The Best Short Stories for High School of 2021

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

Spread the love

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Are you looking for short stories that are not only relevant to your education but entertaining? Or, are you merely looking for the best short stories for high school? Regardless of your intent, you have come to the right place.

Several forms of literature are beneficial to your high school tenure. Short stories can be found throughout American Literature by several notable writers. These are generally culturally relevant short stories that tell anecdotes of the times and emphasize various historical times. However, these can be found in fiction or non-fiction stories.

Along with providing you with some of the best short stories, we will also provide you with information on choosing the right stories for you.

Keep reading to find some new favorites to add to your reading library.

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top pick for short stories for high school here.

Our Top Favorite
The Story of an Hour (Tale Blazers)
Our Top Runner Up
Man from the South (A Roald Dahl Short Story)
Our Top Value Pick
The lady, or the Tiger?
Book Title
The Story of an Hour
Man from the South
The Lady, or the Tiger?
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
The Story of an Hour (Tale Blazers)
Book Title
The Story of an Hour
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Man from the South (A Roald Dahl Short Story)
Book Title
Man from the South
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
The lady, or the Tiger?
Book Title
The Lady, or the Tiger?
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-05-12

Our Favorites for Best Short Stories for High School

The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin is an author who has written several classic stories in addition to this one. Many of her works are short stories published in several well-known magazines like Vogues and Youth’s Companion. She has written an overwhelming number of short stories for magazines but is even a published author.

What Makes It Unique:

  • The Story of an Hour is often included with other works by Chopin, which feature four stories that capture the lives of four different women. It was initially published in Vogue magazine in 1894 and happened to be one of her most popular stories.
  • The book gets its name from the amount of which elapses after the main character Lousie Mallard finds out her husband’s unfortunate fate. Regardless of the events, the entire story happens within an hour.
  • There are several themes present in this story, with one of the main ones being time. Others include freedom and even identity.

Why Choose this Best Short Story:

  • The story, though short, forces readers to look at the economic times surrounding the story. It also provides readers with an account of what it was like to live in the United States during the 1800s.
  • The story provides a good look at the entrapment that many women may have felt during that period. The short story is a must-read and provides a tremendous sense of irony in the end.
  • Though the story is short, it shows readers and students how influential their writings can be even with very few words.
On Sale
The Story of an Hour (Tale Blazers)
  • Chopin, Kate (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 01/01/2000 (Publication Date) - Perfection Learning (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-05-12


The Black Box by Jennifer Egan

If you are looking for one page short stories, this is an excellent option for you. The Black Box is a story that is often studied in high school and loved by many. The author’s use of technology to convey the information is unconventional and often a talking point in itself. The text has even won a Pulitzer Prize.

What Makes It Unique:

  • The most exciting thing about this story is that it was tweeted entirely on the publication, the New Yorker’s Twitter account, using 140 characters or less for each tweet.
  • Using the required Twitter format, readers waited patiently as the story unfolded tweet by tweet. The story was initially released in May of 2012, a time when Twitter was extremely popular for the masses. It took nine days for the author to finish the story.
  • The story’s plot centers around the main character, a spy, who resides in the Mediterranean at a time in the future.

Why Choose this Best Short Story:

  • Many readers highly recommend this text if you are looking for feminist writings.
  • This is an excellent story that can be used to teach literary devices. There are examples throughout the story of irony, metaphors, allusion, and symbolism.
  • The author captures your imagination and can paint a picture that you can almost see in your mind.
  • This story is concise and great for students. It also proves how though the technology is changing, sharing your writing doesn’t have to. It just needs to be done in innovative ways.
Black Box
  • Hardcover Book
  • Egan, Jennifer (Author)
  • German (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-05-12


The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allen Poe is an author who has written an abundance of dark and sometimes dreary stories that are regarded as American Classics. Often when his name is spoken, we think about mysterious women, murders, and overall darkness. Poe has written an abundance of stories, poetry, essays, and so much more.

What Makes It Unique:

  • There are several themes that students can uncover from reading this Edgar Allen Poe classic. These include innocence, the thin line between sanity and insanity, and several others. Students will enjoy dissecting the story.
  • Murder is at the forefront of the storyline. The narrator attempts to convince the audience that he is sane while providing the account of the murder. However, one important thing to note is that we never find out who the narrator is.

Why Choose this Best Short Story:

  • Many readers found this text to be highly memorable, and some even scary. This is an excellent read for older high schoolers, capable of handling the depths that Poe brings.
On Sale
The Tell-Tale Heart (Bantam Classics)
  • ISBN13: 9780553212280
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!

Last update: 2021-05-12


Runner Ups for Best Short Stories for High School

Man from the South by Roald Dahl

When you think about Ronald Dahl, what comes to mind? Likely it is one of his most famous texts, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Though this is what some readers know him for, his literary track record does not stop or start with this text. Man From the South is one excellent short story that he has written for his “older” readers.

What Makes It Unique:

  • Man from the South is a short story published in 1948 and has been featured on TV and is an Alfred Hitchcock film. The story is told through the eyes of one man, the narrator, who happens to be on vacation in Jamaica.
  • Some can see the story as creepy and, at times, dark. It centers around a macabre bet made by several gentlemen at the beachside resort.
  • For many literature enthusiasts, this is seen as a classic.

