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Short Stories for middle school girls I am teaching a literature enrichment class for middle school girls and need some suggestions of really great short stories.  The class is called "Great American Writers," so I want selections that are strong, beautifully written and preferably by a famous American writer.

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write13,728 answers

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I would have to second some of the suggestions made above. "The Yellow Wallpaper," "A Jury of Her Peers" and "The Story of an Hour" are all excellent suggestions that also focus on feminine perspectives of various issues and the world. I understand that you are restricted to American authors, but at the same time a personal favourite short story writer of mine is Katherine Mansfield from New Zealand, whose short stories are brilliant. Try "Miss Brill" for startes before moving on to "The Garden Party."

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kiwi eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write1,176 answers

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I would suggest 'The Story of an Hour' by Kate Chopin, Susan Glaspell's 'A Jury of Her Peers', Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper', Ambrose Bierce's 'An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge' and of course anything by Edgar Allan Poe and Ernest Hemingway.

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Robert C. Evans eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write2,994 answers

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Practically any anthology including many works by Poe would probably be successful. I would also highly recommend practically any collection including many short stories by Kate Chopin.  Many of her stories were originally written to be read by young people, and yet they can be read very profitably by adults as well. The same is true of many stories by Jack London. If you are looking for a good, cheap, comprehensive anthology of American short fiction, Dover Book publishes one called Great American Short Stories, edited by Paul Negri. Dover also publishes very inexpensive collections of stories by a wide variety of American athors.

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write4,625 answers

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I would suggest "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant (while not American, teaches the truth about greed and material possessions), "The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne (which teaches perceptions), "Charles" by Shirley Jackson (instead of "The Lottery" --given its content (I would save "The Lottery" for later)).

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marbar57 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write551 answers

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Ernest Hemingway wrote many short stories for all ages. Here are a few of my personal favorites: To Have And Have Not (written in 1937), The Garden of Eden (printed posthumously in 1986), The Snows of Kilimanjaro (written about 1930), and The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigía Edition (a collection of previously unpublished stories and published posthumously in 1987).

Another good writer was F. Scott Fitzgerald. Here's some of his stories: Bernice Bobs Her Hair (1920), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (1921, and recently made into a major motion picture), The Ice Palace (1920), and Babylon Revisited (1931). There are also several short story collections available in book stores and libraries. If you want to go to longer readings, I love the novel, The Great Gatsby!

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Inuk Lee eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write4,794 answers

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This is a great question. There are so many great short stories from which to choose. The problem is going to be able to find the write ones. I am always partial to some of the classics, like The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. These might seem a little scary, but my 4th grade son loves these types of stories. You could check out this link to see many more short stories and they are free online.

http://www.americanliterature.com/ss/ssindx.html.

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lwhit1120 | Student

I recommend “The House on Mango Street.” Though technically a Novella, it is broken into vignettes. Each vignette tells a different story, all relating to a larger story about a young Latino girl name Esperanza and her community. Esperanza is a young Latino girl growing up in Chicago whose dream is to break the cycle of poverty in her neighborhood and make something more of her life, and help the others in her neighborhood.

This novella helps teach children about economic and racial diversity. The author, Sandra Cisneros is a female as well as Mexican-American. I believe that most girls can find something to relate to in this book, and there are many topics that can lead to some very important discussions. 

 

mirmirnotez | Student

The Miracle Girls.

nszabo | Student

I would suggest "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant (while not American, teaches the truth about greed and material possessions), "The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne (which teaches perceptions), "Charles" by Shirley Jackson (instead of "The Lottery" --given its content (I would save "The Lottery" for later)).

Yes, I saw the story "Charles" cited elsewhere and took a look at it.  Great idea.  I, too, am a little reluctant to include Jackson's "The Lottery," though it is a fantastic story. Thank you for the Hawthorne and and de Maupassant recommendations.  I feel a bit limited by the title of my own class, 'Great American Writers,' so perhaps a few digressions to other great writers of the English language would be acceptable.

nszabo | Student

Ernest Hemingway wrote many short stories for all ages. Here are a few of my personal favorites: To Have And Have Not (written in 1937), The Garden of Eden (printed posthumously in 1986), The Snows of Kilimanjaro (written about 1930), and The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigía Edition (a collection of previously unpublished stories and published posthumously in 1987).

Another good writer was F. Scott Fitzgerald. Here's some of his stories: Bernice Bobs Her Hair (1920), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (1921, and recently made into a major motion picture), The Ice Palace (1920), and Babylon Revisited (1931). There are also several short story collections available in book stores and libraries. If you want to go to longer readings, I love the novel, The Great Gatsby!

Lots of great suggestions!  Thank you so much for these ideas.  I tend to stick with women writers for the girls, but I like what you have proposed. Much appreciated.

nszabo | Student

This is a great question. There are so many great short stories from which to choose. The problem is going to be able to find the write ones. I am always partial to some of the classics, like The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. These might seem a little scary, but my 4th grade son loves these types of stories. You could check out this link to see many more short stories and they are free online.

http://www.americanliterature.com/ss/ssindx.html.

 Thank you so much for replying.  I appreciate your ideas and will most definitely check out the link you included.