Day 161: The Day It Rained Books

The Day It Rained Books
Matt Zurbo

Joshua Chad was walking from A to B,
when it started to rain books.
“Hm. This is interesting,” he said.
(Kid looking up as books fall from sky.)

Books! Books! Everywhere!
Raining down on him,
the policeman, bullies,
the playground,
the zoo,
(Double page spread of kid running along street as it rains books. Policeman signalling for the books to stop, old couple hiding under umbrellas, one bully looking up, the other reading a book, playground, and a gorilla reading)

the town.
(Wide shot of books raining on township.)

The politicians were furious! “WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!” Parents were terrified. ‘WHAT SHOULD WE DO?” Everyday people were shouting; “VOODOO!”
Joshua Chad just smiled.

And set about swapping:
Truck books for Mem Fox! Romantic novels for Where the Wild Things Are! The Hungry Caterpillar! Rabbits going to the moon and back!
(Kid, books under arm, swapping with a polite, but big and hairy garbo – a fishing book for a pirate book.)

Soon, a swap meet was organised at the carnival. Everybody came!

The librarian was the happiest person ever! She stood and preached: “Now meanies will read, everybody will learn! Minds will expand, the world will be saved!”
But then, with a Crack-a-BOOM! The sky turned black…
dark with more books falling!
(Librarian up on carnie spruiker’s soap box, top half covered in shadow, looking up at books falling. Everybody in the crowd, including kid, is doing the same.)

And fell.
(Ship overflowing with fallen books. Books in water. Row boat overflowing with books.)

And fell…
(Dad using a snow shovel on books to get to car.)

All the adults went insane!
But Joshua Cad and the other kids… somehow… felt saved!
(Kids, sitting, reading, with smiles, piles of books around them.)

Time travel and magic and dinosaurs, and girls called Alice falling down rabbit holes. Oh, it was like a sea of imagination!
(Kid reading, images of Alice in Wonderland coming off of him.)

Ideas that lead to ideas! Stories that inspired stories!
(Opposite types of people and kids talking with each other about the books they’d read.)

But enough was enough for the Mayor. Roads wee blocked.
(Mayor, red-faced, shouting, as, behind him, Truck with pile of books in front of it, as if he tried to drive through them, but just made a wall of them instead. Workers, seen through office windows, all reading in their cubicles.)
People were not working like they should.

He lit a match.
(Fingers holding a lit match.)

“Oh, no…” said Joshua Chad.
(Running as town on fire.)

“Quick, this way!” he called, reading an emergency book.
Then glanced through a fireman novel, to know what to do.
(Kid running, wile reading two books, people following him, cloth over mouths, holding shoulders in a line.)

Lives were saved, but the books were all gone.
(Walking through burnt out town, looking up, while pouting, at falling ash.)

Soon, everything returned to kind of the same. It drove Joshua Chad insane! There had been something special, magical, throughout town – books… books… BOOKS…!

Reading books there was nowhere he couldn’t go.
(On old Spanish warship.)

Nobody he couldn’t be.
(Reading E=Mc2 book, dressed as Einstein)

Nothing he couldn’t see.
(Standing on grass, head down, reading. Behind him are African animals and a waterfall.)

Each one was another world in the palm of his hand.
(Kid reading, five or six dragons walking around him.)

“Why doesn’t it just rain books again?” Tommy Tuckers asked the sky.
“Or Crayfish!” said Sassy Sally.
(Boy and girl looking up while main kid walks by, dejected.)

Joshua Chad decided it was because the sky had offered them a miracle, and they had given nothing back.

So, determined to make it rain books again, each day, Joshua Chad wrote another book.

Amazing, heartfelt books, fun adventure books. Books about his life, and history.
His hopes, tears, dreams.

He put his heart on his sleeve, yelled: “For you!”, and would throw it with all his might at the clouds!

And each day, another of his books would rise…
and fall.
(Handmade book, with handwriting on cover, bound with leather thread, rising through air. Bird watching it go.)

Joshua Chad did this so many times he became a really good writer. His books were sought after. Everybody loved them!

They would laugh and sob and cheer, and share, and read them to each other.

Each of his books a one-off.

A collector’s item for sure.
(Person selling one over the counter, to librarian.)

“For you!” he called, again and again, so often, that if you took a photo each day,
and pressed them together,

you’d swear it was raining books from the sky…


The End.