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Summer Reading 2021: English III:Short Stories

All English III students will need to read three (3) of the following short stories.

Short Stories


The Essential Octavia Butler - The New York Times

Octavia Butler (see selected video)

"Speech Sounds" - Rye lives in the midst of a terrible dystopian society, where citizens cannot read, write, or speak.

"The Book of Martha" - God gives Martha the task of helping humans become less destructive. Character: Black woman

Willa Cather

"Obscure Destinies" -  A collection of three short stories Each story deals with the death of a central character and asks how the ordinary lives of these characters can be valued and how "beauty was found or created in seemingly ordinary circumstances.


Go There To Know There: Charles W. Chesnutt: Cross-Section of Traditions

Charles W. Chesnutt

"The Wife of His Youth" -  Mr. Ryder, a bi-racial man, was born and reared free before the Civil War. He heads the "Blue Veins Society", a social organization for colored people who look more white than black.

"The Bouquet" - Miss Myrover, a young white woman, begins teaching at a colored school to the surprise of her friends and family.

Feeling rejected? William Faulkner did, too - Hugo House

William Faulkner

"Barn Burning" - Ten-year-old "Sarty" has an abusive, alcoholic father who beats him mercilessly and burns down his employer's barns.

Ernest Hemingway (Author of The Old Man and the Sea)

Ernest Hemingway

"A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" - An old man and older waiter struggle to find a way to deal with their despair.


Zora Neale Hurston

"Spunk" - Spunk, one of three African Americans, is caught in a deadly love triangle, and then must confront the events.

More Short Stories



Ken Liu (see selected video) 

"The Paper Menagerie" - A heartbreaking story about family and immigration. Characters: Jack is bi-racial, white dad, and Chinese mom.


Tim O'Brien - US IB English-The Things They Carried - LibGuides at American  School of Madrid

Tim O'Brien (see selected video)

"On the Rainy River" - Stream of consciousness narrative to relieve guilt and shame about his involvement in the war.



Katherine Anne Porter

"The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" - Granny Weatherall refuses to believe she's dying. She doesn't want her daughter to go through her things and find out about her past.


Amy Tan official website

Amy Tan (see selected video)

"Rules of the Game" - Chess prodigy Waverly engages in a battle of wills with her domineering mother. Characters: Chinese immigrant parents.



James Thurber

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" -  Aging Walter is inept at many things; he is an absent-minded driver, he can't handle simple mechanical tasks, and he forgets things easily. What makes Walter exceptional is his imagination.


The Eudora Welty Foundation » New Exhibit Now Open at Welty Education and  Visitors Center

Eudora Welty

"A Worn Path" - Phoenix Jackson, an elderly black woman, must walk a long way from her home in rural Mississippi to retrieve medicine for her grandson.


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