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Margot is different because she is from Earth, unlike her schoolmates on Venus. They are jealous of her past experiences, especially her memories of the sun. After seven years of solid rain, when the sun is about to make a rare appearance on Venus, the students punish Margot with a cruel act of bullying.

Neighbors fear that aliens have landed when a bright flash appears in the sky and strange things begin to happen. Panic and a mob scene leave readers questioning who the real monsters are.

Great for engaging students in a dramatic read-aloud! Victor begins his first day in seventh grade hoping to make Teresa his girlfriend. After a series of awkward run-ins with her, he attends his French class, where she is also enrolled. Bueller does not embarrass Victor, but instead his empathy leads to new understandings and confidence for Victor.

Just looking over this list gets me excited about teaching short stories!

Short Stories

Classroom-tested stories by acclaimed authors that middle school students will love. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Jose gains the understanding that there will always be people in the world like Arnie, but he will be like his father, a born worker.

In this humorous O. Henry story, two drifters, Sam and Bill, plan to kidnap a boy in a small town and hold him for ransom money. The men try to just return him without being caught, but run into more problems when they implement their plan. Margot is different because she is from Earth, unlike her schoolmates on Venus. They are jealous of her past experiences, especially her memories of the sun. After seven years of solid rain, when the sun is about to make a rare appearance on Venus, the students punish Margot with a cruel act of bullying.

Neighbors fear that aliens have landed when a bright flash appears in the sky and strange things begin to happen. Panic and a mob scene leave readers questioning who the real monsters are. Great for engaging students in a dramatic read-aloud! Victor begins his first day in seventh grade hoping to make Teresa his girlfriend.

Stories | Short Stories, Bedtime Stories, Scary Stories

After a series of awkward run-ins with her, he attends his French class, where she is also enrolled. Bueller does not embarrass Victor, but instead his empathy leads to new understandings and confidence for Victor. Just looking over this list gets me excited about teaching short stories! Every time Abdulaziz slowed down, so would the truck, but whenever a gap in the oncoming lane appeared and Abdulaziz tried to pass, the truck would speed up, cutting off his path.

He squinted at his surroundings.

An outstanding collection of unabridged classic short stories

You get here and it never lives up. Beyond a small curve, another intersection appeared.

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Abdulaziz slowed to a near- crawl so as to read the upcoming sign, which indicated this was indeed Lower Nehalem. It was a small road, less well-paved and narrower than the highway. None of the Arab students knew if there was any truth to the story, but everyone heard it eventually. Like any story many times recycled, the tale transmuted.

But at its heart was a young man named Khalid who belonged to the upper Saudi echelons, a distant heir to the throne. He belonged, as well, to that generation of men sent to obtain degrees from Western schools—a self-interested temporary migration that mirrored the throngs of Westerners who traveled in the opposite direction in search of better pay and easier lives in the shadow of the oil fields.

One night, the story goes, Khalid left the riverside penthouse his family had rented for him since freshman year and went for a long walk. There was a polite coldness to the people who seemed to belong in this part of the world, he felt, and though in his years here he had purchased many items and experiences, he had been unable to buy his way around that coldness. He walked for hours and a little after midnight ended up in the Pearl, somewhere just outside what remains of Chinatown. He saw men dressed as women entering a dive bar and, in a moment that perhaps his elders back home would consider rebellion or apostasy but was in reality a levee deep in the core of him finally breaking, Khalid followed them.

Had he come from a lesser family, perhaps he could have been cut loose, the memory of him buried.

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But for someone so prominent there was no such possibility. After weeks of threats, pleas and goading, the delegation finally convinced Khalid to come back home. They promised him freedom from societal responsibilities, no obligation to marry the wives who, according to the intricacies of custom and political maneuvering, had been arranged for him.

And even should some unspeakable calamity claim the lives of all those who stood ahead of him in the succession line, he would be spared the burden of the throne. So, quietly and never having finished the business degree he came for, Khalid agreed to go back home. Here the story, authenticity already fraying, came apart completely. In some tellings, Khalid soon saw that whatever he had felt in Portland was only a phase, and surrounded now by his family and his community, he disavowed it.

In other tellings Khalid was spirited away to the palatial grounds of one of the family mansions on the outskirts of the city and shrouded there behind gold-spiked gates, left to live unseen however he pleased. But in another alternate ending, rarely told, Khalid never went back home.


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He stayed in Portland and started his own drag bar and eventually retired to a small cabin overlooking the dunes in Florence. In the years that followed, Abdulaziz heard many variations, but it was this ending he enjoyed most; there was something satisfying about it, something that made the whole story worth believing.

F o r a moment Abdulaziz considered reversing, not continuing down the small branching road that seemed to descend right into the heart of the forest. Maybe they should just stay on Highway 26 and continue on to the ocean, stop at Seaside and buy some overpriced taffy, watch the slow gray roll of the ocean. But he did turn, following the old red pickup truck and prompted by a vague sense that to abandon this excursion now would be to succumb to a kind of cowardice that would confirm this place had never been, even temporarily, his home.

The road narrowed. The moss-skinned trees leaned in and sliced up the sunlight. Little by little the quality of the asphalt worsened until it disappeared altogether and they found themselves driving on dirt. Then, somewhere nearby, they hear the sound of gunshots. He began to roll down the window to get a better look past the roadside brush, but thought better of it.

Abdulaziz shook his head. The gunshots were irregular in frequency but u niform in volume, suggesting all the shooting was happening in a single spot.