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Have Space Suit, Will Travel Mass Market Paperback – May 12, 1985

237 customer reviews
Book 12 of 12 in the Heinlein's Juveniles Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-Robert Heinlein's 1958 story comes to life and is still timely almost half a century after it was published.. Teenager Kip Russell, infatuated with the idea of traveling to the Moon, enters a contest to win such an opportunity. However, his dream becomes a nightmareâ€"and a space soap operaâ€"when he comes upon a race of space creatures who have kidnapped a little girl from Earth's Moon Station. Rescuing Pee Wee lands Kip with a traveling companion who is very smart but much in need of protection. Fortunately, or so the kids believe at first, another alien being, whom they call the "Mother Thing," is available as both advisor and space guide. Their travels take them to Pluto, where they escape the clutches of Bronx-gangster humans, and then out to galaxies beyond our own. Eventually, Kip and Pee Wee stand trial in the stead of all humanity, a race charged with its rampant disregard for peace and environmental justice. Bruce Coville's young audiobook company treats this tale handily, with each character well acted by an age-appropriate reader. Pee Wee's childish voice sometimes requires adjustment to the volume level, but she and Kip carry the major portion of the tale between them, with interesting and appropriate musical effects added during chapter breaks and to the voice of the Mother Thing. Heinlein's writing stands the test of time, and contemporary youth will be inspired by the visions of space travel their own grandparents might have had at their age.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Full Cast Audio continues its tradition of family-friendly audio with this title from science fiction great Robert A. Heinlein, in which a boy enters a contest with hopes of winning a trip to the moon. Instead, he wins a genuine used space suit that turns out to be his ticket to interstellar adventure. Narrator Will McAuliffe is supported by a full cast. In this audio program, some dialogue attribution ("he said," "she said") has been deleted since it's unnecessary in full-cast narration. This makes for a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience. Heinlein's classic YA novel and Full Cast Audio are a perfect match. S.D. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition. --AudioFile

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (May 12, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345324412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345324412
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Rissa on March 28, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the first science fiction book I ever read, I found it in the public library when I was 12 years old, was intrigued by the title and took it home to read. I enjoyed it immensely and went on to devour Heinlein's other kid's classic, "Podkayne of Mars" which I thought was equally wonderful.
Thirty-five years later, Kip, Peewee and the Mother Thing have lost none of their charm. What I found most interesting about this book, however, was how very much things have changed since this it was first published: the story begins with Kip's attempting to win first prize in a soap slogan contest (he sends in 5,000+ entries) the grand prize for which is a trip to the moon. He doesn't win the trip but he does win Oscar-the-Traveling-Spacesuit, which turns out to be the best prize after all. Back to the contest: Kip can send in the actual contest form included with each bar of soap or he can send in a "reasonable facsimile." He entertains the idea of photographing the form 5,000 times before deciding that's impractical, so he settles instead for collecting the forms from the people who have bought the soap. I kept thinking, so why doesn't he just use the photocopier when it occured to me there weren't any photocopiers when this book was written. There weren't any intergrated circuits either, never mind microprocessors, which would have been necessary to achieve colonization of the moon in the first place.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on October 21, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
This book is good reading for anyone. I reccommend it especially to young science fiction fans, or younger readers who want a good first taste of sci-fi. However, this book is excellent no matter who you are. I am an experienced science fiction reader, and I put this book right up there with anything else by Heinlein. Sure, it doesn't have the free love bits and controversial stuff of RAH's later works, but that's not why you started reading Heinlein in the first place anyway, is it?
This book is a science fiction classic, period.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Have Space Suit--Will Travel represents Heinlein at his storytelling best. Free of the esoteric themes that would appear in his later writings, this book is pure science fiction seemingly written solely for the enjoyment of the reader. Originally published in 1958, the story stands up well even today and will surely be read and enjoyed by untold generations to come. I am sure that many a young person read this book and yearned to reach the moon in the decade before the Eagle finally landed.
This is generally classified as one of Heinlein's juvenile books, but Heinlein's writing is for all ages. I am sure the book appeals to many young people because its protagonists are themselves young people: Kip is a high school senior, and Peewee is a girl of about twelve. Kip develops an overpowering urge to go to the moon, and he is lucky enough to win a real space suit in a contest. Heinlein's description of the many different features of the suit is fascinating. Resigning himself to selling the suit for college tuition money, Kip goes for one last walk; somewhat playfully calling out on the radio, he is surprised to hear an answer to his call. He is amazed when a space ship soon lands in his backyard and a decidedly alien creature comes out and collapses. A second ship lands, an entity gets out and conks Kip on the head, and the next thing Kip knows he is trapped inside a space ship on his way to the moon, suddenly in the company of a little girl. His captors are "Wormfaces," a species of alien that has been in hiding on the moon, looking at the earth with evil intentions.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 17, 1997
Format: Hardcover
When I was in 4th grade the librarian noticed that when our class made it's weekly visit to the library I absolutely refused to check out a fiction book. One day she took me to a section I'd never noticed before, where little spaceships with a stylized atom orbit were on the spine of each book. She pulled one down and said "I think you might like this." That book was "Have SpaceSuit -- Will Travel" and to this day I wish I could thank her for what she did.
HSWT was the first fiction I had ever seen (at the advanced age of 9) which was not of the "see Spot run" variety. The hero, Kip, is a normal kid a few years older than I was at the time, who has willingly learned latin and french, can do math, has read history, and desperately wants to go to space. He's not a genius, just a normal, smart kid.
While walking in his back yard one night pretending to be on the moon he accidentally contacts (via radio) a spacecraft in earth orbit. The spacecraft (to his utter surprise) then lands almost on top of him. Kip meets Pee-Wee, a 9 year old girl smarter than him, the Mother-Thing, and Wormface. He gets to travel to Luna and the Magellanic Cloud and save the earth. This book has everything young people should be exposed to: action, intelligence, a non-condescending authorial voice and, MOST importantly, STRONG moral values, such as loyalty, bravery, and the importance of education.
In one scene, Heinlein teaches the reader a mnemonic for memorizing some important facts about our solar system and demonstrates how to solve a problem involving the speed of light mathematically.
Importantly, Heinlein was generations ahead of his time when he made the girls and women in his books as smart and brave as the males.
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