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Have Space Suit, Will Travel Paperback – February 8, 2005
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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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.
''Still timely.'' --School Library Journal
''It's easy to see why Robert Heinlein ranks at the top among science fiction writers . . . He adds a delightful sense of humor and a deft sense of timing and suspense.'' --Chicago Tribune --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
At first he found the detailed descriptions overwhelming but by the time he was 30 pages into it, he was loving the story. I was very happy to be able to introduce him to the world of real science fiction (for young people), and there are not many better than Heinlein and his SF writing for juveniles. This book has also been praised as one of his best juvenile SF books too.
My son stated that he still prefers the real thing (paperback/hardbound) books over ebooks for the feel and enjoyment of it, but he does not mind the kindle book.
One interesting aspect of this novel is the degree to which it is planted squarely in the late 1950s, when it was written. Here Heinlein makes no attempt at social speculation; the book deploys all the tropes of the 50s with only the added features that humans have rockets and have gone to the moon. So our hero Kip wins his spacesuit by submitting thousands of entries of slogans to a soap company that sponsors a TV show. He's a soda jerk plagued by a real-life jerk who constantly calls him a space cadet, in scenes reminiscent of "Back to the Future". (It's not first prize, which is a trip to the moon.) Here, before Heinlein decided in Starship Troopers to make his uncompromising statement in favor of military commitment and vitality, with a society organized to support that before anything else, we see a much more balanced universe, with brutal villains and gentle heroes, embodied by the "Mother thing", a female specimen of a versatile, empathetic cat-like species that saves Kip and PeeWee, the younger tomboy female protagonist, from a brutal race of aliens. Here we see sweet young adult/pubescent proto-courtship, as PeeWee matches or surpasses Kip for intelligence and bravery, with lots of competitive banter and (very) occasional flirtation. Ultimately Kip and PeeWee must present the case before a super-galactic court that the human species should not (at least yet) be wiped out as a potential threat to the civilized inhabitants of the known universe. Challenging work if you can get it.
The book is one more instance of how Heinlein can be as square as square can be (including a reference to Kip's high school winning a square dance championship), but also inspiringly all-American and ultimately transcendent as a statement that promotes improvisational bravery, independence, and decency. Pretty damn wonderful book.