Heart by by Edgar Allan Poe This classic horror story exemplifies the use of an unreliable narrator; a literary technique whereby the author relates the story from the point of view of a character whose credibility has been compromised. Poe gets into it with the very first sentence where the narrator discloses a mental illness but argues that the affliction has not harmed him but made him ever sharper; "TRUE!-NERVOUS--very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am! but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses--not destroyed--not dulled them."
  • Hearts and Hands by O. Henry The twists and turns are unexpected, as was O. Henry's own life; he had fled to Honduras after being charged with embezzlement, turned himself in, served five years in federal prison, then published this story.

The Tell-Tale Heart

  • The Lumber Room by H.H. Munro Most of us secretly enjoy the adventures of a bad boy and this story is a personal favorite of mine. "The aunt had many other things to do that afternoon, but she spent an hour or two in trivial gardening operations among flower beds and shrubberies, whence she could keep a watchful eye on the two doors that led to the forbidden paradise. She was a woman of few ideas, with immense powers of concentration." This is a fun story. Sometimes the kids really do win.
  • The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe The Cask of Amontillado is a short story and horror story classic. The story unfolds as one man -- the narrator -- tells a close friend how and why he took revenge on a rival fifty years before. The interesting literary technique enlisted by Poe -- not invented by him, but used to great effect by him -- is to narrate the story from the perspective of the villain, rather than to tell a story about a villian and an act of treachery.
  • The Luck of Roaring Camp by Bret Harte What happens when a baby is born in the midst of uncouth ruffian miners during Alaska's gold rush? Well, after a month or so, they have to give him a name! "Luck" beat out "Stumpy's Boy", "The Coyote", and "The Damned Little Cuss." But you have to read the story to find out if The Luck of Roaring Camp lived up to his name.

short story books middle school

  • A Defenseless Creature by Anton Chekhov A quick read at 1900 words, Chekhov's story will transport you to a different country, culture, and time. There are many different types of people you will encounter in life and a couple of them are outlined in this brilliant character study. You will meet these people again as you grow older and travel the world, remember this story when you do!
  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling "This is the story of the great war that Rikki-tikki-tavi fought single-handed, through the bath-rooms of the big bungalow in Segowlee cantonment." So starts Rudyard Kipling's classic adventure tale about a family in India, a mongoose named Rikki-tikki-tavi, and the deadly king cobra snakes living on their grounds.
  • The Golden Windows by Laura E. Richards An allegory about how a change of perspective and time can affect our perceptions of value in ourselves and others, this story is part philosophy, part science lesson.
  • The Dreamer by H.H. Munro Adela Chemping declares, "I'm not a bargain hunter . . . but I like to go where bargains are." She arranges a shopping expedition with her nephew Cyprian -- a young man, almost 18 -- who has always carried the "wondering look of a dreamer." She wants him to carry her purchases. He has other plans. This is a fun story. As Willy Wonka said, "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."

Return to Short Stories for Middle School or check out Short Stories for High School

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Short stories for middle schoolers: 17 quick reads with lasting impact!

Short stories for middle schoolers: 17 quick reads with lasting impact!

Finding ways to help connect middle school children with the written word is critical for their academic and personal growth. Short stories can be a powerful tool for capturing the interest of young readers and teaching them valuable lessons. In this article, we discuss the importance of short stories for middle schoolers, what makes a good short story, and provide solid recommendations students are sure to enjoy.

Why are short stories a great way to engage middle school students?

Length and digestibility.

Middle school students often have shorter attention spans, making it challenging for them to engage with longer texts. Short stories offer a perfect solution, as their brevity allows students to finish reading in a short amount of time. This gives them a sense of accomplishment, as they can see their progress and feel motivated to continue reading.

Varied genres and themes

Short stories cover all genres, allowing students to explore different writing styles, cultures, and perspectives. This variety can help students find stories that resonate. Additionally, exposure to a diverse range of stories can broaden their understanding of the world and help them develop empathy for people from different backgrounds.

Opportunities for deep discussion and analysis

The best short stories contain rich literary elements and character development, making them perfect for fostering critical thinking and comprehension skills. Teachers can use these stories to engage students in meaningful discussions, encouraging them to analyze the theme. This helps students learn to think more deeply about material they've read. In turn, this allows them to make connections between the story and their own lives.

Short stories for middle schoolers have always been a great way to engage students.

What makes a good short story?

A great story captivates kids and encourages them to dive deeper into the world of reading. There are several key elements that contribute to a successful short story for kids in this age group.

Compelling characters

Character development is essential in short stories. Young readers should be able to identify with the characters, understand their motivations, and empathize with their struggles. Well-developed characters provide opportunities for students to explore and discuss complex emotions, relationships, and moral dilemmas.

Engaging plot

An engaging plot is crucial for keeping middle schoolers interested in a short story. The story should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, with a conflict or problem that the characters must overcome. A twist ending  can add an element of surprise, making the story even more memorable.

Strong theme or message

A great short story often conveys a meaningful theme or message. This can range from a moral lesson to an exploration of human nature, or even a commentary on society. When an author is able to include a theme, the story becomes more than a simple narrative. It challenges students to think critically about the issues presented.

Appropriate language and vocabulary for the target age group

Short stories for middle schoolers should use language and vocabulary that is suitable for their age and reading level. This helps ensure that students can comprehend the text without becoming overwhelmed or frustrated. At the same time, the story should introduce new words and descriptive writing, helping students expand their language skills and become more confident readers.

Relatable content

Finally, a good short story for middle school students should contain content that is relatable to their lives and experiences. This can include themes like friendship, family, school, or personal growth. By presenting familiar situations and emotions, the story helps students connect with the text and become more invested.

One of our favorite short stories

It should come as no surprise that we are big fans of our own master of horror, Devlin DeGuise. His series GHOUL SCHOOL is a great read for upper elementary kids and middle schoolers.

short story books middle school

👻 Immerse Students in a Spine-Tingling World! 👻

An age-appropriate horror series,  GHOUL SCHOOL takes young readers on a chilling journey, inviting them to discover spine-tingling mysteries and encounter hair-raising creatures.

🌀 Twist Endings Keep Readers Hooked! 🌀

Each volume of GHOUL SCHOOL features a jaw-dropping twist ending that will leave your tween gasping in surprise and eager to find out what happens next. These unexpected twists not only create a memorable reading experience but also instill a love for reading that will follow them throughout their lives. 

📖 Easy-to-Read Format for Maximum Enjoyment 📖

Designed with the reluctant reader in mind, GHOUL SCHOOL features big fonts to minimize intimidation, graphic novel elements that pull readers into the eerie world, and captivating, creepy art on every page. 

🎧 Enhanced Audiobook for a One-of-a-Kind Reading Experience 🎧

Want to take the terror up a notch? Each book comes with a free audiobook that offers a read-along experience with creepy music and Hollywood sound effects so good students feel like they're IN the story.

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Transform students into eager bookworms with GHOUL SCHOOL, the series that's bound to become a favorite of your students.

Grab your copies now!

Recommended short stories for sixth graders

Selecting age-appropriate short stories for middle schoolers is important to ensure they enjoy reading and gain valuable insights from the texts. Here are some great short stories at a sixth-grade level:

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

This classic short story portrays a seemingly ordinary village with a dark secret. The story explores themes of tradition, conformity, and the potential danger of blindly following societal norms. Students will be drawn in by the plot and can later engage in discussions about the story's message and its relevance to their lives.

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

This tale tells the story of a couple who sacrifice their most prized possessions to buy gifts for each other. The story's themes of love, sacrifice, and the true meaning of giving provide ample opportunities for thoughtful discussions and reflections.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling

This adventurous story follows a brave mongoose named Rikki-Tikki-Tavi as he protects his human family and friends from dangerous cobras. With its exciting plot and vivid descriptions, this story will keep sixth graders engaged while also teaching them about courage and loyalty.

The Treasure of Lemon Brown by Walter Dean Myers

In this story, a boy named Greg meets an old man named Lemon Brown who shares his life story and a valuable treasure. The story explores themes of family, understanding, and the idea that not all treasures are material possessions.

The Fun They Had by Isaac Asimov

Set in a future where children are taught by computers, this short story will spark classroom conversations about the importance of human interaction and the role of technology in education. Students can discuss the differences between their own school experiences and the futuristic world presented in the story.

Kids are hungry for short stories they can enjoy in a single sitting.

Recommended short stories for seventh graders

As middle schoolers grow and develop, their interests and reading abilities change. Here are some engaging short stories suitable for seventh-grade students:

The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs

This chilling tale of a magical monkey's paw that grants wishes with unexpected consequences will captivate seventh graders. The story offers a chance to remind kids they should always be careful what they wish for.

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

In this classic, Mathilde borrows a beautiful necklace only to lose it and replace it with a costly replica. The story explores themes of vanity, materialism, and the importance of being content with what we have.

The Lady or the Tiger? by Frank R. Stockton

In this intriguing story, a man must choose between two doors. A beautiful woman waits behind one. Behind the other? A tiger. The open-ended conclusion of the story encourages students to debate the outcome and consider the complexities of human nature and decision-making.

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Narrated by a man who commits a terrible crime, this classic is sure to keep students on the edge of their seats. The story provides a chance to study characterization, explore the narrator's descent into madness, and discuss the concept of guilt.

All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury

Set on a planet where the sun rises briefly every seven years, this is the story of a young girl locked away by classmates during the rare moment of sunshine. The story's themes of empathy, jealousy, and the consequences of our actions provide ample material for thoughtful discussions.

The Monsters are Due on Maple Street by Rod Serling

Not a traditional short story, this Twilight Zone teleplay is the tale of a suburban street that finds itself under siege by forces unknown. Once friendly neighbors speculate about who could be responsible for their strange experiences. It isn't long before they discover they may have as much to fear from each other as they do any unseen terrors lurking in the dark.

Recommended short stories for eighth graders

Eighth-grade students are often ready to tackle more complex themes and literary elements in their reading. Here are some thought-provoking short stories suitable for eighth graders:

The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

This thriller follows a man trapped on an island with a sinister hunter who has turned humans into his prey. The story explores themes of morality, survival, and the nature of violence. It is sure to spark engaging discussions among students.

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

In this dark tale of revenge, the narrator seeks to punish his friend for an unspecified insult. The story provides a great opportunity for students to analyze the motivations behind the characters' actions and discuss the consequences of revenge.

The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

This emotional story tells the tale of two brothers – one who is physically disabled – and their complicated relationship. Students can explore themes of love, pride, and the consequences of our actions. It also provides a great opportunity to discuss the importance of empathy and acceptance.

The Lottery Rose by Irene Hunt

In this heartrending story, a young boy named Georgie, who has experienced a difficult life, wins a rose bush in a school lottery. The story follows Georgie's journey as he learns to trust and find hope in his new circumstances. Themes of resilience, hope, and the power of human connection provide ample material for thoughtful discussions.

The Pedestrian by Ray Bradbury

This dystopian classic follows a man named Leonard Mead who is arrested for the simple act of taking a walk. Students can discuss the story's themes of conformity, individuality, and the potential consequences of a technology-dominated society.

Fun short story collections for the Summer Reading List 

Skin (and other short stories) by Roald Dahl

Skin (and other stories)  by Roald Dahl

In this book, the renowned author invites readers to explore the eerie, dark corners of the human psyche through a series of chilling tales. Each story features an eclectic cast of characters who encounter the inexplicable, often with unexpected consequences. Dahl's distinctive storytelling and keen observations of human behavior make these ghost stories both frightening and thought-provoking, leaving readers questioning the boundaries of reality and the unknown.

short story books middle school

Only If You Dare by Josh Allen

A terrifying collection of short stories that proves even everyday objects in our life can turn against us. From a mysterious microwave oven to a threatening board game to a snowman who refuses to melt in the spring, this book is loaded with stories that will leave kids scared of more than the dark.  Buy it here .

