It can be hard to build the interest of your fifth grader in reading. At the end of the year, it is challenging for them to spare time reading thick novels, as the patience for reading ends at the end of the year.

Short stories are the ideal choice in such a scenario. Not just this, it requires comparatively less time to read short stories, but it is the best way to introduce kids to great authors and different genres. 

Thus, here we are with a list of 10 great short stories that will interest your fifth grader without consuming much time.

#1 The Lottery

The Lottery is one of the most frightening stories of the twentieth century. The information is about a small village with about 300 residents in the North. They had the tradition to stone someone to death to get a good harvest. The person stoned to death was selected through a lottery.

The lottery box contains black slips, with one of them marked with a black dot. The organizer asks the head of every family to pick a slip. This year, Bill Hutchinson got the marked slip. Even though her wife Tessie complained about the rush of drawing, people dismissed her complaint. 

Then the five family members of the Hutchinson family get a chance to pick one of the slips from the box. Tessie got the marked slip, and she was stoned to death, screaming and yelling for help.

It is a thriller story and can interest all the kids who read this story.

#2 Welcome to the Monkey House

If your kid loves reading short stories, then Welcome to the Monkey House is made for him. It is an excellent collection of 25 short stories by Kurt Vonnegut, full of thrills and his sense of humor. 

Published in 1968, the stories range from wartime epics to futuristic thrillers, given with satire and the author’s unique perspective. The stories are often intertwined and convey the same underlying messages on human nature and mid-twentieth century society.

#3 Flowers for Algernon

Flower for Algernon is a classic tale, which can interest almost all the kids. The story is about a kid Charlie Gordon, who has a significantly low IQ right from his birth. Because of this weakness, some experts choose him to conduct a study on his low IQ. 

The experts made an intelligence procedure and testes it on the mouse, which becomes successful, and that mouse named Algernon.

Then the experts conduct the study on Charlie, he becomes a super genius, but then the experts notice that Algernon’s intelligence starts to deteriorate. Is the same going to happen with Charlie as well?

Read this intriguing short story to get an answer to your question.

#4 ‘Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a part of one of the best sellers, The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. The story is about a young mongoose, adopted by a British family residing in their Bungalow in India to protect themselves from the venomous cobra.

Rikki warns two cobras residing in the garden of Bungalow named Nag and Nagaina. But the Nag tried to enter the Bungalow bathroom, where Rikki attacked him, and the father ultimately beats the Nag to death.

Nagina then tried to take revenge, but she was distracted by a bird. And meanwhile, Rikki destroyed all his eggs except for one.

The final battle between Nagina and Rikki occurs, where Rikki kills Nagina and then ultimately starts serving the family as their pet and ultimate protector.

#5 The Tell-Tale Heart

If your kid is interested in a thriller, you can opt for The Tell-Tale Heart. It is an exciting tale about a person suffering from disease, where he becomes extra nervous instead of being sane. He used to live with an older man with vulture eyes. 

The eyes of the older man always make the narrator nervous. So, he decided to kill the older man. Even though he loves the older man, murdering him was the only option for him to get rid of the vulture eyes.

He went to the older man’s room for seven nights. But as the older man was sleeping and didn’t open his eyes, the narrator stayed normal and could not kill the older man. But on the eighth night, the older man awakes with the sound of the narrator. 

After seeing his vulture eyes, the narrator attacks the older man and kills him. 

Although he wipes all the evidence out, some neighbors heard the yell of older men and police complaints. Will the narrator be able to save himself or confess everything?

You might need to read the story to know about everything in detail.

#6 There Will Come Soft Rains

If you have a techy kid, then this story will be perfect for him. There Will Come Soft Rains is a story about a smart house, which prepares the bed, coffee, cooks dinner, and automatically switches on and off the lights. 

In the year 2057, the city experiences a nuclear bomb attack, where the bomb destroys the town’s rest. But the smart house remains unaffected and keep doing his daily tasks. But in the end, a tree collapsed at the window of the house. Ultimately the house catches fire. Only a single wall remains unaffected with the announcement system repeating There Will come soft rains.

An exciting story is describing what our future could be.

#7 The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street is a story about the attack on Maple Street. The plot lies around a mysterious flash of light on a Sunday afternoon, which causes the power outage in and around Maple Street areas.

Although everyone thinks of it as a regular power cut, there is a lot more happening behind the power outage’s darkness. Knowing more about what will happen and how will maple street come out of the night, do read this exciting and adventurous short story.

#8 Lamb to the Slaughter

Lamb to the Slaughter is another thriller on our list. The plot lies around a couple named, Patrick and Mary. Mary was pregnant with their first child.

One day, Patrick came home drunk and asked Mary for a divorce. Mary ignores him and starts cooking dinner. Patrick refuses to eat dinner at home. Mary angrily throws the frozen leg of lamb, which she was about to cook for Patrick.

Mary thinking about her and her child’s future, decided to make a plot to save herself being the culprit of the murder. Will she be able to save herself?

#9 The Monkey’s Paw

Classic horror on our list is the Monkey’s Paw. The story is about a magical Monkey Paw that fulfills all the wishes, although all wishes granted come with some consequences.

The White family finds the paw and wishes for lots of money without knowing about the danger coming towards them. Will they be able to get rid of the threat?

This horror story is thrilling and fun to read and can bring on the goosebumps, as your young reader makes it through the story.

#10 Foghorn

Foghorn is a classic story about a monster who thinks the foghorn is another kind, as both of them sound the same. The foghorn tricks the beast, because of which he was coming to the lighthouse again and again.

The story ends with a message that the monster will wait in the depth of the sea for years and will only come again when humanity is gone from the earth.

Wrapping Up 

Short stories are a great way to refresh your mood without wasting much time. Whether you are a bookworm or not, short stories are going to interest you. Short stories are a great pastime, teaching something new each time you read it.

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