by Shirley Jackson | Grades 8-12
"The Lottery" is the story of a small town's annual lottery ritual, in which one person from the community is chosen (via the lottery) to be sacrificed by being stoned to death. One of the most terrifying stories of the twentieth century, Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker in 1948. "Power and haunting," and "nights of unrest" were typical reader responses. Today it is considered a classic work of short fiction, a story remarkable for its combination of subtle suspense and pitch-perfect descriptions of both the chilling and the mundane.