Links where more short stories be found

There are numerous resources available online for teachers and students to find engaging short stories for middle schoolers. Some popular websites with short story resources include:

  • American Literature : This website features a wide selection of classic short stories, including many that are suitable for middle school students.
  • CommonLit : CommonLit is a free online platform that provides access to fiction and nonfiction texts, including short stories, along with comprehension questions and teaching resources.
  • ReadWorks : ReadWorks offers a vast collection of reading passages, including short stories, for all grade levels, along with comprehension questions and teaching materials.

Short stories are a fantastic way to engage middle schoolers. These bite-sized tales can help students develop their critical thinking, comprehension, and language skills. By selecting age-appropriate stories that feature compelling characters, engaging plots, strong themes, and relatable content, teachers can create memorable reading experiences.

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  • Grades 6-12
  • School Leaders

Free printable Mother's Day questionnaire 💐!

51 Irresistible Short Stories for Kids (Read Them All for Free!)

Quick reads with lasting impact.

"Rainbow Bird" by Eric Maddern.

Looking for some free tales to use for close reading or classroom read-alouds? This roundup of short stories for kids has plenty of options. From quick fables with morals to old-fashioned fairy tales and folktales from around the world, this diverse collection offers something for any child. We’ve also included ways to use these short stories with kids, in the classroom or at home.

Note: Always be sure to read a selection through before sharing it with children. Some of these short stories for kids, especially ones written a long time ago, may not be appropriate for every audience.

Classic Fairy Tale Short Stories for Kids

“ cinderella ” by charles perrault, “‘do not cry, cinderella,’ she said; ‘you also shall go to the ball, because you are a kind, good girl.'”.

Why I love it: This is one of those short stories for kids that everyone probably already knows. This older version is a little different than the Disney movie, so ask kids if they can identify the changes. They can also have fun imagining what other items could be transformed to help Cinderella get to the ball!

“ Thumbelina ” by Hans Christian Andersen

“there once was a woman who wanted so very much to have a tiny little child, but she did not know where to find one. so she went to an old witch, and she said: ‘i have set my heart upon having a tiny little child. please could you tell me where i can find one’”.

Why I love it: If there’s one thing this world can use more of, we think it is definitely kindness. We love that the story of Thumbelina spreads the message that kindness pays off in big ways. Thumbelina helps the swallow and in turn finds her true love.

“ The Emperor’s New Clothes ” by Hans Christian Andersen

"The Emperor's New Clothes" by Hans Christian Andersen as an example of short stories for kids.

“‘But the Emperor has nothing at all on!’ said a little child.”

Why I love it: This is a wonderful story for talking about peer pressure and being brave enough to stand up for what you believe in. Kids will also enjoy drawing the imaginary suit of clothes that the king thought he saw.

“ The Little Mermaid ” by Hans Christian Andersen

“’it was you,’ said the prince, ‘who saved my life when i lay dead on the beach,’ and he folded his blushing bride in his arms. ‘oh, i am too happy,’ said he to the little mermaid; ‘my fondest hopes are all fulfilled. you will rejoice at my happiness; for your devotion to me is great and sincere.'”.

Why I love it: The story of the Little Mermaid focuses on sacrificial love. In it, the Sea King puts the needs of his daughter over that of himself. Open a dialogue with kids about a time when they put someone else’s needs over their own.

“ Rapunzel” by Jacob Grimm

“there once lived a man and his wife, who had long wished for a child, but in vain. now there was at the back of their house a little window which overlooked a beautiful garden full of the finest vegetables and flowers; but there was a high wall all round it, and no one ventured into it, for it belonged to a witch of great might, and of whom all the world was afraid.”.

Why I love it: This story explores themes of autonomy, love, jealousy, and freedom. Children need to be set free to explore their own lives.

“ The Frog Prince ” by the Brothers Grimm

“and the princess, though very unwilling, took him up in her hand, and put him upon the pillow of her own bed, where he slept all night long. as soon as it was light, he jumped up, hopped downstairs, and went out of the house. ‘now, then,’ thought the princess, ‘at last he is gone, and i shall be troubled with him no more.'”.

Why I love it: Kids love this familiar story about a prince in disguise and a young girl who keeps her word even though she doesn’t want to. In this version, the girl doesn’t need to kiss the frog, but she’s rewarded anyway.

“ The Gingerbread Man ” by Anonymous

“run, run as fast as you can you can’t catch me, i’m the gingerbread man”.

Why I love it: In the original tale, the Gingerbread Man is eventually caught and eaten. This retelling gives him a happy ending instead. For a fun activity, let kids decorate and eat their own gingerbread people.

“ The Velveteen Rabbit ” by Margery Williams

“‘real isn’t how you are made,’ said the skin horse. ‘it’s a thing that happens to you. when a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real.'”.

Why I love it: This is one of the most classic short stories for kids of all time! Let kids bring their own favorite toys to share with the class, and have them write or tell stories about what would happen if they became “real.”

“ The Elves and the Shoemaker ” by Jacob Grimm

“a shoemaker, by no fault of his own, had become so poor that at last he had nothing left but leather for one pair of shoes. so in the evening, he cut out the shoes which he wished to begin to make the next morning, and as he had a good conscience, he lay down quietly in his bed, commended himself to god, and fell asleep.”.

Why I love it: Short stories for kids that are packed with life lessons are tops in our book. Amongst the lessons found in this tale are to work hard and to be grateful for the help you receive. It was through his hard work that the shoemaker achieved riches and success.

“ The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats ” by the Brothers Grimm

“there was once an old goat who had seven little ones, and was as fond of them as ever mother was of her children.”.

Why I love it: Some of the best short stories for kids serve as cautionary tales. In this story, the young goats fail to heed their mother’s warning and succumb to the wolf’s attempts at deceit.

“ The Snow Queen ” by Hans Christian Andersen

“now then, let us begin. when we are at the end of the story, we shall know more than we know now: but to begin.”.

Why I love it: This story is the classic struggle between good and evil. It also focuses on the values of friendship and perseverance.

“ Jack and the Beanstalk ” by Anonymous

“why, the beans his mother had thrown out of the window into the garden had sprung up into a giant beanstalk which went up and up and up until it reached the sky. so the man spoke truth after all”.

Why I love it: This story is a fun read, but use it to get your students thinking critically. Was it really OK for Jack to steal from the giant? Ask them to write an essay sharing their thoughts on the subject, or use it for a fun classroom debate.

“ Little Red Riding Hood ” by the Brothers Grimm

“‘but grandmother what big eyes you have,’ said little red riding hood. ‘the better to see you with, my dear,’ replied the wolf.”.

Why I love it: This retelling of the well-known tale is a little less gruesome, since the hunter merely frightens the wolf into spitting out poor granny (instead of slicing open his belly). Talk with kids about ways they can keep themselves safe when they’re out in the world.

“ The Pied Piper of Hamelin ” by the Brothers Grimm

“he sounded his fife in the streets, but this time it wasn’t rats and mice that came to him, but rather children: a great number of boys and girls from their fourth year on. among them was the mayor’s grown daughter. the swarm followed him, and he led them into a mountain, where he disappeared with them.”.

Why I love it: Some say this is a true story, and whether or not that’s true, it definitely has a moral—when people make a bargain, they should stick to their agreement. Ask kids to think about what kind of music the Pied Piper might have played, and why both children and rats couldn’t resist it.

“ The Princess and the Pea ” by Hans Christian Andersen

“i cannot think what could have been in the bed. i lay upon something so hard that i am quite black and blue all over.”.

Why I love it: This has long been one of the most beloved short stories for kids, and it’s ideal when you need a quick read. Then, grab some dried peas and see how thick a covering needs to be before students can no longer feel them.

“ Puss in Boots ” by Charles Perrault

“puss became a great lord, and never ran after mice anymore, except for pleasure.”.

Why I love it: All cat lovers know these animals can be pretty smart when they want to be. This one helps his poor master become a prince in a castle, all through his own clever tricks. Encourage students to come up with more creative ways Puss in Boots could help his master.

“ Rumpelstiltskin ” by the Brothers Grimm

short story books middle school

“‘I will give you three days,’ said he, ‘if by that time you find out my name, then shall you keep your child.'”

Why I love it: Pretty much everyone in this story behaves badly in one way or another. Use it to learn more about characters and their motivation.

“ Sleeping Beauty ” by the Brothers Grimm

“a great many changes take place in a hundred years.”.

Why I love it: After students read this well-known story, ask them to think about what it would be like to go to sleep today and wake up in a hundred years. What might the world be like? Or what would it be like for someone who fell asleep a hundred years ago to wake up today? How many things have changed since then?

“ Snow White ” by the Brothers Grimm

“mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all”.

Why I love it: This fairy tale has all the classic elements—beautiful heroine, wicked stepmother, handsome prince—plus a handful of helpful dwarves. It’s the perfect way to start a conversation about the dangers of envy and jealousy.

“ The Three Little Pigs ” by Anonymous

“not by the hairs on our chinny chin chin”.

Why I love it: Fairy tales don’t get much more classic than this. Follow it up with a reading of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Sciesczka to hear the story from the wolf’s perspective, and have a conversation about point of view.

“ The Ugly Duckling ” by Hans Christian Andersen

“but what did he see there, mirrored in the clear stream he beheld his own image, and it was no longer the reflection of a clumsy, dirty, gray bird, ugly and offensive. he himself was a swan being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan’s egg.”.

Why I love it: Whether you read the original text or a shorter adaptation, this story is one every kid should know. It will teach them that everyone should be proud of who they are, even if they don’t look or feel like everyone else.

Aesop’s Fables as Short Stories for Kids

“ the ants and the grasshopper ” by aesop, “one bright day in late autumn a family of ants were bustling about in the warm sunshine, drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer, when a starving grasshopper, his fiddle under his arm, came up and humbly begged for a bite to eat.”.

Why I love it: It can be hard to teach kids that there are things in life they need to do regardless of whether they are fun or not. This fable will help little ones understand the value of putting in hard work to set ourselves up for future successes.

“ The Boy Who Cried Wolf ” by Aesop

“so now, though he had not seen anything that even looked like a wolf, he ran toward the village shouting at the top of his voice, ‘wolf wolf'”.

Why I love it: This might be the most famous short story we use to teach kids about how important it is to tell the truth. Ask students if they’ve ever pulled a prank that went wrong, and what they learned from it.

“ The Crow and the Pitcher ” by Aesop

short story books middle school

“But the pitcher was high and had a narrow neck, and no matter how he tried, the Crow could not reach the water.”

Why I love it: Aesop’s fable reads more like a STEM challenge—how can you reach the water at the bottom of the pitcher when your neck isn’t long enough? Try the same experiment with your students, using a narrow-necked bottle. Can they come up with any other solutions?

“ The Fox and the Grapes ” by Aesop

“the grapes seemed ready to burst with juice, and the fox’s mouth watered as he gazed longingly at them.”.

Why I love it: If kids have ever wondered where the phrase “sour grapes” comes from, this tale will answer that question. Talk about other idiomatic phrases, and do some research to find their origins.

“ The Lion and the Mouse ” by Aesop

“‘you laughed when i said i would repay you,’ said the mouse. ‘now you see that even a mouse can help a lion.'”.

Why I love it: This fable reminds kids that they’re never too small to make a difference in someone’s life. Ask kids to share their own stories of times they helped someone.

“ The Tortoise and the Hare ” by Aesop

“the hare was soon far out of sight, and to make the tortoise feel very deeply how ridiculous it was for him to try a race with a hare, he lay down beside the course to take a nap until the tortoise should catch up.”.

