The sun is blocked out due to air pollution but one of the characters wears sunglasses anyway and sets a trend. Probably a children's book or story. Published before 1992.

  • 3
    I don't know if it was based on a book, but reminds me of the movie: Book of Eli
    – childcat15
    Sep 12, 2013 at 15:43
  • Good movie, but not it. The story I am thinking of was about children.
    – tyson
    Sep 13, 2013 at 22:49
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    Just to let you know, you're not crazy. I remember this story showing up in one of the books in elementary school, which means that it was released prior to 1990. I'm pretty sure that it's older than that. The kid reads about sunglasses in a book and gets someone to make them for him. I think, though, it's general air pollution that has dimmed the light so much, not nuclear winter.
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 15, 2014 at 13:11
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    What I remember about it was that he found the mention of sunglasses in a book (and I want to say there was a digression where it was established that most kids didn't know what books were and thought it was inconvenient to have to manually turn pages). I believe an adult makes the sunglasses for him as a novelty item. And, as you said, it becomes a minor trend where kids where them just to look different.
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 15, 2014 at 13:21
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    thanks sean. i think you are correct, it was air polution. and it was definitely written before 1990. i graduated in '92 and read it when i was a kid.
    – tyson
    May 23, 2014 at 4:22

1 Answer 1


This is the story, Jill Wants Sunglasses by Elizabeth Levy.

This story is found in a school textbook by Holt. The textbook is titled Special Happenings and it has been found in many editions of the textbook, the earliest I found was in 1973. This textbook included many stories meant for grade 3. I cannot locate a copy of the story itself, but below is the best summary I could find from a child’s website project on this story.

The story takes place in 2275 AD. After years of people not caring about pollution, the sun is completely blocked out. People live in apartments in huge, multi-thousand story buildings. Jill is a young girl, who is very obedient. Jill isn't spoiled and only has one request. After looking at old photos and magazines, she wants sunglasses. Although no one has known what sunglasses are for generations. Behind her back, everyone thinks that Jill is crazy. But her parents just wait for this phase to pass. It does, and months go by. One day her father sits and talks with her. He asks what sunglasses were, since its not a touchy topic anymore. Jill explains about sunglasses, and about the sun, which no one has seen for over decades. Since her dad realizes that sunglasses are actual things, they spend years tracking down pairs. So Jill and her dad get pairs of sunglasses, and no one longer thinks Jill is crazy.

According to this Primary Teacher's Guide to the Use of Basal Reader Stories for Teaching an Awareness of Career and Consumer Education Goals document from 1975, the story is 10 pages long.

ISFDB entry

  • By George, I think you've got it!
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 28, 2015 at 13:30
  • There are very few mentions to the story, but I found a copy of the textbook on Amazon and it is at least familiar-looking. amazon.com/Special-Happenings-Basic-Reading-System/dp/…
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 28, 2015 at 13:37
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    Got the book. This is the one. Elizabeth Levy is the author. Weirdly enough, although they have credits for most of the stories in the front, there is nothing in there for this story. Maybe this was the first publishing?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 6, 2015 at 22:27
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    And I have confirmation from Elizabeth Levy that she did indeed write it, although she'd since forgotten about it.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 15, 2015 at 16:13

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