Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Have Space Suit, Will Travel ” as Want to Read:
Have Space Suit, Will Travel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Have Space Suit, Will Travel (Heinlein Juveniles #12)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  20,243 Ratings  ·  634 Reviews
When Kip Russell wins a used space suit, he has no idea it will lead to his abduction by aliens, much less that he will wind up crossing the galaxy with a pint-sized genius named Pee Wee and an empathetic alien creature called the "Mother Thing."It's agalaxy spanning adventure from the greatest science fiction writer of all time. ...more
Audio CD, Economy edition, 0 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Full Cast Audio (first published January 1st 1958)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Have Space Suit, Will Travel, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Have Space Suit, Will Travel

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 27, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Robert A. Heinlein work read and still one of my favorites.

Heinlein produced his juvenile books for Charles Scribner's Sons mainly in the 1950s and these were what many consider to be some of his finest work. I’ve always thought that the period between 1957 and 1966 was his zenith, with good work before and after, but during this time was when he was at the height of his considerable powers.

Have Space Suit Will Travel was first published by Scribner's in 1958 and so was a part of this h
PUBLISHER: R.H., we just got done reading your new book, and I have to say, bravo. This is your best one yet! The young boys of 1958 are going to love it. Heck, I love it. The whole setup was so clever, with the boy entering a jingle-writing contest for soap to win a trip to the moon? My wife really got a kick out of that -- i told her about it when she was washing dishes last night and she couldn't stop laughing! She sure does love soap commercials.

And having the boy win a spacesuit instead of
Jul 28, 2016 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi

Originally a serial, then published in '58, this well-beloved SF has been in the hearts and minds of many YA and adult readers pretty consistently since it came out. It's a toss-up whether people love it more for the good-science lodged right in rip-roaring adventure tale that includes being a space pirate or running on the moon in a space-suit of your own construction from bug-eyed-monsters (BEMs) or whether it's just because there's a delightfully well-written story with equally deli
Jan 09, 2016 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, pre-80s-sf
I am usually reluctant to read “juveniles”, or YA books because I am too cynical to fully appreciate them and they make me feel old as the hills. Still, the whole point of “usually” is that you do it some time to disqualify it from “almost never”.

Have Space Suit—Will Travel is probably the most popular of the Heinlein’s Juveniles series—if Goodreads’ Robert A. Heinlein profile page is to be believed. The last Heinlein book I read was Starship Troopers, which surprisingly turned out to be a fru
Jun 22, 2015 Bryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, ya, favorites
This book stands out among Heinlein's juveniles - arguably the best of the batch.

But it's more than just a great book. It's also a defining moment in an entire movement in SF towards realistic science. This doesn't mean that the characterization or plot needs to take on secondary or incidental importance. It just means that all efforts must be taken to ensure that the science works.

So, it's the exact opposite type of novel from what A.E. van Vogt was writing. In his works (somewhat common for th
Jun 04, 2007 Illyria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, 2007
A librarian friend of mine suggested this as my introduction to Heinlein and I was not disappointed. Apart from the delicious technical details of making a spacesuit work; faster than light travels to Pluto, to the Magellanic Cloud, and beyond; the horrors of being held hostage by an alien race that views other sentient beings as animals; another alien race with indefinable, changeable physical form and the ability to convey the kind of warmth, peace and comfort of being mothered feels like; thi ...more
David Sarkies
May 31, 2015 David Sarkies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi Fans
Recommended to David by: I found it in a book shop
Shelves: sci-fi
Is technological advancement social advancement?
4 May 2014

I must say that when I read the first few pages of this book it had me in hysterics, particularly with the way Kip's father did his tax returns (by working it out in his head, then throwing a heap of money into an envelope and posting it off). Heinlein, in opening this story, created a rather eccentric family living in Centreville in what is known as small town USA. However, when I say eccentric, it is because Kip's father used to be a t
Sometimes you find a book at exactly the right point in your life. I was fortunate enough to read Have Space Suit - Will Travel when I was a geeky 12 year old boy, and I loved it. If YOU'RE a geeky 12 year old boy, there's a fair chance you'll love it too! He enters this cut-out-the-coupon-and-complete-the-slogan competition (a lot of description of how he intelligently maximizes his chances) and wins an old ex-NASA space suit. He fixes it up, and there are some great passages showing how much f ...more
I decided I needed to break it into two parts - one, the story itself and two, Heinlein’s tirade against society.