Why I love it: When kids need a reminder that they should always keep trying, turn to this famous story. Use it to teach growth mindset too.

“ Two Travelers and a Bear ” by Aesop

short story books middle school

“Two men were traveling in company through a forest, when, all at once, a huge bear crashed out of the brush near them.”

Why I love it: When danger strikes, do you worry about yourself first or try to help everyone to safety? There are arguments to be made on both sides, so this one makes for an interesting debate or persuasive essay.

More Short Stories for Kids

“ anansi and the pot of wisdom ” by anonymous, “every time anansi looked in the clay pot, he learned something new.”.

Why I love it: Kids may know about Anansi from the popular book Anansi the Spider , but there are lots of tales about him in West African folklore. In this one, Anansi thinks he knows everything, but a child has something new to teach him. Explore more Anansi tales here.

“ The Apple Dumpling ” by Anonymous

short story books middle school

“A bag of feathers for a basket of plums. A bunch of flowers for a bag of feathers. A golden chain for a bunch of flowers. And a dog for a golden chain. All the world is give and take, and who knows if I may have my apple dumpling yet.”

Why I love it: When an old woman sets out to trade her basket of plums for some apples, her quest takes a few twists and turns along the way. In the end, though, she manages to make many people happy, not just herself. Practice sequencing by having kids try to remember all the trades the woman makes, and the order she makes them in.

“ The Blind Men and the Elephant ” by Anonymous

“sixth blind man (feeling the tail): this elephant is not like a wall, or a spear, or a snake, or a tree, or a fan. he is exactly like a rope.”.

Why I love it: Six blind men each feel a different part of an elephant, and each comes to his own very different conclusions. Written as a very short play, this classic tale opens up all sorts of discussion opportunities about seeing the bigger picture.

“ Bruce and the Spider ” by James Baldwin

“but the spider did not lose hope with the sixth failure. with still more care, she made ready to try for the seventh time. bruce almost forgot his own troubles as he watched her swing herself out upon the slender line. would she fail again no the thread was carried safely to the beam, and fastened there.”.

Why I love it: This famous little tale is almost certainly a myth, but it’s one of the most well-known stories about King Robert the Bruce. The lesson about not giving up fits perfectly when you’re talking about growth mindset.

“ The Elephant’s Child ” by Rudyard Kipling

“but there was one elephant—a new elephant—an elephant’s child—who was full of ’satiable curiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions.”.

Why I love it: Many kids will recognize themselves in the Elephant’s Child and his (in)satiable curiosity. After you read this one, have students come up with stories for the way other animals got their unique features. How did the giraffe get its long neck? How did the turtle get its shell? So many possibilities!

“ Paul Bunyan ” by William B. Laughead

“when paul was a boy, he was fast as lightning. he could blow out a candle at night and hop into bed before it was dark.”.

Why I love it: Paul Bunyan is an American folk hero, larger than life (literally!). This roundup of the legends surrounding him has many of the most famous tales. Encourage kids to think about what they’d do if they were as big, strong, and fast as Paul.

“ The Little Engine That Could ” by Watty Piper

short story books middle school

“I think I can. I think I can.”

Why I love it: When little ones learn early on to believe in themselves, they’ll be willing to try their best at anything. Have kids tell their own stories of times they did something that seemed impossible at first when they kept on trying.

“ The Four Dragons ” by Anonymous

“the four dragons flew back and forth, making the sky dark all around. before long the sea water became rain pouring down from the sky.”.

Why I love it: The four dragons in this Chinese tale want to help save the people from drought. When the Jade Emperor won’t help, they take matters into their own hands. Ultimately, they become the four major rivers of China. This is a great opportunity to get out the globe or pull up Google Earth and learn more about China’s geography.

“ Henny Penny ” by Anonymous

“so henny-penny, cocky-locky, ducky-daddles, goosey-poosey and turkey-lurkey all went to tell the king the sky was a-falling.”.

Why I love it: In an age when people are quick to spread rumors as fact, this old European folktale is more meaningful than ever. See if kids can think of times when they heard a crazy rumor that they believed at first, even though it turned out to be completely false.

“ How Gimme the Ax Found Out About the Zigzag Railroad ” by Carl Sandburg

short story books middle school

“Then the zizzies came. The zizzy is a bug. He runs zigzag on zigzag legs, eats zigzag with zigzag teeth, and spits zigzag with a zigzag tongue.”

Why I love it: Kids will get a kick out of all the Z sounds in this silly little story about why some local railroad tracks run in zigzags. Use it to teach about alliteration and consonance, and ask kids to draw their own pictures of the zizzies.

“ King Midas and the Golden Touch ” by Anonymous

“suddenly, he started to sense fear. tears filled his eyes and that moment, his beloved daughter entered the room. when midas hugged her, she turned into a golden statue”.

Why I love it: Teach kids to be careful what they wish for. Ask them to make a list of wishes, then talk about ways each of them could ultimately go wrong. Have them write their own version of this short story.

“ The Kite That Went to the Moon ” by Evelyn Sharp

“‘i have everything in the world in my bag,’ replied the little old man, ‘for everything is there that everybody wants. i have laughter and tears and happiness and sadness; i can give you riches or poverty, sense or nonsense; here is a way to discover the things that you don’t know, and a way to forget the things that you do know.'”.

Why I love this: This whimsical tale takes two small children on a voyage to the moon and back, as they follow an enchanted kite. Pair it with a crafting session where kids make their own kites to fly.

“ The Monkey and the Turtle ” by José Rizal

“a monkey and a turtle found a banana tree on a river. they fished it out and because each wanted the tree for himself, they cut it in half.”.

Why I love it: A monkey and a turtle each plant half a banana tree, but only the turtle’s grows. The monkey offers to harvest the fruit but keeps it all for himself. But the turtle has plans of his own! This folktale from the Philippines is actually an allegory about the Spanish colonizers’ treatment of the Filipino people.

“ The Tale of Peter Rabbit ” by Beatrix Potter

“‘now, my dears,’ said old mrs. rabbit one morning, ‘you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t go into mr. mcgregor’s garden: your father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by mrs. mcgregor.'”.

Why I love it: Beatrix Potter’s sweet tales are beloved, but this is the one that has really endured. Pair it with one of these terrific Peter Rabbit activities.

“ Rikki-Tikki-Tavi ” by Rudyard Kipling

“rikki-tikki did not care to follow them, for he did not feel sure that he could manage two snakes at once. so he trotted off to the gravel path near the house, and sat down to think. it was a serious matter for him.”.

Why I love it: Reading this story is like watching a nature documentary unfold on the page. Have kids do some research on the mongoose and its relationship with cobras in real life.

“ The Story of the Chinese Zodiac ” by Anonymous

“he reached out his paws and pushed his friend the cat into the river. the cat was swept away by the whirling waters. that is why there is no cat in the chinese calendar.”.

Why I love it: This short little tale manages to answer two questions—why there’s no Year of the Cat and why cats and rats can’t be friends. After reading it, try to imagine how the other animals in the calendar managed to win their spots.

“ Weighing the Elephant ” by Anonymous

“‘very well,’ said the emperor with a smile. ‘tell me how to weigh the elephant.'”.

Why I love it: Read this traditional Chinese tale right up to the point where the young boy reveals his idea for weighing an elephant without a giant scale. Ask kids if they can come up with the solution before continuing to the end of the story. You can even try out the correct method as a STEM challenge.

“ Winnie-the-Pooh Goes Visiting ” by A.A. Milne

“pooh always liked a little something at eleven o’clock in the morning, and he was very glad to see rabbit getting out the plates and mugs; and when rabbit said, ‘honey or condensed milk with your bread’ he was so excited that he said, ‘both,’ and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, ‘but don’t bother about the bread, please.'”.

Why I love it: This silly old bear has been delighting children for decades, and there are dozens of short stories for kids about him and his friends. This one has a little built-in moral about greed. You can also ask kids to brainstorm their own ways to get Pooh free from Rabbit’s front door.

“ Town Musicians of Bremen ” by Jacob Grimm

“a certain man had a donkey, which had carried the corn-sacks to the mill indefatigably for many a long year; but his strength was going, and he was growing more and more unfit for work.”.

Why I love it: This relatively unknown work by Jacob Grimm teaches kids the value of resilience and getting up when knocked down.

“ The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County ” by Mark Twain

“in compliance with the request of a friend of mine, who wrote me from the east, i called on good-natured, garrulous old simon wheeler, and inquired after my friend’s friend, leonidas w. smiley, as requested to do, and i hereunto append the result.”.

Why I love it: Twain uses an allegory of two frogs to highlight the struggle between the elite and the common. We love short stories for kids that encourage them to be true to oneself and this one does just that!

“ The Reluctant Dragon ” by Kenneth Grahame

“long ago—might have been hundreds of years ago—in a cottage half-way between this village and yonder shoulder of the downs up there, a shepherd lived with his wife and their little son.”.

Why I love it: This story is a good way to introduce young kids to the concepts of bullying and prejudice. Through the story, kids will learn that they shouldn’t judge things by appearances as the dragon in the story is not what he seems.

“ The Fisherman and His Wife ” by the Brothers Grimm

“once upon a time there were a fisherman and his wife who lived together in a filthy shack near the sea. every day the fisherman went out fishing, and he fished, and he fished. once he was sitting there fishing and looking into the clear water, and he sat, and he sat. then his hook went to the bottom, deep down, and when he pulled it out, he had caught a large flounder.”.

Why I love it: Teaching young people the value of appreciating what you have and not always seeking out more is of the utmost importance. This short story encapsulates that and warns about the pitfalls of greed.

“ The Great Stone Face ” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

“one afternoon, when the sun was going down, a mother and her little boy sat at the door of their cottage, talking about the great stone face. they had but to lift their eyes, and there it was plainly to be seen, though miles away, with the sunshine brightening all its features.”.

Why I love it: This story weaves nature and divinity in a story that centers around a great stone face which encapsulates qualities like wisdom and nobility.

Looking for more short stories for kids? Check out this roundup geared toward the middle school crowd.

Plus, sign up for our free newsletters to get all the latest teaching news and ideas, straight to your inbox, you might also like.

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75 Best Short Stories To Teach in Middle School

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The Seattle Public Library

Short Story Collections for Middle School

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

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Your current subscription allows you to be actively logged in on up to three (3) devices simultaneously. click on continue below to log out of other sessions and log in on this device., 24 hi-lo books for striving middle grade and ya readers.

short story books middle school

Hi-Lo titles are high-interest stories written at a lower reading level for striving readers. These 24 books, in genres ranging from romance to horror, are sure to grip readers with relatable main characters and contemporary ­coming-of-age themes. 

short story books middle school

Hi-Lo titles are high-interest stories written at a lower reading level for striving readers. These 24 titles, in genres ranging from romance to horror, are sure to grip readers with relatable main characters and contemporary ­coming-of-age themes. 

