Short Story Centre

7 Must-Read Short Story Collections For Young Readers


I am going to cut to the chase: I know if you’re here, you’re looking for a good story to read to your younger ones. 

And I know you want to encourage good reading habits in your child. So, this goes without saying that you’re looking for the best ones – the one that keeps them on the edge, makes them ask questions, allows them to dream, and still conveys the important lessons they need to learn. 

Needless to say, as a parent, it’s your responsibility to expose your kid to the magical world of stories. 

But now that you’re here, it’s my duty to help you find the right one.

So, let’s do our jobs together, shall we?


Fearsome Creatures Of The Lumberwoods – By Hal Johnson

fearsome creatures of the lumberwoods

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods has twenty spine-chilling stories about the fantastical American folklore beasts. These creatures are all dangerous and forbidding – they’ve razor-sharp teeth and stealth, scales and claws, camouflage and single-minded nastiness. 

Illustrated throughout with drawings that glow-in-the-dark, the author leaves no chance to creep you out. 

Flying Lessons And Other Stories – By Ellen Oh

flying lessons

Ellen Oh’s Flying lessons and Other Stories celebrate the universality and uniqueness in all the kids. It touches on: basketball dreams, first crushes, new neighbourhoods, and family fiascos. 

Kids with marginalized identities must read this bold anthology, for they’ll find themselves in at least one of the characters. 

I like how distinct all the stories are in this collection. Normally, the character of middle-grade fiction sounds juvenile, but that wasn’t the case in this short story collection. 


Funny Girl – By Betsy Bird

funny girl

Betsy Bird introduces a diverse group of contemporary female writers in this anthology for young readers. It’s a compilation of the funniest short tales you’ll ever come across.

What I loved best in Betsy Bird is the clear message that girls can be fun as long as the world lets their sense of humour shine. 


The Tales Of Beedle The Bard – By J.K. Rowling

tales of beedle the bard

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K Rowling has five richly diverse fairy tales. Each of these stories has a magical character that brings delight, the thrill of mortal peril, and laughter.

What makes these short-fictions a must-read is how it fills the young mind with the essence of good and bad. The teachings drawn from the interpretations are applicable to the muggle world too.


The Hero Next Door – By Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

hero next door

The Hero Next Door is a vibrant short fiction anthology that features thirteen authors whose diverse and powerful voices explore acts of bravery in martial arts teachers, inventors, soccer players, friends, neighbours, and sisters. 

The Hero Next Door has several standout tales that prove the heroes come in many sizes and shapes – and they don’t wear capes. Each story has at least one child and a person who’s doing mundane things. But this person is presented as a hero – not because they’ve superpowers but because they’re making world a better place by doing their jobs. 


Fairy Tales From The World Of Shazrina – By Shazrina

fairy tales from the world of shazrina

Fairytales from The World of Shazrina is a collection of six new-age fairy tales – The Fairy Princess, A Bag Of Candies, Stardust, The Magic Coin, The Treasure Hunt, and Head in The Clouds.

These stories, universal in appeal, touch on whimsical worlds: the world of fae, hidden caves, magical clouds, outer space, surprises and mystique. However, at the same time, the characters are absolutely real. This is an adventure-promising read young readers should definitely pick up and page through.  Most importantly, because each story conveys some pithy lessons as a bonus that kids can imbibe through every character’s journey! 

Been There, Done That: Writing Stories From Real Life

been there done that

Been There, Done That has a diverse collection of short stories that give readers an exclusive look at the process of understanding real-life experiences and then shaping them as short fiction.

21 contemporary authors contribute to this anthology, where each of them tells a true-life anecdote. Then they follow it with an engaging short fiction.


Raise a Reader

If you’ve come this far in the article, I am sure you’re all for installing a love for reading in your child. Reading books to your little one will not only give you the opportunity for close bonding but also introduce them to the rewarding world of literacy. 

Study after study shows that early reading helps kids understand the world around them and makes them more intelligent. But Albert Einstein put it best when he said:

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”