I read a book in school (early 80s) where the entire world was paved and everyone traveled in personal wheeled carts. There was a little girl who fell out of her own cart and discovered she had legs. There was a small patch of grass or some sort of greenery near where she fell but it was the only patch around.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! It's a good question, but if you check out the suggestions it might help you recall some additional details. For example, maybe you remember some details of the cover?
    – DavidW
    Mar 29, 2019 at 16:32
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2 Answers 2


This might be "Revolt of the Pedestrians" by Dr. David H. Keller as mentioned in this answer to Short story about a future where people spend all their time in cars.

“The Revolt of the Pedestrians” is set many centuries in the future after humans divide into two species – the pedestrians and the automobilists. Automobilists have shrunken legs from always using automobiles or powered chairs called autocars. Eventually, the overwhelming majority of society become automobilists and decide pedestrians are anti-progress — a threat to society. They are outlawed, killed and assumed extinct.

One of the main characters is Margaretta Heisler, a young girl who was born with functional legs despite being part of a prominent Automobilist family. I haven't found any reference to her tumbling off and realizing she has legs. There's a large portion of the text on Google Books which is unavailable.

As an addendum, there is, after all, a copy on the Internet Archive and the falling part does not match up. Margaretta is born with functional legs, and is given training to use them by her bemused, but loving, family.


Pretty sure this is The Endless Pavement (1973) by Jacqueline Jackson.

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This review seems to match your description very closely:

A forbidden apple brings salvation in this uncommon fable, set in a grim future when people live in Home-a-Rollas, children go to School-a-Rollas, individuals are bolted into their own personal rollabouts, everyone watches auto races on their family screens and eats fortified but tasteless calorie sticks -- a world all tightly and efficiently controlled by a master Computermobile.

Then one day the young heroine, Josette, discovers an anomalous apple tree beneath a cloverleaf, slides from her rollabout and picks the fruit. She is of course reprimanded severely but before she can be reattached to her rollabout with "special bolts that only the Central Wrench can loosen," she throws the apple at the Great Computermobile, thereby wrecking the panel and bringing all the machinery to a halt. Whereupon people everywhere emerge from their hatches and Josette walks to meet them. That such use of the legs would be physically impossible given Josette's sedentary history should probably not disturb us, but it does make the concluding optimism less persuasive.

However, Josette's mechanized world is impressively projected without a false note or a touch of the heavy handed overkill most authors would employ. The book's design -- with the story set like poetry, a few words to a line -- helps to sustain the mood and the flow, and Cuffari's black and white pictures have a floating, surreal quality that fits the style and the theme without surrendering to the ugliness of Josette's world.

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