Anderson-Dargatz, Gail. Spotting Dottie. 112p. (Orca Currents). Orca. Apr. 2024. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459834828. Gr 4-7 –Fourteen-year-old Charlotte is the granddaughter of Dottie Donna, who has dedicated her life to proving the existence of the mysterious water monster (Dottie) rumored to occupy Lake Dorothy. Charlotte’s grandmother is the laughingstock of the town for her eccentric mission; then Charlotte uses her new drone to record a potential Dottie sighting! She posts it to social media in an attempt to show people the truth, and it changes everything. But Charlotte realizes being right isn’t as important as protecting the fascinating creature she loves. Readers will relate to Charlotte’s dogged enthusiasm to redeem her beloved grandmother’s reputation, as well as the allure and volatility of internet fame. Part of the “Orca Currents” series, Anderson-Dargatz’s novel tackles faith, family dynamics, and staying true to yourself in hi-lo format. Features include cream-colored paper, dyslexia-friendly font, and larger trim size. VERDICT A realistic fiction novel with a fun cryptid twist. A recommended addition to hi-lo collections.– Ashleigh Williams

short story books middle school

Chan, Marty. Cosplay Crime. 112p. (Orca Currents). Orca. Feb. 2024. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459837430. Gr 4-7 –Cosplay is more than just dressing up in costumes—it is a celebration of fandom, uniqueness, and it “lets you forget the real world for a little bit.” While exuberant 13-year-old Bree attends her first comic convention in costume, hoping to meet her favorite Japanese voice actor, she stumbles on a crime. A valuable art print is stolen, and since Bree desperately wants to solve the case to meet her beloved actress, she takes it upon herself to catch the thief. Bree and her nonbinary best friend, Alix, value the role of cosplay in their journey of pride and self-acceptance. Chan’s high-interest novel has dyslexia-friendly features with font, cream paper, and larger trim size for accessibility. This book can be used in small group discussions on social anxiety and how to maintain individuality amid adversity. English teachers will enjoy the imagery of the gamers room. Furthermore, the short text will suit reluctant or striving readers who see the cover and think Squid Game . VERDICT Anime and manga fans will appreciate the references to popular stories combined with sweet friendship and realistic mystery.– Laura Dooley-Taylor

Coccia, Paul. Leon Levels Up. 112p. (Orca Currents). Orca. Feb. 2024. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459837355. Gr 4-7 –Virtual-reality gaming and video games are popular across the board with tweens and teens, regardless of gender. Educators and parents are also often searching for read-alikes for fans of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. Themes of belonging, finding your people, and social acceptance, combined with a gaming-focused plot, will resonate with tweens. Leon, 12, and a gaming savant, has been invited by classmate Nico, the son of a famous video game developer, to play a new game. The VR game is still in experimental stages, and the 4D immersion experience quickly turns deadly as the players lose communication and experience physical ill-effects. Since Leon negatively compares himself to others, this book could be used along with Jarrett Lerner’s A Work in Progress in a unit about body shaming, as well as in discussions about the social-emotional effects of poverty, isolation of technology, anxiety, and the value of real friendship. Leon’s desire for friendship and popularity almost costs him his life in this high-stakes sci-fi adventure. Coccia’s text is dyslexia-friendly with features like accessible font, cream-colored paper, and larger trim size. VERDICT Hopefully, readers will grasp the author’s message about obsession with technology and heed the warning. A good choice for most collections.– Laura Dooley-Taylor

Di Lorenzo, Melinda. Racing Hearts. 128p. (Orca Soundings). Orca. Aug. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459836808. Gr 6 Up –A grieving teen decides to join a triathlon, despite facing anti-fat bullying, and falls in love in this hi-lo novel. Sienna is still grieving her best friend, Stacey, who died by suicide, when she discovers that Stacey registered them for a triathlon as a joke. With encouragement from handsome and kind jock, Blake, Sienna decides to train for the triathlon, and the two begin a sweet romance. Sienna is plus sized and has been the target of anti-fat bullying. Di Lorenzo walks an excellent line of showing that Sienna’s experience of bullying is real, but that other students are capable of respect and kindness. Readers watch as Sienna breaks down the walls she has built around herself and opens herself to romance and new friendships. This refreshing sports story does not focus on Sienna trying to change or shrink her body; she wants to complete the triathlon in memory of her friend, and out of spite for her bullies. Another plus to this novel is that Blake likes Sienna first, and never wavers in or hides that he likes her. The book is written at a second grade reading level. VERDICT A quick hi-lo love story for readers who know sports are for people of all sizes.– Jeri Murphy

Finley, Allison. Below the Surface. 112p. (Orca Currents). Orca. Apr. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459834538. Gr 4-7 –Thirteen-year-old Theo’s favorite hobby is treasure hunting and returning stuff to their rightful owners. When his hunting exploits uncover an old pocket watch that’s been buried for 60 years, he posts it on his social media. As a result, a threatening comment tells him to return the watch or else. Soon, Theo is deeply embroiled in solving an old ghost story. With his friend Syd, the two start poring over old newspapers and contacting a possible descendant of a young traveler who mysteriously died in 1967. How do the pocket watch, traveler, and mysterious comment tie together? The plot is engaging and full of twists and turns. Characters are fairly well developed and realistic. Interactions with other characters help bring Theo’s world to life. The writing style complements the story well and adeptly brings the mystery together. The layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Characters are cued as white. The book is written at a third grade reading level. VERDICT Reluctant readers interested in mystery, treasure hunting, and ghost stories will want to pick this one up. Recommended for library collections where ghost stories and mysteries are popular.– Kira Moody

Gray, PJ. Star Dimmer.   92p. (Monarch Jungle). Saddleback. Jun. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781680215960. Gr 9 Up –Teen fashion model Jen Conrad has been staying with her grandmother, Babe, at her beach house in Malibu. During a recent stint in Tokyo, Jen’s roommate, fellow model Cammie, went missing. Jen is now a suspect in the apparent disappearance, and the tabloid media won’t leave her alone. It’s too much for her mom, television actress and former “it” girl Val Kane, who is filming a new series and staying at her condo in Los Angeles. Aloof, distant Val even asked Jen’s dad, former stuntman Jack Conrad, to take Jen to live with him and his new partner, Todd, in Connecticut, but he refused. Then Jen stumbles into an even bigger challenge: discovering that Val’s new boyfriend, sleazy former bodyguard Rob, is scheming to murder Val whose will leaves her entire estate to him. With a careening plot, very short sentences, and simple syntax and vocabulary, this is a true high-interest story written at an accessible reading level. The ending is terse and pat, with Val in mental health rehab and Jen finishing her GED before turning to more salutary interests like astronomy. All main characters are cued as white. The book is written at a first to second grade reading level. VERDICT Teen stardom, the fashion world, tabloid headlines, a salacious crime—this will have no trouble finding an audience and is a great pick for striving readers.– Bob Hassett

short story books middle school

Howard, Max. The Surprise Party Rules.  200p. Enslow/West 44. Aug. 2023. Tr $25.80. ISBN 9781978596733; pap. $16.35. ISBN 9781978596740. Gr 6 Up –When high school senior Ivy is unjustly fired from her job, she vows to get revenge against her boss, the mayor. To do so, she runs for election against him—and unexpectedly, she wins. Life as mayor, however, isn’t easy. People are trying to ban books from the library, her principal isn’t being accommodating, and a staff member steals city funds, leaving no budget for necessities. When a natural disaster strikes, the city goes underwater, and people are stranded. Emergency personnel can’t get to everyone in time. Will Ivy find a way to save her city and survive being mayor? In this story told in verse, the author’s writing style and play on words is engaging. Many of the secondary characters are flat and are unrealistic, but the main characters are well developed and help bring the story to life. The layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Characters cue as white. The book is written at a second to third grade reading level. VERDICT Readers who like books dealing with civics, school stories, and characters who are trying to make a difference will enjoy this title. Recommended where such books are popular.– Kira Moody

Jendrick, Angel. Secret Me. 176p. (Lorimer Real Love). Lorimer. Aug. 2023. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9781459417250; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781459417182. Gr 9 Up –Tage doesn’t like who she is, her popular lifestyle, or her friends. Secretly, she identifies as queer, but worries homophobic queen bee Hayley will find out. As a result, she’s dating Ben (whom she doesn’t like) and participating in bullying other queer teens. When her breakup with Ben turns into an explosive one, a snowstorm forces her to spend the night at her crush Wren’s house. Soon, a secret relationship between the two ensues. Can Tage learn to be herself openly or will her new relationship suffer as a result? Thought-provoking themes of bullying, acceptance, and self-identity have potential, but the novel lacks great execution. With the exception of Wren, Tage and the other characters are one-dimensional. Tage does experience growth and redeems herself in the end, but the story suggests the changes will likely not stick. The layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Characters are cued white. The book is written at a third grade reading level. VERDICT Overall, the novel likely won’t appeal to most striving readers who are interested in LGBTQIA+ books due to poor execution. Recommended only for general library collections where bullying and school stories are in very short supply.– Kira Moody

Liss, Jennifer. Bugs.   80p. (White Lightning Mysteries). Saddleback. Jun. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781638892083. Gr 4-7 –After his parents leave his older brother, Clayton, in charge, Asher decides to play a prank on him. Things go horribly wrong, however, when Clayton breaks a container that unleashes three insects in the house. These, however, aren’t ordinary insects. They are designer, black market bugs. The worm releases a deadly red slime. The beetle devours small insects. The venomous spider, however, is the most dangerous of all. If the brothers don’t destroy the bugs, the consequences could be disastrous. Can they get rid of the bugs in time? The plot is engaging and full of twists and turns. Multiple scenes are intense and pull readers into the story. The characters are unlikable but have pretty realistic sibling dynamics. The text is easy to follow and fits well with the hi-lo reading style. The layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Characters are presumed white. The book is written at a third grade reading level. VERDICT For reluctant readers who enjoy The Twilight Zone, Are You Afraid of the Dark? , horror, darker fiction, or mysteries, this is a must-read. Recommended for most library collections.– Kira Moody

Liss, Jennifer. Eclipse.   76p. (White Lightning Mysteries). Saddleback. Jun. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781638892069. Gr 4-7 –When Nate goes camping with his dad and brother, the trio plans on seeing a solar eclipse. Things, however, take a weird turn when they get chased by a creature that looks an awful lot like a raccoon. Not long after, they begin to disappear, and their dog, Comet, fully vanishes. Can they get back to civilization before they disappear completely? And what really happened to Comet? What is the weird creature, and what caused them to start disappearing? The plot is engaging, well written, and full of twists and turns. The author does a great job building suspense and intrigue. Characters are not well developed but are realistic and likable. Character dynamics are well drawn and add depth to the story. The text is easy to follow and fits well with the hi-lo reading style. Layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Characters are presumed white. The book is written at a third grade level. VERDICT For those who enjoy horror or mysteries this is a must-read. Recommended for most library collections.– Kira Moody

Liss, Jennifer. Peace Mission.   80p. (White Lightning Mysteries). Saddleback. Jun. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781638892076. Gr 4-7 –When aliens come to Earth with a mission of peace, knowledge, and sharing, Will and Silas get invited to be a part of a teen envoy to the alien ships. While there, they get to experience everything that the Ramlix aliens have to offer. Soon, Will and the other teens start acting strange and talking about how Earth is inferior to the Ramlix aliens. Silas also discovers an “off limits” room where he finds a binder laying out a plan for destroying the Earth. Have the aliens truly come in peace or are they using teens to destroy Earth? The plot is intriguing and entertaining. The secondary characters are poorly developed, but it plays into the plot well. Text is easy to follow and helps to bring the story to life. The layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. The book is written at a third grade reading level. VERDICT A great selection for science fiction fans, especially those who enjoy the alien-invasion subgenre Recommended for most library collections.– Kira Moody

