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lapazfarm
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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 12:14pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

I have begun giving my ds (12) one or two short stories per week to read and discuss with me. We are looking at plot, story structure, literary elements, etc. and just generally talking about the story. So far this is going extremely well, he is really enjoying this format and has even started writing a short story of his own.
Anyway, I need some suggestions for short stories to give him.
So far I have:
To Build a Fire (London)
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (Bierce)
Ransom of Red Chief (O Henry)
Gift of the Magi(O Henry)
The Monkey's Paw (Jacobs)
The Notorious Jumping frog of Calaveras County (Twain)
The Open Boat (Crane)

He has already read the first two and loved, loved, loved them, and is begging for more.
So now I see my short list isn't going to cut it and I need some suggestions for more good classic short stories that will be engaging and thought-provoking to a 12yo boy. They don't have to be American, but should be something I can easily find at the library or online.
Any ideas, ladies? Lay them on me!



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marihalojen
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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 1:45pm | IP Logged Quote marihalojen

Man! I just lost a lengthy post I hate that!

To be more succinct -
Hated the Pearl by Steinbeck
Maybe Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway
Definitely A Gift of Wings by Richard Bach - superb flying short stories
Beware of the Dog by Roald Dahl, only Dahl story I like. Wartime story of a wounded pilot of a Spitfire.

I'll keep thinking...


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marihalojen
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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 1:48pm | IP Logged Quote marihalojen

Oh - I just remembered another suggestion from the lost post. Does he like SciFi? Analog has years of short stories available.

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chicken lady
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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 2:54pm | IP Logged Quote chicken lady

Is Flannery O'Connor to dark for him?

GK Chesterton has many as well.
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lapazfarm
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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 2:58pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

marihalojen wrote:
Man! I just lost a lengthy post I hate that!

To be more succinct -
Hated the Pearl by Steinbeck
Maybe Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway
Definitely A Gift of Wings by Richard Bach - superb flying short stories
Beware of the Dog by Roald Dahl, only Dahl story I like. Wartime story of a wounded pilot of a Spitfire.

I'll keep thinking...

I also loved Beware of the Dog and hated The Pearl.I'll look into the flying stories.They might be something he'd be into.

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lapazfarm
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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 3:02pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

chicken lady wrote:
Is Flannery O'Connor to dark for him?

GK Chesterton has many as well.

Not sure he is quite ready for Flannery O'Connor. What Chesterton would you suggest for him? I am clueless there.

Oh, I just thought of another one:The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Anyone remember that one from middle/high school? I sure do!

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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 3:33pm | IP Logged Quote Rachel May

lapazfarm wrote:

Oh, I just thought of another one:The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Anyone remember that one from middle/high school? I sure do!


Oh, yeah, I remember!

How about Poe? I love him, and remember laughing my butt off at one on premature burial. Was it called that?

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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 3:38pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

lapazfarm wrote:
[Oh, I just thought of another one:The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Anyone remember that one from middle/high school? I sure do!
Yes, I do. It was one I was going to suggest - not that he would neccessarily like it - I didn't - but it is a "classic" and almost always covered in schools.

I'll bet he would like "To Build A Fire" that you already listed - I would add to that other Jack London ones.Considering you are moving to Alaska and all. My sons seemed to like those in general.


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Irving)
Rip Van Winkle (Irving)

Of course there are many from Poe - many weird and creepy but classics.


And he likes sailing and sea stories, right? The Extraordinary Adventure of a First Mate by W. Clark Russell

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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 3:52pm | IP Logged Quote Rachel May

The Most Dangerous Game

The Premature Burial Although Poe's language is a bit tough.

This is fun to think about....

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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 7:04pm | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

How about "The Necklace" by Guy DuMaupassant?

The kicker at the end really got me in Jr high- I never forgot that story. It's a good lesson.


And "The Bear" by William Faulkner (I think). Another great story.



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lapazfarm
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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 8:22pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Fantastic suggestions, ladies! Just reading the titles brings back such memories!
I can't believe I forgot about The Most Dangerous Game! He is going to LOVE that one!And I will definitely add the Necklace, Rip Van Winkle,Sleepy Hollow and some Poe (Premature burial is GREAT!). All favorites of mine.
I have never heard of the Extraordinary Adventure of a First Mate, but it sounds right up his alley. He does love the sea!
Thanks so much for your help. I knew there was some great stuff out there, but I was totally drawing a blank. Glad I have you ladies to fill in the holes!


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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 8:26pm | IP Logged Quote Willa

About Chesterton: --
Father Brown stories are very good -- The Blue Cross or The Flying Stars.

Would he like Sherlock Holmes?

The Red Headed League is a good one.... not as creepy as some of them.






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Posted: Feb 09 2008 at 8:39pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

He tried Sherlock Holmes and thought it was ok, but couldn't really get into them. I think I may try them as a read aloud and that will likely set the hook.

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Posted: Feb 11 2008 at 7:04pm | IP Logged Quote missionfamily

the secret life of walter mittyby james thurber...sorry, i'm holding a toddler. i have more, will try to come back.


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Posted: Feb 11 2008 at 11:46pm | IP Logged Quote Cay Gibson

Willa wrote:
About Chesterton: --
Father Brown stories are very good -- The Blue Cross or The Flying Stars




Try starting these with Nancy Brown's books:
http://mrsnancybrown.blogspot.com/

I always enjoyed the poem-story The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

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Posted: Feb 12 2008 at 8:03am | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

These are not quite classic like all the other wonderful suggestions above, but these are two delightful collections of Howard Pyle short stories:

Pepper and Salt AND The Wonder Clock

And here are two collections that include short stories from the likes of Jack London and Louisa May Alcott:

National Review Treasury of Classic Children's Literature

Volume Two

As a disclaimer, I used to and my husband still does work for ISI which is why I have these books. I can't wait until my boys are old enough to enjoy them, though, perhaps they aren't quite as heavy as you wanted.

What about Rudyard Kipling? I know my 3 year old loves Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, but it seems like some of the other stories are a bit more meaty. I enjoy them, and they do seem like they are pretty appealing to boys.

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Posted: Feb 12 2008 at 9:14am | IP Logged Quote chicken lady

Sorry Theresa I did not get back to you. Willa had written my suggestion (Fr Brown).   You might enjoy them yourself if you are not familiar with GK.

And the Nancy Brown suggestion from Cay, is great!
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Posted: Feb 13 2008 at 8:44am | IP Logged Quote mandmsmom2001

Bibliomania has a HUGE list of short stories!

I loved Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and just shared it with our library's book club - they were reading one of her novels and none of them had read The Lottery.

Anyone read A Field of Blue Children or Flowers for Algernon? I remeber both from high school.
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Posted: Feb 13 2008 at 10:12am | IP Logged Quote Maryan

One of my favorite short stories is "First Confession" by FRANK O'Connor. It's here in its entirety: First Confession

I have to admit that FRANK O'Connor has written a lot more short stories... but I haven't read them to recommend them. But First Confession is hysterical.. it's also good read aloud in an Irish accent.

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Posted: Feb 16 2008 at 4:45pm | IP Logged Quote Macmom

"Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut. It was my favorite in junior high!

"THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General....."

Read the whole short story here:
http://centre.telemanage.ca/links.nsf/articles/481D5B5D81956 7AC85256A38000A150F




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