The day the screens went blank (Book Review)

The day the screens went blank is a hilarious new middle grade book from Danny Wallace. While the story is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud, it also contains a gentle reminder for us to be more aware of how screens affect our lives and to take time to enjoy the little things.

The day the screens went blank

It’s no secret that 2021 sees many of us reliant on our screens, whether that’s a phone, laptop, tablet or television there is no denying that we are more plugged in than not most days. As much as technology is amazingly helpful in our lives, it’s also a somber thought to think of the effect it has on us to be permanently connected…even more so when we take into account the effect this has on our family life.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the screens went blank? How much of your daily life would be affected? With technology permeating so many parts of our lives, it’s hard to imagine how we would cope without access to credit cards and GPS, clocks and alarms on our cell phones, and the list goes on.

The hilarious account of what could happen is told from the viewpoint of ten-year-old Stella and is brought to life through lovely black and white illustrations by Gemma Correll. Trying to make sense of this new world and how to cope with no technology, Stella sets out on a road trip with her family to check her gran is ok. There’s a lot of excitement along the way, from running out of petrol to changing a burst tyre and even getting stuck in the mud, and they also meet an unlikely friend named Uncle Tony, a cow named Bertha and Ellie with a Rolls-Royce on their journey.

But the story is about so much more, it’s an adventure that brings a family closer together and a realization that we used to do so much more when we didn’t use screens so much. It’s about discovering the joy of swinging in the park, visiting a library, and having fun with games like marbles and other activities long forgotten from our younger days.

There are lessons on kindness and spending time with your loved ones, embracing your imagination and even an eerie reflection of the year we have just spent in lockdown in this pandemic with more time to talk, bake bread and spend time playing together.

As much as The day the screens went blank will have you in stitches of laughter, it will also remind us how we should all be more present, and for this reason adults and children alike will both enjoy reading this book.

The day the screens went blank is available for a recommended retail price of R185. Check out the book trailer below:

Thanks to Jonathan Ball Publishers for sharing this book with us.

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