Publisher's Note:  

A classic novel from the mind of the storyteller who captures the imagination of readers from around the world, and across two generations


First prize in the Skyway Soap slogan contest was an all-expenses-paid trip to the Moon. The consolation prize was an authentic space suit, and when scientifically minded high school senior Kip Russell won it, he knew for certain he would use it one day to make a sojourn of his own to the stars. But "one day" comes sooner than he thinks when he tries on the suit in his backyard -- and finds himself worlds away, a prisoner aboard a space pirate's ship, and heading straight for what could be his final destination...



Have Space Suit - Will Travel

by Robert A. Heinlein

Review Date:
05/15/2014

Recommended Age:
12+

Overall Rating:
****

Profanity / Language Rating:

Violence / Gore Rating:
***

Sex / Nudity Rating:
*

Overall Review:  

 This Robert Heinlein classic tells the story of Kip Russell, a high school senior who dreams of winning the first prize in a contest, a trip to the moon. His hopes are dashed when instead of winning the contest, he’s only a runner-up, receiving a used space suit instead.


But Kip fixes up the space suit and is trying it out in the pasture one night when he’s almost run down by a space ship. Next thing he knows, Kip is on the way to the moon, a prisoner of the horrific space alien, Wormface.


Kip’s fellow travelers are an eleven-year-old genius, Peewee, and The Mother Thing, a warm, loving creature who Peewee says is some kind of cop.


Kip and his space suit will travel to the moon, to Pluto, to a planet orbiting the star Vega, and to a planet somewhere in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud where he and Peewee will go on trial as representatives of the entire human race.


There are many things I like about the book—Kip’s scientific knowledge for one thing—it’s presented to the reader naturally and simply throughout the book; I like the excitement of the story, and Kip and Peewee’s resourcefulness and courage.


I was disappointed in the trial. Why would the court exclude Kip’s rescue of The Mother Thing in its evaluation of the human race, and why are Kip and Peewee unable to make any effective defense of humankind? Kip and Peewee resort to defiance—not my favorite human trait.  I was also disappointed in the ending where Kip throws a milkshake in a heckler’s face. Defiance again.  However, the trial can be the springboard to a discussion of how you and your teen would defend mankind in such a forum.


The book has a bit of a slow set up, but at the end of chapter 3, a space ship almost lands on Kip, and the story takes off. From there to chapter 9, the story zooms along. Chapters 9 and half of 10 are slower, but then the story picks up speed again as Kip and Peewee go on trial before finally returning home again. An exciting space adventure that invites thought and discussion on the value of the human race.

Reading Level: 6.2, range 5.1-8.0.

Of interest to boys and girls.

This review has been acquired and adapted from CleanTeenReads.com.


Content Analysis:  

 This review was acquired from CleanTeenReads.com on May 15, 2014 and was not completed using Compass Book Ratings’ standardized checklist.  Nevertheless, it contains useful content information which is included here.  The overall number ratings have been approximated based on this information.


Kip "blew out windows and set fire to the barn" that was his workshop; Kip’s hit on back and passes out, wants to bash heads of two men who come for him; they threaten to throw him out of space ship; they bind him and drop him on floor, give him chop on side of neck to stun him; Kip thinks bad aliens are going to kill off humans and take over Earth; implication that bad aliens will eat humans—later made explicit, even eat humans’ bones, Kip not sure he believes it; Kip threatens to spank Peewee, she threatens to bite him; Kip worries about explosive decompression of Peewee’s space suit; bad guy slaps Kip, grabs head, forces capsule down throat, Kip tries to bite him; bad guys pull off head strap on Kip, pull skin off too, threaten to take cost of supplies "out of [Kip’s] hide"; Kip forced down a hole—into jail cell, imagines ways to kill bad alien; bad guys thrown down hole also; Kip makes dagger out of ration can, offers to fight bad guy with it for rations; Peewee attacks bad alien "with both hands and feet"; Kip stomps on bad alien’s head, graphic description of how it sounds and feels, wants to kill alien; mention of losing a toenail "through a slip of a hatchet"; they see Neanderthal man eating rat; bad alien threatens to destroy other species; court removes planet of bad aliens, all will die; Roman throws javelin at aliens in court, doesn’t hit anyone, threatens aliens with terrible things; Roman suggests Kip slit aliens’ throats; court decides that humans "are a savage and brutal people, given to all manner of atrocities. They eat each other, they starve each other, they kill each other," the court fears what humans will do to peoples of other stars if they’re allowed to live; Kip threatens to come back and hunt down all those in court; another race says their young "bite and scratch each other—some even die from it"; Kip throws milkshake in mean man’s face.

 

Mean man suggests Kip’s been running around "bare-nekkid" or wearing rubber underwear—not true; Roman soldier bought a "barbarian woman to wife"; mention of alien with "skimpy notions of dress."



Mature Subject Matter:  

Value of the human race, alien abduction



Alcohol / Drug Use:  

 Ad on TV where cigarettes do the cancan, claim that they’re not carcinogenic; to be sure it’s all legal, pharmacist gets town doctor to write prescriptions for antibiotics and codeine for Kip to stock his space suit; Kip thinks meeting Peewee and The Mother Thing are probably a "morphine dream" from being hospitalized in body cast; Kip takes codeine to deal with pain of terrible frostbite on Pluto; Peewee’s father "chews on an empty pipe."



Reviewed By CleanTeenReads
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