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4.4 out of 5 stars
This Place Has No Atmosphere
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2003
Whenever I think of the Thornton Wilder play "Our Town," I am reminded of Paula Danziger's book "This Place Has No Atmosphere." It was already a little dated in the mid-90s when I read it in middle school, but the characters rang true and I enjoyed it immensely. I don't remember the story itself so much as I remember that it was one of the first books that made me stop and think about new ideas every once in a while. How would people live on the moon? What does it mean to REALLY move away?
In short: if I remember this book after nearly ten years and hundreds of books in between, there's got to be something sepecial about it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Aurora Williams seems to have everything; she's a member of the 'in-group' at her school, she's best friends with a rich celebrity and best of all the cutest boy in school just asked her out. Teen heaven right? But Aurora isn't really happy. Her parents don't understand her, or she them, and she isn't really like the other kids in her group though she's good at acting like she is. In short Aurora is pretending to be somebody she's not in order to be accepted. What this book is really about is Aurora discovering who Aurora is and getting the courage to be herself. Along the way she learns hanging out and having boyfriends isn't all there is to life, that people she used to dismiss as 'barfburgers' might be worth knowing after all, and maybe her parents understand her better than she thought. She even learns to appreciate her kid sister! None of which would have happened if she hadn't been forced to move to the Moon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2011
The year is 1986. I had recently moved (AGAIN) to a different state and was about to start school mid semester. I was the new kid once more. It seemed like just as soon as I would start to fit in my family moved. I am sure many adults can relate to the feeling of being up-rooted and moved as a child, but at the time you swear you are the only person who has ever felt that way.

So...I read...a lot. At first it was to pass the time on long cross country car trips following a moving van (remember this is back in the days before TV's in cars, ipods, cell phones...) But, as I grew older the books and stories I would read would have more purpose than just killing time. Sometimes the books actually changed my perspective on things by telling me a story in which I could so deeply relate. It wasn't a person in my face telling me that "this too shall pass". No, it was a story that I could understand and it showed me that things can get better if you change the way you confront them. I know they seem so similar, but it's a very different thing to show and not tell.

This brings me to the late Paula Danziger's 1986 release of THIS PLACE HAS NO ATMOSPHERE. I picked up the book because I thought the premise of living under a dome on the moon really cool. And it was...totally, but it was so much more.

Danziger wrote a quirky Science Fiction spoof that is at times funny and sad but if anything it is a wonderful coming of age story. The characters are all very realistic in their actions and the emotions conveyed. Readers get to see a teen, who by nature is feels like the center of the universe, discover that she is a part of that universe. Aurora deals with depression and normal teenage angst, but in the midst of it all she grows closer to her parents and realizes all that she can be and contribute to the world whilst finding her true identity.

And, lets face it . . . finding ones identity is a timeless lesson that continues to be something kids, teens and adults have issues with.

I loved this book. I am so happy to see that it is still in print...with a far less cheesy 1980's cover. ;)

Full review: [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2004
This book is about a teenager in the year 2057 name Aurora whose life on Earth is a teenage dream. Unfortunately, she has to leave it all behind to be with her parents and bratty brother on the moon; a change Aurora has to learn to cope with, lunar dust and all.
It's been so long since I last read this book. I think I was thirteen and Amazon hadn't been invented yet (I'm now 26, by the way, and I already know of one mall that has condos built over it), but I haven't forgotten about it at all. I loved it then and I still love it now. The plot, puns and characters have stayed with me and all I could say is that a book that stays with you for this long with such fond memories deserves a five all the way.
Aurora is a wonderful character; imperfect yet lovable (when she isn't whining) and the surrounding cast bring out the best and worse in her. The setting of the story makes for a refreshing take for an otherwise uninteresting theme, yet we are not made to forget that in spite of the fast-paced developments in technology, we remain simply human, folks who eat the batch of brownies grandma sent, down to the last crumb (biggest thumb rules!) and teens who pop pimples in spite of clearasil and parents who embarrass their children.
Book best served for tweens.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2000
If you think your life couldn't get any worse, you should share a day in the life of Aurora Williams. The book This Place Has No Atmosphere by Paula Danziger is a classic. In the year 2057, 14-year old Aurora and her friends do all the regular teenage activities. They get in trouble, buy CD's, and watch models in mood clothes. One day Aurora's life is shattered with news from her mother that she and her family are moving to the Moon. Aurora prepares for the worst and the beginning of a new life on the Moon. After about a year on the moon, Aurora's fears have gradually disappeared as she makes new friends, and found the finer things on the moon. Danziger surely has pointed out every teens nightmare in this science fiction-comedy. It sure will make children and adults laugh from years 2000 to 2060!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2005
This was a great story. Aurora disovers she is going to leave everything behind, her friends, her school, and most devastating of all, her boyfriend Matthew! What's worse is that she is leaving all this behind to live on the moon for 5 years, with a bunch of "barfburgers"! How will she survive?

It takes a lot of acceptance, reflection, inflection and changing before Aurora realizes that she has a place to belong on the moon in the year 2056. She discovers that the life she left behind and the friends she clung to so much are totally fake, and dispassionate about anything.

Danziger does a great job of creating Aurora and Starr, the two sisters who make this story memorable. Written and published in 1986, Danziger employs slang and cliches that would escape the grasp of todays kids. However her subtle predictions on lifestyles, and her intriguing plot develop a fun story that kids will love.

One of my favorite strategies used by Danziger is the variety of writing formats she presents different chapters in. While most is narrated in first person from Aurora's perspective, Danziger also uses letter format, lists, a lunar quiz, and even a script format for one chapter. This kind of fun writing is inspiring and encouraging to a dream to be writer like myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2009
I remember reading this book about the time it was published, and I remember I thought it was an amazing story. I'm sure that it's probably completely dated now, considering that it was written before the internet or the development of all the technology we have, like mobile phones. The story itself however is timeless, as teenagers are the same in any age.

As an aside, I remember too wondering if I would still be alive in 2057 (I'd be 80) and if we'd really have colonies on the moon then. That I would remember that twenty years later, says something about this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 1998
Aurora Williams seems like a typical teen; she loves music, clothes and guys. When she finds out that she is to move to the moon, her high school dreams are shattered. But after living on the moon for several months, she realises the important thing in life; her family. I think that this book is excellent! Paula has done such a wonderful job of creating her own thought of the future and putting it to the test in words. I love reading futuristic books because it is fun to hear other peoples thoughts on the future. Great Job Paula!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2005
This Place Has No Atmosphere is probably the best book ever written.It's the story of a girl who lives in a future where kids have psychic powers,wear tunics, have funky hairstyles, and can live on the moon thanks to an oxygen filled bubble colony. Even in the future teens will still be teens and things such as crushes,dorky siblings, being cool,peer pressure and of course moving stress are all faced in this awesome read. If you didn't like this book you are probably an alien.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 1998
Bravo Paula Danzinger! She does a great job in describing two interesting topics:living on the moon and a teenage girl's life. The story is terrific. More realistic than some other of those sci-fi stories. I simply thought this book was well written and would recommend it to anyone who is in the mood for a great book. The characters and settings are terrific. Everyone who loves realistic fiction stories should try this.
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