Liss, Jennifer. Sea Cave.   76p. (White Lightning Mysteries). Saddleback. Jun. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781638892045. Gr 4-7 –While visiting his cousin Tate, Eric learns of a legend where a man went insane after going into a cave by the sea. Not believing his cousin, Eric goes into the cave and takes a tooth from it. Soon, he finds that whatever dreams he has the night before come true the next day. It doesn’t matter how strange they are, either. Tate chides him and then reveals that the man from the legend went insane because he could see into the future. When Eric dreams of himself drowning in the cave, he knows he must change his future. Will he succeed or will he go insane like the legend? The plot is entertaining and engaging. The twists and turns are well done and add depth and intrigue to the story. The characters are realistic, and their dynamics are nuanced. Liss’s propulsive writing style pairs well with this genre of hi-lo novel. The layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Characters are presumed white. VERDICT Striving readers who are fans of darker fiction or thriller-mysteries will enjoy this solid entry. For most library collections.– Kira Moody

short story books middle school

McAdam, Tash. Airlock.   112p. (Orca Soundings). Orca. Aug. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459836600. Gr 7 Up –Society has mostly collapsed, leaving a scarred world infested with “Boots” who roam about enforcing the interests of the rich. Food and water is scarce. With Mom dead, teen Brick is alone and has little use for other people. Brick is nonbinary and feels comfortable doing an “impression” of either a boy or girl. Throughout this story, they present as a boy, though this is not instrumental to the plot. On the run from soldiers out to arrest them for stealing supplies, Brick contrives to stow away on a spaceship bound for the moon, but not before encountering Amar, a local enforcer presented as a sort of gentle giant, not bright but ruthlessly strong and ultimately goodhearted, who wants to go, too. The two manage to remain hidden until after takeoff but become caught up in an attack by pirates. Battling panic attacks from their fear of space, Brick, along with Amar and an impish artificial intelligence, helps save the crew and subdue the pirates. Occasionally Amar’s unrefined speech—“You is good, Brick”—can seem awkward. Worldbuilding is light on detail, but adequate to the story. First-person narrator Brick is well fleshed out and the action is consistently brisk. The author identifies as trans and queer, which will resonate with teens. The book is written at a third grade reading level. VERDICT With a relatable and compelling sci-fi/dystopian narrative, this should be an easy pitch for middle or high school reluctant readers.– Bob Hassett

Pedican, Jawara. The Hoop and the Harm.   272p. Lorimer. Aug. 2023. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9781459417229; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781459417151. Gr 9 Up –College freshman Udoka Clendon, known by his friends and teammates as Duke or Yoosie (a play on his initials), is feeling crushed by self-doubt and expectations around his basketball career at an unnamed school in Toronto. Consumed with love for the game since he was a preschooler, Udoka refers to basketball as Her. Nurtured intermittently by an estranged older brother, he progressed through street and rec league ball to an elite prep school in Chicago. An epic dunk at a local park, caught on video, brought him social media notoriety and led to a violent flare-up that shook him and strained his friendships. Now he’s seeing a sports psychologist at the college and confronting a desire to quit the game he loves. Mo, a girlfriend, is always at the fringe of the story but is never adequately developed. A sister, Leena, is passionately committed to performing arts but struggles with the volume of attention lavished on Udoka. The author played varsity basketball at McGill and the University of Toronto and explains in a concluding note that much of the story reflects his own experience. Given the length and complexity of the narrative, it will not be an easy sell for struggling readers. Detailed and jargon-heavy descriptions of game play could discourage non-fans. The book is written at a third grade reading level. VERDICT A potent message about the mental toll of elite sports and the value of playing for love of the game will resonate with teens. Recommended for high school libraries.– Bob Hassett

Prendergast, Gabrielle. Aftershock.  96p. (Orca Anchor). Orca. Aug. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459837201. Gr 6 Up –A teen and her half sister seek their parents after a destructive earthquake in this hi-lo novel. Amy is at her private school when a dangerous earthquake hits. With her father at work in the city and her mother on a business trip overseas, Amy is about to go home with a teacher when her estranged half-sister, Mara, comes to find her. The girls return through the debris to find their homes unlivable and decide to walk to the city to find their father and Mara’s mother. They encounter dangerous situations, such as landslides, intimidating strangers, and, of course, aftershocks on their journey. One of the methods used to make this title more accessible is that it is written almost completely in first-person present tense, which may feel unusual to more experienced readers but could be helpful for emerging readers. The relationship between Amy and Mara is well drawn, and the girls grow closer by relying on each other to survive amid exciting action sequences. Survival stories are popular among middle school students, and this book would be a good choice to hand to readers who haven’t developed the skills yet for novels like Hatchet . It is written for teen readers reading under a second grade level. VERDICT A useful title for older emerging readers.– Jeri Murphy

short story books middle school

Quinn, Kate Karyus. The Art of Being a Vampire.   200p. Enslow/West 44. Aug. 2023. Tr $25.80. ISBN 9781978596702; pap. $16.35. ISBN 9781978596719. Gr 9 Up –Shelby has been through a lot before arriving to stay with Aunt Clara and transferring to a “fancy, uptight school” where she soon gets into a fight and is nearly expelled. Her former beauty queen mom, just 34, recently died of an overdose. Her father has never been on the scene, leaving her mother with an addiction and an unplanned pregnancy. At school, Shelby falls in with sulky outsider Brandt. Alienated from both his divorced parents, Brandt brings Shelby to the squat where he lives with creepy Sid and Tallie, who are, like Brandt, vampires. They have an arrangement with local drug users to provide a safe spot in exchange for blood. After Shelby is bitten, she quickly develops an overwhelming craving for blood. Following a botched attempt to knock off a blood drive at the local Y, she becomes desperate and turns on Brandt, ultimately destroying the vampire house and freeing the drug users. When she returns to Aunt Clara’s and decides to enter rehab, Shelby makes peace with her memories of her mother, seeing the parallels between addiction and vampirism. She embraces her love for photography and finds hope and courage. The text is in verse form but reads mostly as prose broken arbitrarily into very short lines. Apart from the positive ending, the tone throughout is unrelentingly dark. The book is written at a second to third grade reading level. VERDICT A quick read with a gritty, urban horror setting and a moody but compelling narrator, this will appeal to a wide range of high schoolers.– Bob Hassett

Rodman, Sean. Dark Tide.   96p. (Orca Anchor). Orca. Aug. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459837119. Gr 6 Up –When his mother got remarried, Kai didn’t like getting a new stepfather. To help the two bond, Kai’s mother insists that Kai join his stepfather, Rick, on a research trip. On a floating research lab, Rick is studying sound waves and underwater caves. When his first robot disappears, an ancient predator awakens and starts hunting them. With no cell phone reception, it is up to the duo to stop the creature. They only have until dawn, when the tide changes, before the creature is unleashed into the sea to prey on more people. Can they stop it in time or will it destroy them? The plot is engaging and hooks readers from start to finish. The characters are likable and realistic. The writing style is unique but easy to follow. Layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Plot twists and turns are intriguing and add depth to the short novel. Emotional resolution, however, is too quick to be believable. Characters’ ethnicity is not described. The book is written at a second grade level. VERDICT Overall, a great read for reluctant readers who enjoy action, adventure, and books dealing with cryptids. Recommended for most library collections.– Kira Moody

Seldeen, Claudia Recinos. Everything I Know.   200p. Enslow/West 44. Aug. 2023. Tr $25.80. ISBN 9781978596764; pap. $16.35. ISBN 9781978596771. Gr 6 Up –Mila is autistic. She can tell you everything she knows about her school’s layout, locker, classes, and friend Chris. When her family decides to move to Boston for her dad’s job, Mila’s world gets turned upside down. She has a hard time relating to people. Her new school is noisy, but she’s worried she’ll be made fun of for wearing headphones. Can she learn to fit in and adjust to her new life? The author’s writing style is simple and engaging in this story told in verse. The characters are relatable and experience growth. Character dynamics feel slightly stifled at the start of the story but feel more natural towards the end, which plays into the development of the characters’ arcs. Layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Secondary characters’ backgrounds are unknown, but Mia and her family cue as Latinx. The book is written at a second to third grade reading level. VERDICT Striving readers who like school stories, books dealing with autism, and making new friends will enjoy. Recommended for library collections where school tales and novels in verse are popular.– Kira Moody

Steele, Michael Anthony. Feed the Beast.   illus. by Mike Laughead. 72p. (Open World Squad). Capstone/Stone Arch. Jan. 2024. Tr $25.99. ISBN 9781669031703. Gr 4-6 –Four 13-year-old friends team up in Open World, an online video game where they battle fantastical creatures and complete quests with their avatars. While the friends game, they encounter real issues, such as caring for younger siblings and taking care of dinner while mom works late. This illustrated high-interest title empowers siblings to collaborate inside and outside the game. Educators will appreciate the social-emotional lessons about positive teamwork, self-monitoring, using creativity to problem solve, breathing, and the Taking Care page devoted to mental health websites. Part of the text is in-chat messages, and illustrator Laughead’s dynamic art resembles “Teen Titans Go!” Bold text is used for onomatopoeia, and there’s a glossary with pronunciations and discussion questions for reading groups. VERDICT A sci-fi/realistic hybrid designed for middle schoolers where helpful real-world advice is provided in a context of video gaming.– Laura Dooley-Taylor

Taekema, Sylvia. Big Winner.   128p. (Orca Currents). Orca. Apr. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459834064. Gr 4-8 –When 14-year-old Skye’s family moves to the East Coast, she loses everything familiar to her. To cope, she gets a job at a coffee shop. There she meets Digby, a local group home resident. He loves ping-pong and is particular about how things get done. After the winning lottery numbers are announced, Digby comes into the coffee shop all excited, saying he has the winning ticket. Soon, however, Skye worries that the town is taking advantage of Digby. Can Skye be the friend he needs and help him to see the truth? Or will Digby take it the wrong way? This story is well written, humorous, and draws readers into Skye and Digby’s lives. The message and themes of kindness and real friendship are heartening. Plot twists add depth and nuance, and the characters are likable and realistic. Layout is dyslexic-friendly with heavy bottom fonts, letter spacing, and white space. Characters are cued white. The book is written at a second grade level. VERDICT Striving readers who like realistic fiction, friendship stories, or who have ever dreamed of winning the lottery when they get older will want to pick this one up. Recommend for libraries where realistic fiction and hi-lo titles are popular.– Kira Moody

Wolf, Ryan. The Real Unreal.  200p. Enslow/West 44. Aug. 2023. Tr $25.80. ISBN 9781978596672; pap. $16.35. ISBN 9781978596689. Gr 7 Up –A disenfranchised teen falls down the alt-right conspiracy theory pipeline and finds himself in a dangerous situation in this hi-lo verse novel. Nate, a middle-class teenager in the near future, is fired from his summer job and has his art program at the local community center canceled due to an illness outbreak. Spending more and more time online, he finds himself in rage-filled forums about secret societies that are thought to rule the world. He starts receiving private messages from “Mockingbird” about the local community center, once a masonic lodge, which he says is being used for human trafficking and satanic rituals. Mockingbird and Nate’s rhetoric intensifies until they decide to meet to graffiti the community center, but Mockingbird has something even more dangerous in mind. The story offers a realistic demonstration of how easy it is to fall into conspiracy theories and hateful online groups. The author is also careful to show Nate deconstructing these beliefs and making amends for his behavior. The novel is an example of how believing in conspiracies can lead people to violence and other dangerous actions. The fact that many of the conspiracy theories in the novel have roots in anti-Semitism was never addressed, but overall, this is an excellent teardown of conspiracies without making readers feel preached at. This is a novel in free verse and the story just flies by, which may be an incentive for hi-lo readers. The book is written at a second to third grade reading level. VERDICT An excellent hi-lo verse novel about a vital topic in today’s political landscape.– Jeri Murphy

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short story books middle school

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Articles / Picture Books

What Picture Books Add to a Middle School Class

by MiddleWeb · 05/05/2024

By Katie Durkin

short story books middle school

In this class, we participated in book clubs, read multiple whole-class novels, and discussed modern trends in middle grade and young adult texts, all with the purpose of taking these strategies into the classroom.

short story books middle school

Our first read-aloud was The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. We discussed how this particular picture book could be used as a model for teaching theme. I remember thinking how brilliant this idea was at the time, even going as far as to purchase a copy of the picture book with what little money I had as an undergrad.