Have Space Suit Will Travel is set in the 1950's and is one of his juvenile pieces of literature. Kip Russell dreams of going to the stars, and when Skyway Soap has a contest for best lingo with the prize being a trip to the Moon, Kip collects and submits 5000 entries. He doesn’t win the trip to the moon, but a space suit instead. If he returns the space suit to Goodyear by September
Dec 22, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heinlein fans, Precocious 10-year-olds, Boys who want to be spacemen when they grow up
One of Heinlein's early juveniles, this one has all the elements seen throughout his juvenile series: a plucky boy hero who's always wanted to go to space, precocious girl heroine (who fortunately is too young to be mooning over boys), Father Knows Best who turns out to be a hidden genius and former Very Important Person in the government, and interesting 50ish aliens.

The thing I like about Heinlein's juveniles is that they still hold up pretty well 50 years later, if you can ignore all the refe
G.R. Reader
Feb 25, 2014 G.R. Reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was seven and wanted to be Peewee so bad! But then I discovered Sophocles and decided I wanted to be Antigone instead. Looking back on it, I think Mom was happier with my Peewee phase.
Oct 26, 2010 Rasheed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all readers of SF, adventure and juvenille fiction
Wow! Almost anything I read too soon after this will probably sound bad! This was my first Full Cast Audio, and I must say that the performances of the entire cast was so superb, I wouldn't have been able to imagine the characters any better had I read it. That Peewee character, especially, was just too cute. Even some of the bad guys were so comically well done that it makes me feel bad calling them bad guys!
Danny Tyran
Jan 13, 2014 Danny Tyran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Henry Avila
Sep 28, 2011 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clifford "Kip" Russell, a teenager ,wants to go to the Moon.Set in the future, when Lunar bases have been established(this is a science fiction book). Centerville High Schooler, part time soda jerk, from a poor family, enters a soap company contest,literally sending thousands of slogans.First prize for best entry, is a trip to Luna .Mildly disappointed winning the second prize , an old Space Suit.His eccentric father DR. Russell, lets his son do anything he wishes ,as long as it doesn't cost the ...more
Jerry Jose
This is an enjoyable good book, I just happened to be too old. My previous experiences with Heinlein were completely time travel and hard sci fi, so naturally my expectations were pinned on that side. I even read the title as ‘Have Space Suit- Will time travel’ for quite a long time, till the point where I was pestered to question the occurrence of my motive.

First 4 chapters were golden, nostalgic had me engulfed in the engineering of Space Suits and Science of gravity and heavenly bodies in gen
There's considerable charm in the opening of this book, and it's likely to entertain kids and adults as the story follows small-town boy Kip on his quest to reach the moon. Kip has little money, few connections, and the odds seem against him, but his methodical determination sees him entering competitions, and then repairing a decommissioned space suit. This section of HSS-WT is, I think, the best part of the story. Who can't connect with the idea of having big dreams and scant chance to fulfil ...more
Buck Ward
This is the first of Heinlein's juvenile series that I've read. It's obvious from the writing that this book was intended for children. It was quite enjoyable to this old geezer nevertheless. I've read a couple of other children's science fiction books that are highly regarded - A Wrinkle in Time and The Giver. Have Space Suit-Will Travel is far superior to both of them.

Kip wins a used space suit in a contest and his refurbishing of it seems technologically authentic. When he walks out in the b
Mar 17, 2014 Tamahome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Full cast audio from the library. Classic if at times silly ya story, with lots of science tidbits. Young actors are charming if amateurish. (You can't buy it anymore. What the heck? But it's online at my library.)

2nd reading:

Lots of good quotes, as you can tell from my status updates. My favorite part is the beginning, with all the enthusiasm over getting a space suit into top condition. The plot gets more and more outrageous from there. But there's plenty of science to back it up. In one part
Oct 21, 2010 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(sigh...) Why don't they write them like this anymore? The witty repartee, the snarky wit, and the pop-cultural references (to the 1950s), all with a little bit of hard science thrown in, made this book great despite the somewhat cheesy plot. Kip's main goal in life is to go to the moon, so while he's working on one day becoming an engineer, he enters a jingle-writing contest whose first prize is a moon trip. Instead of the trip, he wins a space suit. And one day, as he's wearing his space suit, ...more
Mary Catelli
I am certain I read this when I was a teenager. I'm not certain I've read it since. It has a certain degree of retro-charm: our story opens with our hero peeved that a person can just put down money and go to the Moon, but Kip still uses a slide-rule.

