When Grace woke up this morning, she could not believe that this was the day, when books were banned. For almost a year now bookshops and libraries had closed down. Because everyone used mobiles, tablets and computers, hardly anyone bought books anymore and governments across the world decided to ban the manufacturing and selling of books from today.
For months now, at school, Grace had been teased for reading a book, rather than use her mobile. Grace loved her books, her grandfather had been a writer of children’s stories and it was from him she got her love of books. Another thing she had learned from her grandfather, was never give up, even if it seemed impossible. She did not know how yet, but she was going to overturn this ban.
It was not illegal to keep books, but just to manufacture and sell them. Libraries had become unfashionable overnight and no one went to bookshops anymore. Grace knew there were other children like her and she believed that with their help, her generation could bring back books. She knew that the pleasure in physical books could not be translated into digital, but she was sad seeing so many books thrown away.
Her grandfather had told her that people will get tired of starring at a screen for everything, that they will one day return to picking up a book. That fads come and go, but books will always be part of our lives. The thing Grace had already noticed, was you needed to carry something else about and also a book didn’t give you eyestrain or need charging.
Her grandfather had passed away a year ago, but she felt him in her life, she spoke to him often as she walked. When her grandfather was alive they liked nothing more to walk through the local woods, talking about everything and especially books. She loved to hear about his latest book, the characters and its story. She then realised her generation and the older generation needed to join forces and fight this ban.
She had an hour left at school, it seemed odd not using books, yet everyone else was happy using either their tablet or mobile, she decided she would go to the retirement home where her grandfather used to live and talk to the people there. They were as passionate about books as her grandfather was and it was a good place to start the fight back. The people in the home were very different just like her grandfather.
They all listened to what Grace had to say, as she talked she saw their eyes light up. By the end, they were ready to take on the world, they all loved books and were so excited. The old bikers loved their biking manuals, others enjoyed fiction and non-fiction and wanted books back. They didn’t like technology and much preferred books. They thanked Grace and looked forward to seeing her soon.
From the home Grace started to walk to Nanny’s house. She loved her nanny and shared her passion for books too. On the way she remembered what her grandfather always said about books. “Books are our history, our memories, our dreams and hope.” Every time she thought of this it made her smile so much, her grandfather could make you understand anything, he had that way about him.
Grace suddenly stopped on the street and burst out laughing as she just remembered what they had called themselves. One of the old bikers had said “hey we need a name for our group.” They all thought for a moment and the old lady sitting in the corner peeling potatoes and without looking up or even smiling, said “Silver Rebels.” They all laughed and said it was perfect.
She could not wait to tell Nanny what was happening. Grace realised she was really hungry and wondered what Nanny was cooking. She always enjoyed visiting Nanny because she was always baking and cooking yummy food. As she got closer she could smell the cooking, her tummy rumbled and she began to run the last 100 yards and burst through the kitchen door shouting “Nanny, Nanny, guess what has happened."
Nanny was not in the kitchen, so Grace did not see her come in, Nanny coughed and Grace turned around to see Nanny standing there with the menu board. “Oh Nanny, how did you find out?” Nanny giggled and said “Grace, even us Silver Rebels know how to use a mobile phone lol.” They both giggled and Nanny said “Grandfather would be very proud of what you are doing, are you hungry Grace?”
“Nanny, you know very well, when it comes to your cooking I am always hungry.” Replied Grace as she laughed and Nanny laughed too. “Close your eyes Grace and now open them.” Said Nanny. When Grace opened her eyes, there was Nanny holding a huge plate, with her favourite, a roast chicken dinner. “Oh Nanny, how wonderful, mmmmm, let’s eat.” Replied Grace, as they went to the dining table.
After dinner, Nanny got a call from her friends at the retirement home, asking if her and Grace would come for tea, as more people want to help. An hour later they were at the home, they both had tears in the eyes. So many people had turned up and even made a banner and told them, they were going to do this for her grandfather and books. Grace loved how eccentric they were just like her grandfather.
“Oh no, here comes the General”, said the lady peeling the potatoes. “Right people we need to get fit, I have bought the assault course, we need to beat the enemy. Said the General. “My teddy can do this in 3 minutes,” continued the General. “Hey who is that behind you General?” Said one of them, the General turned, as he did they all run off, leaving just the man sleeping in the armchair there.
The next day after school, she asked some of her friends to come around, to chat about how they can help bring back books to everyone. Her friends admitted they could not read as much with their mobile/tablet as they could with a book and that after a while it made their eyes sore. After a while they decided they would start a campaign to save children’s eyes, to run alongside the Silver Rebels campaign.
Over the next two weeks everyone worked hard towards the launch of the campaigns. As Grace was in her bedroom, the night before the launches, she was finishing her speech, she had felt her grandfather had been with her all evening. Just then Nanny phoned and said “Grandfather is with us and it will be amazing tomorrow.” Grace felt relaxed and finished her speech and then went to sleep.
When Grace arrived at the venue to give her speech, she was absolutely amazed, how many people were there. There were thousands of people, sitting waiting to hear her speech, all carrying a book each. First up, were the Silver Rebels, she loved that she could feel her grandfather with her and that Nanny was in the audience, right at the front, so Grace could see her.
The silver rebel who was giving the opening speech, had an amazing way with words, but she was very timid, so she asked her two dear friends to stand with her, while she spoke. Now they looked really fierce, they were old bikers, but if you can keep a secret, they were both big softies. They were always giggling in the retirement home about how fierce they looked, but were just big pussy cats.
By the end of her speech, the audience was hanging on her every single word. She repeated what Grace’s grandfather used to say, that books are our history, our memories and our dreams and hope. The audience stood and clapped and start to chant “Silver Rebels, long live books” over and over. Now it was Grace’s turn, to get her generation onboard too. She felt her grandfather was holding her hand as she stood and started to speak.
As Grace stood there, she became very nervous, so she just took a moment and remembered the walks in the woods with her grandfather and remembered what he always told her. “Grace whatever your mind can perceive you can achieve, just believe in yourself, be proud of yourself as I am of you every single day.” Grace smiled and began “Thank you for all coming, today we start our fight………”
“We are the next generation and we are responsible for not only our planet, but our history, our memories, our dreams and hope, we need our books, we need them to pass them onto our children. So, I ask you all right now to delete the book app from your phone or tablet and start reading a book today.” Said Grace. She cried with tears of joy, as she watched as everyone stood up and deleted their app, the fightback had really begun. "This is for you grandfather," she whispered quietly.
The Silver Rebels called on all of those of their generation to talk to their children who were in a position of influence and even those who were not. To remind every single one of them, that without books, we would not have the advancement we have in life now. That books need to be treasured and are priceless, that without them we would still be living in the dark ages. The crowd roared and chanted even louder, “Silver Rebels”.
It was not only the people who loved books who wanted them back, it was also the groups who were concerned about the planet. They pointed out to everyone the amount of energy which was being used to charge all these devices. Also, worldwide opticians were flooded with people who needed glasses because of starring at their devices all day. Overnight private libraries and bookshops were springing up in every town and village. People were saying “books save your eyes and save the planet’s energy resources too.”
Within 3 months, the ban on books was lifted worldwide, every government had tried at first to convince the people, it was a good thing, but nobody listened. Then came the day, when the ban was completely gone and books were restored back into everyone’s life. Grace went back to her studies and the “Silver Rebels” went back to their normal lives, or did they?