Why Choose this Best Short Story:

  • Dahl’s story is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats and anticipating what is next to come. It is highly entertaining and takes twists that you wouldn’t expect.
  • This is an excellent text in the classroom to teach students about the diversity of writing styles, rising actions, and compelling endings.
  • The book also incorporates several themes that may be beneficial for your student to know. These themes include the more obvious choice, the dangers of gambling, and the theme of blind trust.
On Sale
Man from the South (A Roald Dahl Short Story)
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Roald Dahl (Author) - Stephen Mangan (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-05-12


Miriam by Truman Capote

Truman Capote is an American author who is often most known for his novel, Breakfast at Tiffany's. His writings have been adapted into over 20 films. Capote is gifted at writing short stories and has done so from a very young age. Though currently deceased, a permanent exhibit of his works and life stands in Monroeville, Alabama.

What Makes It Unique:

  • Miriam is an entertainingly creepy story of a young girl, Miriam, who haunts an elderly woman.
  • There can be several interpretations of Miriam. However, Truman himself believes that Miriam is a part of the elderly woman, Mrs. Miller, and is a result of her loneliness.
  • One prominent theme in the story is death and identity.

Why Choose this Best Short Story:

  • The story teaches readers to pay attention to detail. Though this is a quick read, there are several small but strong actions taking place.
  • The story is eerie in a way that is not dark but dealing with the elderly woman’s sanity.
Miriam: A Classic Story of Loneliness
  • Hardcover Book
  • Truman Capote (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-05-12


Value Pick for Best Short Stories for High School

The Lady, or the Tiger? by Frank Richard Stockton

Frank Stockton was an American writer who placed great emphasis on writing children’s fairy tales. He used his store to make fun of generally serious topics like violence, power, and various other natural human characteristics. This short story is one of his most known.

What Makes It Unique:

  • The Lady or the Tiger is all about a man who must face the consequences of having a love affair with the King’s daughter. He has the option of choosing between two fates, a beautiful woman or a tiger that will rip his face off.
  • The story is left on a cliffhanger where you must interpret the ending for yourself.
  • There are several interpretations of the story and several themes that may come from them. These may include love, power, and even jealousy. Ultimately the power lies with the princess in the end.

Why Choose this Best Short Story:

  • This is a great story to teach students the power of consequences. We never know what the results of our actions are until we have to face them head-on.
The lady, or the Tiger?
  • Stockton, Frank Richard (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 30 Pages - 02/17/2017 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-05-12


How to Choose the Best Short Stories for High School for You

Choosing a short story can be a rewarding and educational process. Though often students are given texts to read, finding books and stories of your own opens you up to a whole new realm of literary works and knowledge. Having a personal interest in the story, you are reading often makes doing things like short story writing projects easier to complete. There are a number of things that you must consider when finding stories that are right for you and several questions that you can ask yourself to aid you in the process. The question listed below will provide you with a basis for your search and help you narrow down your options.

What’s Your Grade Level?

Your grade level is an essential part of choosing a text for you. You want to ensure that the book you are choosing is not too easy and not too difficult. For example, for younger students, Edgar Allen Poe may be a hard author to read. It may be hard to understand his symbolism and some of the themes found throughout the text. However, for an older, more advanced student, this may not be an issue.

Start your search by finding books that are relevant to your grade level. If you find that you are a more advanced reader, search for books in the realm of your understanding.

Do You Want to Improve Your Literacy?

Improving your literacy not only means be able to read for better comprehension but actually understanding what you read. This means improving your vocabulary, taking notes about what you are reading, and sometimes, taking an interest in new things.

If you are looking to improve your literacy, there are a number of things that you can do. These can include reading aloud, giving yourself time for independent reading, and reading together with others.

What Type of Short Story are You Looking For?

To further narrow down the available options, you should have an idea of the types of stories you are looking for. What themes would you like the stories to cover? What genre interests you the most? Are you looking for the best contemporary short stories? All of these are questions that can be beneficial for guiding you in the right direction.

There are several literary themes to choose from when looking for a text. Examples of these themes include prejudice, coming of age, love, or even good vs. evil, to name a few.

Wrapping Things Up: The Best Short Stories for High School

Putting everything together, in this guide we reviewed the following:

Our Top Favorite
The Story of an Hour (Tale Blazers)
Our Top Runner Up
Man from the South (A Roald Dahl Short Story)
Our Top Value Pick
The lady, or the Tiger?
Book Title
The Story of an Hour
Man from the South
The Lady, or the Tiger?
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
The Story of an Hour (Tale Blazers)
Book Title
The Story of an Hour
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
Man from the South (A Roald Dahl Short Story)
Book Title
Man from the South
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Value Pick
The lady, or the Tiger?
Book Title
The Lady, or the Tiger?
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-05-12

This list includes some of the best and most recommended short stories for high school students. They are versatile, from a diverse set of periods, and are some of their authors’ best works. The items on this list can appeal to students within several different age range and interests.

One untraditional short story on this list is Black Box by Jennifer Egan. Egan’s story appealed to lovers of technology as Egan released it on Twitter. This release, in itself, is enough to get readers intrigued in the story. Another excellent option on this list is The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin. The complete story takes place within the span of an hour and will appeal to readers interested in feminist fiction.

If none of the options on this list interest you, you can easily choose your own using the techniques previously discussed. One of the main things is finding books that appeal to your interest and your grade level. Whichever text you choose, we are sure that it will be thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

If you found this helpful, help us out by sharing this post!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Readers of this post also read...