But he tries to win a contest where the grand prize is a trip to the Moon, and as a consolation prize, he gets a space suit, which he brings up to spec, dubbing it Oscar. The night before he goes to sell it back to the company for his first year of
Jeff Miller
Nov 26, 2014 Jeff Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun read and I am pretty sure I have never even read this one before. I so much enjoy Heinlein's "Juveniles" over his later works
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
This was an entertaining read but not as enjoyable as other sci-fi novels I’ve read. I have to admit I’ve never been a big fan of the “trip to the moon and surrounding planets” sub genre of sci-fi. Still, I wanted to give this book a try as it a classic of its genre and because I recently read (and loved) “Stranger in a strange land”, also by Heinlein. “Have space suit” did feel a bit outdated at times. It’s more of a general feeling than particular details in the book but I could still feel tha ...more
John McAndrew
Apr 19, 2016 John McAndrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a kick, especially given how long ago it was written. One would think it would be dated, and it isn't, at least so far as I can tell. Some scientists, physicists, or astronomers could find quibbles, probably. The trials of humanity and the other species were fascinating, reminding me just a bit of Q's trial of humanity in ST TNG. What I liked most was the sense that kids would want to be, and be rewarded for being, smart. Of course. RAH's speculation about space travel, the humanity of ...more
Dec 09, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
As long as you keep in mind that this is a YA novel and was written in the mid-fifties, how can you not like this book? It is a simple story simply told. While perhaps not timeless, the writing style is such that this novel will be around for a long time. My only criticism is a minor one: I prefer that authors air their grievances about society through the story and not directly. Heinlein is bit too direct. But overall I like the book.
Apr 20, 2014 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this when I was in grade 8 back in the 1970s. I couldn't remember much of it but thought it would be a good one for my son. So, on a road trip my 12 year old, a female 12 year old and a male 10 year old all listened to it on audiobook. The adventure and science appealed to all of them, the funny things they would say (it was written long beofre their time after all) added some levity.

All in all a timeless book.
Feb 23, 2008 Shoshi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after having read _Stranger in a Strange Land_, and was pleasantly surprised. Unlike _Stranger_, _Have Space Suit, Will Travel_ is a joyride through the pre-spaceprogram vision of outerspace and the moon. The heroe's story also gave me pause- learning how to make something as complex as a spacesuit appears less readily available, particularly from such common outlets as mail order catalogues, than it was then.
Robert French
Published in 1958, Have Space Suit Will Travel is most likely (the memory is a bit dim) the first science fiction book I read... long ago when I was in junior high or high school. It started me on the road to read a fair amount of science fiction and is still a good start for any young person.
Luke Burrage
Fun stuff! Loads of great passages and scenes and quotes. Some issues though.

Full discussion on the SFFaudio episode #256.
Michael Burnam-fink
Jul 08, 2014 Michael Burnam-fink rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2014
I seem to have trouble hitting 'enter' on reviews of Heinlein novels, but who cares, cause there's only two types of Heinlein novels: Weird as hell, and totally awesome.

This is the second, with lots of smart 1950s space science about interplanetary travel with flying saucer drives, some really fascinating aliens, brave and capable characters (including a girl. Yay Peewee!). You just have to love how Kip and Peewee never give up, even when kidnapped by horrible bug-eyed monsters, running out of a
Turok Tucker
You're just not maximizing efficiency meat....Parts of this novel shine: humanities trial by higher aliens, space suit logistics, conjecture at a universal undercurrent of all livings things that flash to either empathetic or destructive.

The bad: anything but M.I.T. isn't a real education, public education is worse than no education at all, a very austere moral and cultural code that Heinlein relays through juxtaposing Kip and Pewee with Fat, Slim, and "Nature's Obvious Mistakes."

A book that do
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Gray Lensman (Lensman, #4)
  • Islands in the Sky
  • Ensign Flandry (Flandry, #1)
  • Who?
  • Rite of Passage
  • A Gift from Earth (Known Space)
  • The Unreasoning Mask
  • The Witches of Karres (The Witches of Karres, #1)
  • Thorns
  • Telempath
  • The Ophiuchi Hotline
  • The Early Asimov: Book One
  • The Weapon Shops of Isher
  • A Choice of Gods
  • Doorways in the Sand
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American novelist and science fiction writer. Often called "the dean of science fiction writers", he is one of the most popular, influential, and controversial authors of "hard science fiction".

He set a high standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of literary quality. He was the first SF writer to break into mainstre
More about Robert A. Heinlein...

Other Books in the Series

Heinlein Juveniles (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Rocket Ship Galileo
  • Space Cadet
  • Red Planet
  • Farmer in the Sky
  • Between Planets
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Starman Jones
  • The Star Beast
  • Tunnel in the Sky
  • Time for the Stars

Share This Book

“Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.” 368 likes
“Some people insist that 'mediocre' is better than 'best.' They delight in clipping wings because they themselves can't fly. They despise brains because they have none.” 127 likes
More quotes…