i don't remember when i first read this, it was assigned in class at some point.. but i still remember it so clearly!!! it fcked me up lol... i cried!!!!!!!
What a brilliant, heartbreaking little story. I heard about this short story on Anne Bogel's podcast "what should I read next" and I immediately went and found it online to read.
It was so beautifully written. And so, so sad. But also powerful. Kids can be such bullies to those who are different. We must teach them better. Although not explicit, that's what this story is about.
I read this back in grade 6 I think, and I remember how sad I felt for Margot. I also remember that this also really hit home about consequences for our actions and how a simple I'm sorry does not or will not always suffice.
So present day and I need my five year old son to start understanding this important lesson. So I know your thinking Bradbury for a five year old? Look,I am the first to say my boy Ronan is not super gifted and he is not going to be writing his memoirs at 6 or somthing, he is bright and sweet,but I don't think he is a genius. I have sparkly things hanging on my sliding glass door cause he runs into it all summer long. But my kid loves space, obsessed with space, but not Star Trek space, for reals space.
Ronans birthday cake this year
So we start reading about children who live on Venus and it has been raining for 7 years.
Ronan says:wait wait What about the air its toxic you can't breathe?
Me: maybe they wear masks? (it does not say masks anywhere)
Ronan: is it acid rain? It should be acid rain.
Me: nope I think normal rain
Ronan : The pressure? it spose to crush you?
Me :Yep they fixed that
Me: flux capacitater,its a machine (???????????????????????)
Ronans "Hmmmmmm face"
So we get to the point where they will see the sun soon for only a short time and for the first time in 7 years.Here is where he loses his shit
Ronan:Whoa,whoa,whoa, Its 2nd planet to the sun?It is closer? Why can't they see the sun??? What about the Volcanos? and its really really hot these kids should be melted. This book is ridiculous!
*Quick note- Ronan has read every Franklin story there is, if a talking turtle who is friends with a bear is not ridiculous then......... anyways
I finish the story and try to talk about poor Margot and those horrid little bastards who put her in the closet and I say "do you get what I'm getting at ?"
Ronan : I get this book should have been on Mars and with snow, I pick the book next time Mum,grumble grumble grumble.
So a little constructive criticisim from my 5 year old and I'm a little depressed cause he kind of missed where I was going with this and I have such strong feelings about this one and he kind of ripped it a bit.
Some of these stories are so great. I read All Summer in a Day as a kid and it has haunted me ever since. But a lot of the stories in this collection are skippable.
It is winter in New Zealand at the moment. Those who live here in Auckland don't have snow in winter, we only get the cold and the endless rain, sent to us by her majesty the sea. But today we had the sun, there was not a cloud in the sky to mask its face. For the first time in two weeks, we had the sun. It's a funny coincidence that I read this today. Yes, the air is still cold but I sat on the couch only inches from the glass door, soaking in every damn ray.
I connected to this story today, it's night time now and the sun is gone but I read this story and I feel like it is only today that I could have ever connected with it. What a perfect coincidence.
I loved this small piece, it told of cruelty and sensitivity and pure humanity that can only be portrayed by that of a child, by Margot more specifically.
How 'sorry' cannot even begin to make up for what childhood bullies have taken away.
& how people can be so terrible and unreceptive of what is different and of people that have had something that we have always coveted.
This story was written better then most full length books.
That's all there is to it.
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
Children witness a break in the rain on Venus; lighthouse workers see what lies beyond.