All Summer in a Day; bullying, prejudice and ignorance



Have you ever read Ray Bradbury’s short story All Summer in a Day?

There are few exercises I remember from school, but this story left a lasting impression on me. I admit I didn’t remember it was Bradbury, and I was excited when I came across it again in a book of short stories. I told my wife that she just had to read it. I know my sister also read this story and was affected by it.

waiting for the sun
Waiting for the Sun, my sons solar frog on his windowsill

The story is science fiction set on Venus – a rainy, jungle planet. It is so rainy that the sun is visible only briefly every 7 years. The 9 year old main character Margot is from Earth. She has been on Venus for 5 years and still remembers the sun.

Her classmates were only 2 years old when they last saw the sun. They have no memory of it. Margot misses the sun dearly, and is emotionally and physically wilting like a flower.

Her peers mock her. They dispute her memories of the sun. She is new to Venus, strange to them and different. They single her out and she withdraws, becoming a loner in their midst.

There is a heart-wrenching event, played out as childhood shenanigans, that takes place on the day the sun comes out. You just have to read it.

There was a movie, too. It had a feel good ending, which isn’t necessary and waters down the message. I wholeheartedly recommend the story.

I love reading Bradbury to my son. I’ve got a tradition of reading the Halloween Tree to him in the Fall. But this story is too strong for now, I think. He has been dealing with some other 3rd grade friendship issues. This story will have to wait.

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About Eric Holsinger

Eric Holsinger is a mobile app developer and hobbyist photographer. He lives near the coast in Southern Maine with with his wife and son.