But it wasn’t until the past two school years that I really started embracing reading picture books – for three reasons. I believe that including picture books in my curricula in middle school invokes a sense of nostalgia for the students, helps them to grasp difficult abstract concepts, and creates a shared experience I can leverage in the future.

Nostalgia is a powerful influencer for many people, but I would argue it’s especially so for middle schoolers. At first I was nervous about bringing back a story time element in my classroom. Knowing middle schoolers’ personalities, I expected there to be a bit of pushback, and the first time I tried it, some of them did grumble and grip.

But now that I have used picture books with two different cohorts of students, I have seen how much they love story time and miss it from their elementary days. I actually create a space in my classroom where students can comfortably sit on the floor and be able to see the pictures in the story.

short story books middle school

Click on covers to learn more.

I approach these read alouds in a number of different ways, depending on the focus for the day’s lesson. Sometimes I will structure it like a traditional read aloud, where I will demonstrate my own thinking, purposely stopping at different points in the story.

Other times I ask students to make sure they have someone to talk to as I’ve strategically found places in the picture book for discussion.

Sometimes I will read a whole picture book in one sitting. Other times I will stop at particular places to leave the students hanging because the pages of the day directly relate to our lesson.

Many of my students love story time so much they actually request it if we haven’t done it for a while. Being read to is a powerful practice: it allows students to focus more on the story through the images (enjoyment) and also grasp more difficult concepts they can apply to their own reading (growth).

Encouraging abstract thinking

short story books middle school

Two of our biggest units of the year are historical fiction and social justice. Here students are asked to think about really difficult concepts. In historical fiction, students are asked to consider how authors use history to tell fictional stories. In our social justice unit, they explore the topics of power, privilege, change agentry, empathy, and activism.

Each of these units requires students to use both fiction and nonfiction to synthesize their thinking about key concepts, which is not an easy task. In the historical fiction unit we read one picture book alongside Newsela articles to figure out how the author used history in the fictional story.

In our social justice unit we read various picture books about many different topics and use the characters’ stories to think about the roles that power, privilege, empathy and activism play in a particular book.

Students also look for change agents and begin to develop theories about traits change agents possess that help them bring about positive, or in some cases, negative change. I have noticed they are better able to grasp these concepts using the picture books as an anchor before applying strategic thinking to their own more text-driven books.

Creating shared experiences

short story books middle school

When I pull students to review these concepts, I have been able to fall back on using the picture books as examples to spark conversations that prime their thinking.

I have directly seen the impact this has on students, They are able to see how they can apply a difficult concept – for example power or privilege – to a picture book and then work to transfer it to their own story or a chapter book they are reading.

The picture books I have read to the class have been integral in providing these shared experiences. I have even been able to refer back to many different titles we read earlier in the year when conferring with students. Arguably, this has been the most important part of integrating picture books in my classroom.

In summary, I find that reading these books to the whole class has provided me with an arsenal of diverse tools that help me meet the students where they are.

Finding the picture books

short story books middle school

I’ve turned to two places. First, I worked with my library media specialist who has a wealth of knowledge. I went in with the specific purpose of finding books to relate to our historical fiction and social justice units, and she was able to provide me a myriad list of options that I then perused to choose books that would best fit the units.

I’ve also used the internet, reading blogs and reviews on various websites to choose books that were recent and relevant. There are so many resources available to teachers now to find picture books that will fit any need – from the School Library Journal to GoodReads .

I’m now fortunate that I have a stockpile of books to choose from in the future. I also plan to grow my collection as new titles are released and reviewed.

I’ve moved from skeptic to advocate

I know reading picturebooks in the English Language Arts classroom is not a novel idea. But as a past skeptic of using this strategy with middle schoolers, I can say that this is a practice I plan to use consistently in years to come.

short story books middle school

I will end with a call of action. Think about places in your own curriculum where you can infuse picture books. This practice doesn’t need limited to be limited the English Language Arts classroom. Picture books can be used in myriad ways across disciplines and could be a great addition to your classroom routines.

short story books middle school

Dr. Katie Durkin  ( @kmerz610 ) has been teaching middle school students for over a decade, and currently teaches English Language Arts at public Middlebrook School in Wilton, Connecticut, where she is the 7th Grade Team Leader.

Katie is a zealous reader of middle grade and young adult books and enjoys sharing her love and passion for reading with her students. In 2022 she earned her doctorate from Northeastern University, where her dissertation research examined the impact of classroom libraries on middle school students’ reading engagement.

Katie was the 2020 recipient of the Edwyna Wheadon Postgraduate Training Scholarship from the NCTE. She writes regularly  for MiddleWeb  and in early 2023 launched a podcast,  That’s Novel Reading .

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MiddleWeb is all about the middle grades, with great 4-8 resources, book reviews, and guest posts by educators who support the success of young adolescents. And be sure to subscribe to MiddleWeb SmartBrief for the latest middle grades news & commentary from around the USA.

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This is so inspiring! Thank you!

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This approach provides a needed balance between decoding words to get the gist of a text and digging deeper into the meaning and themes of texts that all students can be successful with. A great way to support the love of reading and to introduce strategies for text analysis that can be used with more complex texts.

This approach provides a needed balance between decoding words to get the gist of a text and digging deeper into the meaning and themes of texts that all students can be successful with. A great way to support the love of reading and to introduce strategies for text analysis.

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15 Essential Chapter Books For Elementary School Kids

T here is a special joy a parent gets when watching their child fall in love with a book, but whether you’re browsing your local library, walking through your favorite bookstore, or scrolling through a seemingly-endless list of titles online, helping your child find the perfect read can be a daunting task.

But it’s an important one, especially when children are transitioning from picture books to chapter books. With most reaching at least a hundred pages, the right chapter book can not only entertain, but also build up a young reader’s reading endurance — and even their patience. Just as adults are drawn to watching “just one more episode” of their favorite binge-watchable television series, the right chapter book, especially ones with cliffhangers at the ends of chapters, can have your child begging to stay up late to read “just one more chapter.”

And wouldn’t it be great if that book was one that you and your child could enjoy reading together? Whether it’s a graphic novel, a light and silly read, a fantasy with larger-than-life characters and situations, or a story firmly grounded in reality, the right chapter book will have parents just as hooked as their children, creating the perfect bonding experience, especially as kids head back to school.

It may be tempting to suggest an “old reliable” book to your kid. After all, they’re reliable for a reason. But while there is a long list of children’s tales that are still beloved by many — from true classics like L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to comparatively newer titles, such as the works of Roald Dahl ( Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , Matilda ) and Louis Sacher’s Sideways Stories From Wayside School — new books are released each year that seem poised to become classics in their own right, captivating and sparking the imagination of today’s kids.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the quantity of books currently on the market, have no idea what kids are reading these days, or are just looking to introduce your child — and yourself — to something new, Fatherly has curated a list of 15 chapter books that were released within the last 10 years, broken down into different age ranges and across different genres, that will become treasured favorites once added to your child’s home library.

Lower Elementary Reads

Eerie elementary: the school is alive by jack chabert.

Most kids have stepped foot in an elementary school, but how many have spent time in one constantly being threatened by ghosts? Hopefully not too many, but young readers will get a kick out of the Eerie Elementary series, where nearly everyone is in danger at school all the time, and it’s up to a small group of kids to save them through clever problem-solving. While The School Is Alive! is written in an age-appropriate way, it may be a little scary for kids who are prone to being fearful. You know your children best, but most early readers will enjoy having a few mild frights.

Yours Sincerely, Giraffe by Megumi Iwasa

This charming story of two unlikely pen pals, a giraffe and penguin, is a great way for children to learn that animals — or, even better yet, people — who look different and come from different parts of the world can still find a lot that they have in common. The narrative unfolds not only through narration and illustrations, but also the correspondence between the animals, making for a fun reading experience. At just over a hundred pages and fewer than 10 chapters, Yours Sincerely, Giraffe is an excellent book for elementary school-aged children and beginning readers looking to build their endurance. Also, don’t miss Megumi Iwasa’s follow-up, Dear Professor Whale , another story of two animals who develop a close long distance friendship.

Sofia Martinez: My Family Adventure by Jacqueline Jules

Jacqueline Jules’ expansive Sofia Martinez series offers excellent reads for all early elementary school-aged kids, but they will especially be embraced by those within the Latinx community. My Family Adventure, the first book in the lineup, centers on Sofia, a 7-year-old with two older sisters, who is eager to stand out and do things her way. Young children will enjoy reading about a character who is among the youngest in her family and who gets in all sorts of fun situations. Sofia’s immediate and extended family dynamics are quite beautiful to see play out, and the series also wonderfully includes common Spanish words and phrases into the narrative for authenticity, with a glossary provided to non-Spanish speakers.

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

The creator of Captain Underpants returns with a graphic novel book series centered on Dog Man, who, as the name suggests, is part dog, part man, and all hero! He’s also the faithful companion of a not-too-bright police officer, whom Dog Man helps solve problems in creative ways. Like Dav Pilkey’s other works, readers can expect broad humor and story elements that will elicit genuine laughs from your children. This is a great story about loyalty, friendship, and the importance of outside-the-box thinking. While kids may be interested in skipping the author’s note, it’s worth taking a moment to read it with your child, as Pilkey explains how his early struggles with dyslexia ultimately lead to his career as a writer. It’s an inspiring bit of personal history that should remind kids that challenges do not have to be permanent barriers to success.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

It’s understandable why some kids may not enjoy reading period pieces, but it’s hard to imagine any child not being immediately gripped by author and illustrator Brian Selznick’s beautifully and creatively told story of Hugo Cabret, a young orphan in 1930s Paris who has inherited his family’s interest and skill in all things mechanical. Selznick’s superpower is moving the story forward, and deepening our understanding of the characters through his illustrations. Sections of the book are told without words, just as portions of a motion picture might be played out without dialogue, making this an accessible book for readers for lower-level and/or younger readers, while still being a stylistically-interesting read that will appeal to older kids and more seasoned readers as well.

Dragon Masters: Rise of the Earth Dragon by Tracey West

This fantasy-adventure story is perfect for kids with vivid imaginations, love fantasy, and are often swept away by films like How to Train Your Dragon . While there are plenty of age-appropriate battle sequences, Rise of the Earth Dragon ’s greatest strength lies in how the book subtly teaches kids about how to communicate effectively with others and draw on the strength of your friends. Tracey West’s Dragon Masters series is a great entry point for kids who are just starting to explore chapter books, as the vocabulary and storytelling won’t pose too much of a challenge for most early readers.

Upper Elementary/Lower Middle School Reads

The one and only ivan by katherine applegate.

A gripping, first-person narrative told through the perspective of Ivan, a gorilla that has been held captive for 27 years. Ivan is blissfully unaware of his figurative shackles until he meets and befriends Ruby, a baby elephant recently taken from the wild who changes his world view. It’s easy for young readers to fall in love with the vivid, albeit contained, world that Ivan paints, and adults will enjoy the clear literary kinship between Applegate’s novel and classics like E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little . Kids who have trouble parting with the characters they love will enjoy learning that The One and Only Ivan is the first book in a series, and has been recently adapted into a film currently streaming on Disney Plus . This beautiful tale of friendship and possibilities is perfect for kids in upper elementary and early middle school grades.

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles

Summer reading can often feel like a chore, but Lamar Giles’s The Last Last-Day-of-Summer is just the book parents need to get their kids away from the screen and into a book. This quirky sci-fi adventure follows Otto and Sheed, two young Black male cousins, who are working to solve a mystery while traveling through time. The first in the Legendary Alston Boys series, this book’s exciting and funny time-bending narrative makes it the right read for kids — and parents — who enjoy Phineas and Ferb . Children without siblings, and/or kids who have strong bonds with their cousins, will also enjoy seeing Otto and Sheeds’ brotherly relationship unfold.

Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight by Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer

Archie Morningstar is an 8-year-old boy with a talking cat who stays up past his bedtime to fight crime around the cosmos. We bet you’re intrigued, and your kids will be too! This debut in the Space Taxi series kicks off on “Take Your Kid to Work Day,” when our young hero learns that his dad drives aliens around in a taxi throughout outer space in the twilight hours. This fast paced sci-fi adventure story is filled with humor and, as you might expect from a story centered among the stars, a fair amount of educational information sprinkled throughout. This is a zippy and exciting read for second- through fourth-graders.

Dog Diaries: A Middle School Story by James Patterson

Readers who have enjoyed following the adventures of Rafe, the main character in James Patterson’s best selling Middle School series, will get a real kick out of becoming better acquainted with Junior, Rafe’s faithful canine companion. This spinoff is told through Junior’s perspective, providing a new way to see a well-established literary world. Parents should be warned that there is some animal potty humor — after all, dogs will be dogs, and as all pet owners know, butt sniffs and peeing in the house comes with the territory — but this is a fun, and often silly, story of friendship and loyalty, proving that dog’s really are humans’ best friends.

My Pet Slime by Courtney Sheinmel

Representation matters in all forms, and My Pet Slime is a fun read for all kids in upper elementary grades — but especially for those who have allergies. The first book in Courtney Sheinmel’s series centers on Piper, a young girl who wishes she could have a pet. The problem, unfortunately, is that she’s allergic to just about everything. However, thanks to a little literary magic, she ends up becoming the owner of a pet out of slime that has come to life. With bright, colorful illustrations and a wonderful premise, My Pet Slime will resonate with your kids, and even teach them a thing or two about caring for a pet in the process.

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick

This fast-paced and funny graphic adventure novel is a great fit for kids in upper elementary school grades. The Boy Who Crashed to Earth is the first in a series centering on Hilo, a seemingly normal kid who is anything but normal — and anything but what he seems to be. The vividly and boldly illustrated book captures larger-than-life moments, like Hilo, who heralds from outer space, battling large robots, with all the excitement they deserve. With a visual and narrative style that seems ready to adapt for an animated show on Nickelodeon, the stories of Hilo and his diverse and well-rounded group of friends will capture the attention of even the most reluctant of readers.

Middle School Reads

The school for good and evil by soman chainani.

Even though your middle schoolers might feel too old for fairy tales, they will love The School for Good and Evil , Soman Chainini’s fresh take on the stories your children grew up loving. Like most fantasy stories, and most fairy tales, there is quite a bit of peril, violence, and some mild romance. It’s always fun when readers think they can predict what is going to happen next in a story, only to find out that their expectations have been used against them, and The School for Good and Evil delivers on that front in spades.

Blended by Sharon M. Draper

Some parents may find it difficult to discuss race with their children, but Sharon M. Draper’s Blended does an excellent job of introducing what could be challenging topics in a compelling narrative. The story centers on Isabella, an 11-year-old biracial girl who feels caught between her divorcing parents. Throughout Blended , Isabella encounters several microaggressions — intentional and/or unintentional insults about her race and gender — that end up having an impact on her self-esteem and shifting the way she sees the world. As it’s common for children in upper elementary and middle school grades to feel out of place, Blended provides a mirror for some kids to see themselves in an ultimately uplifting piece of realistic fiction. Parents should be advised that there are some mature themes, like a shooting and police brutality, but everything is presented in an age-appropriate way that will keep your kids glued to the book to find out what happens next.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

If your middle schooler has fallen out of love with reading, or is itching for books that feel less kiddie books, then Ghost , the first in Jason Reynolds’ four-part Track series may be perfect for them. It’s a gripping coming-of-age story of Castle Cranshaw, nicknamed “Ghost,” who seems destined to be the star of his middle school track team, if only he could outrun his trauma brought about by a toxic and abusive parent first. While Ghost is somewhat mature in its themes, and — mild spoiler alert! — its unresolved ending will frustrate some, it’s a page-turning story of friendship and overcoming, or perhaps, outrunning, one’s obstacles.

15 Essential Chapter Books For Elementary School Kids

Teacher Appreciation Week 2024: Freebies, deals, discounts for educators, plus gift ideas

Restaurants and other retailers have deals for teachers and educators for national teacher day, tuesday, may 7, and national teacher appreciation week, which runs monday, may 6, to friday, may 10..

short story books middle school

All of us have one or more teachers who assisted, inspired or coached us along on our learning path. Need an excuse to show your gratitude? There are opportunities in the days ahead.

National Teacher Day is May 7, 2024, and Teacher Appreciation Week runs Monday, May 6, to Friday, May 10. The idea for a week to honor teachers began more than 70 years ago with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

The National National Parent Teacher Association has deemed this year's theme "Teachers are Shining Stars," and has an online toolkit with ideas on how to thank teachers. The National Education Association website has suggestions on how to celebrate teachers, too.

"Teachers are the heart and soul of our Nation," President Biden said in a proclamation on Friday, May 3. "They care for our Nation’s students, pass on knowledge to rising generations, and inspire our children to dream up new possibilities for their futures."

National Nurses Week 2024: Chipotle's free burrito giveaway, more deals and discounts

More ways to save: Visit USA TODAY's coupons page for deals from thousands of vendor s

Many restaurants and retailers are showing their appreciation with deals, discounts, specials and freebies . Here's some, but you may want to check social media for local deals, too – try searching for #NationalTeacherAppreciationWeek or #TeacherAppreciationWeek .

National Teacher Appreciation Week deals

  • Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza: Teachers get a 20% discount on all orders with a valid ID from Monday, May 6, to Sunday, May 12.
  • BIC: The pen maker has deals on its BIC 4 Color Ballpoint Pen, with packs of three starting at $6.09 (available on Amazon , Walmart , Target ); BIC Gelocity Quick Dry Gel Pens, 12-pack starting at $12.99 ( Amazon , Walmart , Target ), and Break Resistant Mechanical Pencil, pack of two starting at $4.98 ( Walmart and Staples (2-Count); Amazon (4-Count), and (12-Count).
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: From Monday, May 6, to Sunday, May 12, teachers and school staff get 20% off their orders with valid IDs on dine-in, call-in, and walk-in orders.
  • BurgerFi: Teachers get a 20% discount on all orders with a valid ID from Monday, May 6, to Sunday, May 12.
  • edible: The fruit gift arrangement company is giving teachers, school staff and graduates of all ages a buy-one-get-one dipped fruit cone Monday through Friday until June 7, at local Edible stores.
  • Firehouse Subs: The sandwich chain has a week of specials available starting Monday through its Firehouse Rewards loyalty program and app including (on Wednesday) BOGO Hook & Ladder Subs and (on Friday) two medium sandwiches for $12 or two large sandwiches for $18.
  • Free Rein Coffee Company: Teachers and educators get 20% off all year long from "Yellowstone" star Cole Hauser's brew brand by verifying with Also eligible for the 20% discount: military members.
  • The Good Feet Store : The retail chain, which has more than 250 locations, wants you to nominate education professionals – teachers, educators and other personnel including crossing guards – to win a personalized arch support system from The Good Feet Store. Submit applications online starting May 6 and through May 31. There may be one winner for each participating market (there's more than 75), and once selected, each winner will receive their own personalized arch support system.
  • The Greene Turtle : All faculty and staff with a valid ID get a free meal (value of up to $15) on Tuesday, May 7, for Teachers Appreciation Day.
  • Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream : Teachers get a 10% discount at participating locations from Monday to Friday, May 6-10.
  • Hat Creek Burger Company : All teachers and school staff get a free 6-piece order of nuggets on Tuesday, May 7 (just show a valid ID).
  • HTeaO: The iced tea chain will give teachers 50% off cups of tea from Monday, May 13, to Sunday, May 26, with a valid professional school ID.
  • Huddle House: Teachers get a free meal from Monday to Friday, May 6-10 (available for dine-in only at participating locations). Students can also nominate a teacher to win free meals for a year (award given at each participating location). Also, get a free kids meal with any purchase of $6 or more.
  • Insomnia Cookies: The Philadelphia-based late-night bakery chain with more than 240 locations is giving all teachers and school staff who show a valid ID a free Classic cookie in-store, no purchase necessary, all week beginning Monday, May 6. (Availability varies by location.)
  • Jeremiah's Italian Ice: Teachers get a free small treat of their choosing on Tuesday, May 7, for Teacher's Appreciation Day with a valid educational ID at purchase.
  • KIND Snacks: Teachers get 15% off their purchases on the website all year long. Customers just verify with at checkout.
  • Learning Resources: The educational toy maker has several classroom products at discounted prices for teachers including a Rainbow Sorting Set Classroom Edition ($42.63; 39% off), Letter Construction Set ($35.45; 11% off) and Weather Tracker Pocket Chart ($26.49; 5% off), all on
  • L ogan' s Roadhouse: Teachers get 20% off their entrée this week. Just show your badge.
  • McAlis ter’ s Deli: Teachers and educators can get free tea – either one big Sweet Tea, Unsweet Tea, ½ Sweet & ½ Unsweet Tea, or ½ Lemonade & ½ Sweet/Unsweet Tea (flavor shots excluded) – at McAlister's Deli from Monday, May 6, to Sunday, May 12, with your badge or ID. Offer valid in-store only; no purchase necessary.
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill: Cater a Moe's Southwest Grill meal for teachers from Monday, May 6, to Sunday, May 12, and when you spend $300 or more, get a $50 E-gift card (use code THANKYOU24). Good at participating locations; not valid with other offers or third-party delivery. Doesn't include tax, tip and fees.
  • Noodles & Company: Parents, school administrators, and educators alike can get $15 off catering orders of $100 or more through May 17. Log into your Noodles Rewards account and use the code THANKSTEACHERS at checkout.
  • The Parking Spot: The parking company is giving teachers 25% off parking during their trips; just signup with an associated education email account .
  • Peter Piper Pizza : Teachers can get a free personal pizza every day Monday through Friday (May 6-10). Redemption is limited to once per day; valid teacher or nurse ID/credentials must be shown.
  • Postino: The restaurant chain, with more than 25 locations in five states , will give teachers its $25 Board and Bottle (bruschetta board, plus a bottle of wine) all day every day during the month of May with badge/ID. (The special is usually only available Monday and Tuesday 8 p.m. to closing.)
  • Potbelly Sandwich Works: Teachers get a free cookie or fountain drink with the purchase of an entrée by showing their ID Monday, May 6, to Sunday, May 12. Also, all customers can get free delivery on a catering order over $150.
  • Raising Cane's: The fast casual chain is giving 10 teachers an all-expenses-paid summer vacation. Teachers can enter the contest on Monday, May 6, to Friday, May 10. Winners get two round-trip tickets to any U.S. destination, two-night hotel stay and a $200 gift card.
  • Rock & Brews: Teachers get a free entrée with valid ID through Friday, May 10 (maximum value of $26.99) at the chain's Southern California locations (Corona, Buena Park, Redondo Beach, El Segundo and Tustin).
  • Salad and Go: Teachers get free hot or cold coffee Wednesday, May 8, to Friday, May 10, with purchase during breakfast hours (6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.)
  • Salata Salad Kitchen: On Tuesday, May 7, educators get 20% off their order when they present their badge at checkout. Also from Monday to Friday (May 6-10) get 20% off catering orders of $200 or more, and get free delivery on orders through DoorDash.
  • Scholastic: The publisher has special deals and giveaways in its Scholastic Teacher Store and Book Clubs beginning Monday, May 6. And when you send a Scholastic eGift card through May 10, you'll be entered for a chance to win $550 of new books and resources for an educator of your choice.
  • Shipley Do-Nuts: Teachers who belong to the chain's Do-Happy loyalty program can get a free half-dozen box of glazed Do-nuts with any purchase on Monday, May 6.
  • Sonic Drive -In : Educators enrolled in the Sonic Teachers’ Circle Rewards program can take advantage of several deals starting Monday, May 6, to May 20; they include BOGO free Sonic Blast, BOGO free entrée, free Sonic cheeseburger with any purchase, free Large Drink or Slush with any purchase, or free small side with any entrée. (To join the rewards program create an account in the Sonic app and select "I'm a teacher" in settings.) Also, from May 6-20, Sonic is donating a portion of every drink, slush, and shake sold to its Limeades for Learning program, which supports local public schools.
  • Staples: From Sunday, May 5, to Saturday, May 11, teachers can get free supply kits at Staples stores; kits include markers, pens, pencils, and glue. (20 kits per store while supplies last; limit 1 per teacher with teacher ID.) Teachers also get 20% off in-store purchases with their teacher ID at checkout.
  • Stitch Fix: The online personal styling service is giving educators $50 credit to refresh their wardrobe. Between now and May 12, go to the Stitch Fix web site to verify credentials and get a promo code to use before June 30.
  • tarte cosmetics: The beauty brand gives teachers and educators 40% off sitewide all year long.
  • TGI Fridays: Teachers get a free entrée on Tuesday, May 7, at participating locations; choices include a cheeseburger with fries, half rack of ribs with choice of side, and Caesar salad with grilled chicken.
  • The Halal Guys: Teachers get 10% off their meal from Wednesday, May 8, to Friday, May 10, on in-store orders, with proof of a valid teacher ID.
  • Twinkl: Teacher subscription service Twinkl has ideas on how to show appreciation for your favorite teachers and is giving teachers a free month trial of its education materials.
  • Whataburger: School employees can get a free Taquito, Breakfast on a Bun, or Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. local time Monday, May 6, to Friday, May 10 with ID.
  • Yogurtland: Through May 14, the frozen yogurt chain is offering free delivery on orders of more than $15 made through the website or mobile app (use code FREEDELIVERY).
  • Zaxby's : Teachers can buy one Boneless Wings Meal and get a second one free on May 7 at participating locations (redeemable through the Zaxby's app or website for Zax Rewardz members, while supplies last).
  • Zips Car Wash:  Teachers can get a $5 "Pro" Wash at any Zips Car Wash or Rocket Express location across the country through May 19 with wash code 7652.

