Monday, November 20, 2006

Help A Mamma Out

So I cruised on over to Beth’s to see who’s Smart Bitchin’ it today when I came across Suisan’s entry. Suisan’s daughter is caught in sixth grade English hell where there is absolutely no latitude in the teaching style and it’s driving the poor girl crazy. Suisan’s devised an at home program using short stories that her daughter really seems to enjoy, but she could use a few more recommendations like:

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County by Mark Twain

A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A Modern Cinderella; Or the Little Old Shoe by Louisa May Alcott

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

What are you short story suggestions? As a person who adores short stories I’m interested to see what y’all come up with.


literaticat said...

Anything from James Thurber's absolutely hilarious series of biographical short stories, MY LIFE & HARD TIMES - the first story, THE NIGHT THE BED FELL, might be the funniest thing I've ever read.

also by James Thurber:

SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY - overactive imagination run amok!

CATBIRD SEAT - mild-mannered fellow is driven mad by noisy coworker and plans to "rub her out"!

WW Jacobs: THE MONKEY'S PAW - scary!

Saki: TOBERMORY - a talking cat ruins a house party!

Frank Stockton: THE LADY, OR THE TIGER?

Shirley Jackson: THE LOTTERY

Irving Shaw : GIRLS IN THEIR SUMMER DRESSES (might be too adult - but great dialogue)

Amy said...

I loved Kate Chopin's "Desiree's Baby."

Anonymous said...

I just read Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger. I think 6th Graders are a bit young for these stories but for the adults I highly recommend them. You could also try Louisa May Alcott's short stories but these are along the lines of horror and still may be too adult.

I hope this helps if not the child in question, but any short story fan looking at these comments.

Houston, TX

Rosario said...

I love Cortazar's short stories. Two particular favourites: The Night Face-Up and Continuity of Parks. I read them in high school and I was blown away (how old is 6th grade? I was about 15 at the time I first read these).

Penny L. Richards said...

Sounds like they're interested in online short stories--well then!
for the classics, mostly American--I like women writers, so there's Willa Cather, Lydia Maria Child, Mary Hallock Foote, Susan Glaspell... but there are also stories by Dostoyevsky, Wilde, Tagore. The black-on-cream text is easy to read too.
This is a great place to find a lot of science fiction short stories online--some new, some classics. Octavia Butler's "The Book of Martha" is terrific, for starters.

Susan Adrian said...

For a little less "classic" fare, try the short stories of Ray Bradbury (amazing) or Rod Serling.

I also found a couple of good online collections with a lot of variety:

Have fun!

Leila said...

I was really into Ray Bradbury's The October Country at that age. Might be kind of dark for some twelve-year-olds, though. (I was a bit odd.)

Robin L. said...

Anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I love Bernice Bobs her Hair and I think it would be great for a 6th grade girl to read.

Other ideas:

The Fall of the House of Usher by Poe

I've also heard wonderful things about Ron Carlson's stories - he just published a new collection called, A Kind of Flying.

Good luck to her!

OtterB said...

I agree with Thurber, especially Walter Mitty or The Night the Bed Fell on My Father (I did a reading of that in speech class in middle school - hilarious). Also Poe.

Around that age I remember thoroughly enjoying "The Most Dangerous Game" (though I don't recall the author)

And some Sherlock Holmes.

Ana Vicente Ferreira said...

Girl by Jamaica Kincaid
Cathedral by Raymond Carver
20/20 by Linda Brewer

gail said...

Jack Gantos writes good collections of short stories about a boy named Jack Henry. They are actually written for gradeschoolers and one is called Heads or Tales: Stories From The Sixth Grade

cm allison said...

When I was in fourth through sixth grades, for short storied LOVED any of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, and of course, Jack London's short stories (which lead to the various novels.)
(still reread now and again, they stand up)

Little Willow said...

Jack London, Ray Bradbury, F. Scott Fitzgerald, L.M. Montgomery . . . So many great authors and stories! It depends on what genre she likes the most.

Anonymous said...

Number 1#

The Most Dangerous Game...
Richard Connell.

Kids love it!

Jennifer Estep said...

The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale.

The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang.

The Encyclopedia Brown mystery stories. Not sure of the author.

Lisa Hunter said...

May I suggest a different genre? When I was in sixth grade, I started reading plays -- often as part of a drama group at school. I loved it, especially comical plays like The Importance of Being Earnest, Beaumarchais' Figaro plays, and all the screwball 1920s comedies.

Kel said...

Hah, I haven't read most of these suggestions myself, but then I'm not really a short story person. Roald Dahl has written some really cool short stories though: The Great Automatic Grammatizer is the title story for one collection, as well as The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More. I'm not sure how appropriate those are for 6th graders, but they're interesting.
In middle school we read House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, which was pretty good. We had to write our own collection of vingettes after reading it.

zdaddyo said...

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (the short story version).
H. P. Lovecraft short stories like The Dunwich Horror or Polaris.
Edgar Allen Poe stories like The Fall of the House of Usher or The Tell-Tale Heart.
Arthur Conan Doyle stories about Sherlock Holmes like The Red-Headed League or The Adventure of the Speckled Band.