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Suggestions for short stories for literary analysis--7th/8th grade level?


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I'll be leading a light literary discussion group soon, and I need a few short stories that would make good subjects for basic analysis. I remember being pretty bored with the traditional fare (O. Henry, etc.) in school. Does anyone have suggestions for something a bit more interesting that we can read and discuss? 



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I read "The Loaded Dog" by Henry Lawson, to our group's teenagers bookclub last week. They loved it. Great use of suspense, beautiful language, very funny, good characterisation. It might be a bit Australian, though. This week we are reading Roald Dahl's story of his meeting with CS Forester and how he got started as a writer.


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Non-sci-fi ideas:


Poe (Cask of Amontillado, Tell-Tale Heart)

Sherlock Holmes

"A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty

"A Rose for Emily" by Faulkner

James Thurber

"Thank You, Ma'am" by Langston Hughes

"The Fifty-First Dragon"

"A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote

"The Piece of Yarn" by Guy de Maupassant

"Martin the Cobbler" by Tolstoy

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L.M. Montgomery has a lot of wonderful short stories. Rudyard Kipling has some wonderful short stories, too. I especially like the Maltese Cat, which is about polo ponies - it's from the polo pony's point of view. My dd will love this one.


Roald Dahl has a collection of short stories, Tales of the Unexpected, among others. They are really neat. Pre-read first as some are strong. There was a TV series done (you can find it on youtube) of many of these stories, too. 

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Herman Hesse has some fantastic short stories that should appeal to that age in Strange News from Another Star.

Also The Body  by Stephen King (It's the story that the movie Stand by Me was based on, it's not horror or full of inappropriate stuff - though there might be some coarse language.) and in the same vein, but more classical, HP Lovecraft. - We loved that stuff in middle school.

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These are a pretty good list. I'm especially fond of "All Summer in a Day" which is a pretty easy read, but can yield a really rich discussion:



There's also this collection, which is okay:



And this one, which I really like, but which leans slightly younger for a few of the stories - more like 5th-6th than 7th-8th:


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Thank you all! "All Summer in a Day" looks very promising for this group. I'll see if I can work O. Henry in later on, because I want to start up with some enthusiasm on my part as well as theirs :lol: But I agree some of his works are things kids should definitely recognize before going out into the world.


I appreciate the ideas!

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