Follow Mike Snider on X and Threads:  @mikesnider  & mikegsnider .

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  1. Short stories for Middle School Students

    short story books middle school

  2. 50 Great Books to Teach in Middle School

    short story books middle school

  3. Short Stories For Middle School

    short story books middle school

  4. 31 Classic Short Stories for Middle School Students

    short story books middle school

  5. Short Story Books for Middle-Grade Readers (Ages 9

    short story books middle school

  6. New Short Stories for Middle School

    short story books middle school


  1. Introducing Middle School by James Patterson

  2. English Stories For Kids

  3. How to Write a Short Story

  4. Book recommendations for middle schoolers

  5. My Middle School Book Recommendations

  6. Frindle by Andrew Clements Read Aloud Chapters 1-3


  1. 63 Short Stories for Middle School: FREE PDF Download

    Best Short Stories for Middle School: Free PDF. Below we've selected our favorite 16 short stories for middle school. These 16 stories can be found in our free PDF download (click thumbnail to preview). Accompanying lesson plans can also be found at TpT with over 182 pages of thought-provoking and engaging material. What's in our lesson plans?

  2. Best Short Stories for Middle Schoolers

    If you're looking for short stories that are engaging and rich for character study, this is the one for middle schoolers. 48. " Eleven " by Sandra Cisneros. "You open your eyes and everything's just like yesterday, only it's today. And you don't feel eleven at all. You feel like you're still ten.

  3. Short Stories for Middle Schoolers

    This short story collection features authors like R.J. Palacio, Rita Williams Garcia, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Lamar Giles and examines the power of small kindnesses. Being a hero doesn't only mean wearing a costume and saving thousands of people. Heroes can also be sisters, neighbors, and friends. With a few illustrations scattered through ...

  4. 470+ Middle School Short Stories to read

    Find the perfect editor for your next book. Over 1 million authors trust the professionals on Reedsy, come meet them. Read the best middle school short stories for free on Reedsy Prompts. From fantasy to relatable classroom settings; our collection includes them all. Choose now from 470+ short stories for middle school and start reading online!

  5. 31 Best Classic Short Stories for Middle School Students

    More Short Stories. Little Worlds : A Collection of Short Stories for the Middle School: Peter Guthrie, Mary Page If you'd like an anthology, one of my favorites is "Little Worlds" (Amazon). This book has 31 short stories for students. Part 1 has 14 selections divided by the usual story elements. Part 2 has another 16 stories.

  6. Short Stories for Middle School Students

    In this short story for 7th graders, Nora and Arthur Lewis receive a package that contains a mysterious button. A man named Mr. Steward explains that if they push the button, someone they don't know will die and they will receive $50,000. Arthur is horrified, but Nora is intrigued. Eventually, Nora pushes the button and Arthur dies.

  7. 25 Best Short Stories for Middle School

    In this post I list my 25 favorite short stories for middle school, with brief descriptions and suggested resources. Top 25 Short Stories for Middle School. 1- The Necklace - Guy De Maupassant. 2- Lamb to the Slaughter - Roald Dahl. 3- To Build a Fire - Jack London. 4- The Tell Tale Heart - Edgar Allan Poe.

  8. Short Stories for Middle School and Upper Elementary Students

    These short stories for middle school are by authors like William Alexander, Joseph Bruchac, Lamar Giles, Mike Jung, Hena Khan, Juana Medina, Ellen Oh, and R. J. Palacio, explore stories where real-life heroes spread kindness. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark retold by Alvin Schwartz, illustrated by Stephen Gammell.

  9. Short Stories for Middle School

    The point here is simple: short stories are fun! To Build a Fire by Jack London. "The dog did not know anything about thermometers" but it had the sense to know "that it was no time for travelling." The man's judgement was not as good as the dog's, and that sets the stage for a classic man vs. nature story. The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs.

  10. 81 Short Stories For Middle Schoolers: Classroom Discussions And

    Short stories are excellent alternatives to chapter books for engaging reluctant readers- especially your middle school students whose attention can be harder to grab. These 81 short stories include favorites from well-known authors like Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allen Poe, and Jack London, as well as contemporary writers like Celest Ng and Cherie Dimaline.

  11. Best Short Stories for Middle Schoolers

    The Tell-Tale Heart. "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe is a psychological thriller appropriate for middle school students. The story is from the perspective of an unnamed narrator who starts the story as the simple caretaker of an elderly man but ends as the old man's murderer. The plot of the story describes the narrator's ...

  12. 63 Short Stories for Middle School: Free PDF Downloads

    Best Small Story for Middle School: Open PDF. Below we've selected our favorite 16 short stories for middle middle. These 16 stories can be found with our free PDF download (click thumbnail to preview). Accompanying lesson plans can including be found at TpT with over 182 pages of thought-provoking real include material.

  13. 70 Great Short Stories to Teach in Middle School

    70 Great Short Stories to Teach in Middle School. 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 ...

  14. Best Short Stories for Middle School Students

    06. of 12. "Thank You, M'am" by Langston Hughes. Synopsis: A young boy tries to snatch the purse of an older woman, but he trips, and she catches him. Rather than call the police, the woman invites the boy into her home and feeds him. When the woman learns why the boy tried to rob her, she gives him the money.

  15. Short Stories and Books for Elementary and Middle Schoolers

    Cynthia Rylant is an American author and librarian who has written more than 100 children's books, and her stories often focus on themes of friendship, grief, and love. In "Stray," a young girl brings home a puppy and tries to convince her parents to keep it. You can find two other stories by Cynthia Rylant in our library: "Shells ...

  16. Book of Short Stories for Middle School: Collections and Anthologies

    I hope you discover a new book of stories. The ones below are a bit older. If you're looking for something more modern, there are many newer short story collection for teens linked to on the stories for teens page. Short Story Collections for Middle School "Little Worlds: A Collection of Short Stories for the Middle School" contains 30 ...

  17. 63 Short Stories for Middle School: Free PDF Downloads

    Best Shortcut Fables since Middle School: Available PDF. Below we've elected my favorite 16 short my for mid school. These 16 stories can can found in is free PDF download (click thumbnail to preview). Accompanying lesson plans can also exist found at TpT to over 182 sides off thought-provoking and engaging material.

  18. Short Stories for Middle School

    Here are encore short stories to follow our first collection, Short Stories for Middle School. They offer wonderful variety of the short story genre, and a great starting point for classroom discussions. Most importantly, they are great stories intended to spark a life-long interest in reading, while building critical reading and analysis skills.

  19. Short stories for middle schoolers: 17 quick reads w/ lasting impact

    The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. Narrated by a man who commits a terrible crime, this classic is sure to keep students on the edge of their seats. The story provides a chance to study characterization, explore the narrator's descent into madness, and discuss the concept of guilt.

  20. 51 Irresistible Short Stories for Kids (Read Them All for Free!)

    51 Irresistible Short Stories for Kids (Read Them All for Free!) Quick reads with lasting impact. By Jill Staake, B.S., Secondary ELA Education. Apr 24, 2023. Looking for some free tales to use for close reading or classroom read-alouds? This roundup of short stories for kids has plenty of options. From quick fables with morals to old-fashioned ...

  21. Short Story Collections for Middle School

    Lay-ups and Long Shots. An Anthology of Short Stories. Book - 2008. A collection of eight short stories about middle-schoolers and sports. They range from a game of "H-O-R-S-E" to running, ping pong, dirt biking, surfing, place kicking, soccer, and basketball. Available in some locations.

  22. 25 Short Stories for Middle and High School Written by Authors of Color

    This is a fun story to read to showcase the various writing styles of authors. //VIA//. "Raymond's Run", "War of the Wall", and "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara are all amazing short stories for middle school students. Bambara's fiction is often set in the rural South as well as the urban North. Her characters are always well ...

  23. 24 Hi-Lo Books for Striving Middle Grade and YA Readers

    Aug. 2023. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459836808. Gr 6 Up -A grieving teen decides to join a triathlon, despite facing anti-fat bullying, and falls in love in this hi-lo novel. Sienna is still grieving her best friend, Stacey, who died by suicide, when she discovers that Stacey registered them for a triathlon as a joke.

  24. 32 Best Books for Middle Schoolers About Middle School

    This is a powerful short story middle school anthology of diverse stories written by talented #OwnVoices authors such as Matt de la Peña, Jacqueline Woodson, Kwame Alexander, and others. The ...

  25. MSN


  26. Using Picture Books in the Middle School Classroom

    In this class, we participated in book clubs, read multiple whole-class novels, and discussed modern trends in middle grade and young adult texts, all with the purpose of taking these strategies into the classroom. What I didn't expect was one of the classes to be focused on the use of picture books in both middle and high school classrooms.

  27. 15 Essential Chapter Books For Elementary School Kids

    Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth. This fast-paced and funny graphic adventure novel is a great fit for kids in upper elementary school grades. The Boy Who Crashed to Earth. is the first in a ...

  28. US Teacher Appreciation Week 2024: Deals on food, supplies and more

    Buffalo Wild Wings: From Monday, May 6, to Sunday, May 12, teachers and school staff get 20% off their orders with valid IDs on dine-in, call-in, and walk-in orders. BurgerFi: Teachers get a 20% ...

  29. What banned books are returning to Fort Worth ISD libraries?

    The school district pulled the books nine months ago as a new state law went into effect on Sept. 1, which required book vendors that sell books to schools to give a "sexually relevant" or ...