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Between Planets (Heinlein Juveniles #5)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,839 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
The message had seemed simple, yet it was more complex than Don could have imagined. He was being called from Earth to an alien world for reasons unknown -- save only that his life depended on it.

But setting out for Mars and getting there in good shape turned out to be a lot more complicated than Don ever would have guessed possible.

It was trouble enough being inexplicably
Paperback, 190 pages
Published January 1st 1971 by Ace Books (first published January 1st 1951)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mary JL
Jan 18, 2009 Mary JL rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any science fiction fan
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
Short Summary first: War is about to break out between Venus and Earth. Don Harvey, the young protagonist, is called home by his parents to mars, which is neutral. His ship is taken over by the Venus rebels and he ends up there.

One good part of this book is it basically talks about being a refugee. Don was born in space, quite rare even in this imaginary future. By law, he is a citzen of both Venus and Earth. So he ends up up Venus; because of the war, his Earth currency is not good. He has no m
Nov 07, 2015 Denis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover, library
One of my favorite juvenile Heinlein novels. While in school on Earth, Don receives a message to immediately leave school to join his parents on Mars where they are station to do some sort of research as a war is brewing between Earth and the new "republic of Venus". Don's trip is interrupted due to a war declaration.
This was one of the first SF novels I ever read. (I started with Heinlein and van Vogt who are polar opposites in every way but both having been editor Campbell Jr. stable mates.)
Rachel Stevenson
With every book from the past written about the future, you want to see if its predictions about technological development are accurate. Heinlein anticipates mobile phones, driverless cars, molecular gastronomy (the protagonist, Don eats a pudding that is hot and cold at the same time), skypeing, nuclear proliferation, satellite TV, but credit cards, computers, and the internet do not exist.

Heinlein also looks to the past: the plot involves a battle of the planets with Earth invading its rebell
I learned something very important from this book:

1.) If you read every book that an author has written in chronological order;

2.) While working 12-16 hour days in a factory that makes swimming pool liners and covers;

3.) Indeed, most of that reading is accomplished during your breaks and lunches;

4.) And in addition, you are having daily discussions with your father who wants to know why a smart guy like you with a B.A. in English is working at a factory that won't even still be there in ten year
Oct 19, 2008 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Ok, so I am probably going to sound like a broken reord when it comes to Heinlein but he is just such a good writer. Even people who don't like the sciencey part ot science fiction will find something to like about his books. Becasue what he is best at is writing people. How they interact with others and react to situations. The fact that the characters do this generally in space is just a bonus as far as i am concerned.

Anyway, this book is about a young man who is going to school on earth. He i
Nov 22, 2012 Mel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do love Robert Heinlein, I know I probably shouldn't but I don't care. About 10 years ago I read nearly everything by him that I could find, this one had escaped me so was very pleased to come across it in the second hand shop. This is one of his "juvenile" fictions, thus there is much less bottom pinching and kissing than one would expect from Heinlein, but despite the main character being a teenage boy I really really liked it. (As an aside Starship Troopers was the last Juvenile book that h ...more
Jun 14, 2011 Darth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heinlein
For me, this was a 5 star read. I wasnt annoyed by anything in the story until the very end, when the author used technology to take over the starring role. That part was very pulpy, but up to that point it was the best kind of sci-fi. That being a story about people, that just happens to take place in a sci-fi ennvironment.

Our young hero is off on an adventure that crosses three planets. He becomes a soldier and a man, though not in the knowledge of a woman way, just the way of gutting enemy co
Aug 22, 2016 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read Between Planets way back when the Beatles were still extant, and enjoyed listening to this version during a long drive last week. It's one of Heinlein's famous "juvenile" novels (what they call y.a. these days), and it's a terrific coming-of-age tale set in the midst of a three-planet war scenario. It's an inspiring story of resourcefulness in the wake of displacement that seems just as topical and relevant today as it did when it first appeared, and I enjoyed revisiting it almost a ...more
Doug Turnbull
Jul 30, 2012 Doug Turnbull rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fifth of the Heinlein juveniles, Between Planets was copyrighted by Robert A. Heinlein in 1951 and published that same year by Charles Scribner’s Sons of New York. The book was illustrated by Clifford Geary. I mention this because I believe that in order to fully appreciate the early juveniles; you should see the illustrations as they were done for the original hardback books. These books are all out of print now, but are still available at independent bookstores, most easily online through ...more
Jan 05, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here’s the latest of my rereads of Heinlein’s works.

After Farmer in the Sky Robert then published a decidedly more adult novel, The Puppet Masters. However, he was still with a Scribner’s contract to publish one juvenile novel a year, and so returned to the world of young adult SF with this novel.

Things in Heinlein’s own world had moved on a little since his last sojourn to his future Solar System, and this change is partly reflected in this novel. Though a juvenile novel, and one of a series d
Paul Hancock
Apr 25, 2014 Paul Hancock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a $1 book from the charity shop I would have been happy just to read a short book that wasn't terrible. In the end it was a great book that kept me up late reading.

This book tells the story of Don, a boy borne between planets and therefore a citizen of all the inhabited planets (Earth, Venus, Mars) but also none of them. Heinlein delivers a well paced story with intrigue, imagination, and innovation that I was not expecting. The world in which the story is set has natural inhabitants of the
Jan 10, 2016 serprex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was really dumb. This is probably the book I disagree with my father most over. Normally I let my opinion of a book settle before judging, & if I keep thinking of it years later then that's a great book. I only keep thinking of this book as "that bad book my father liked for some reason"
Feb 14, 2016 Pvw rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
All the good Heinlein elements are present in this adventure story. There is a loveable animal companion. There is young boy who is separated from his scientist parents and now has to prove his resilience in difficult circumstances. You get an interplanetary conflict in which colonists fight for independence against a tyrannical federal government. There's a military training program. And our boy is some kind of "citizen of the galaxy", born on a space flight from a Martian mother, a Venetian fa ...more
Mark Nenadov
Heinlein is a name to be reckoned with in Science Fiction. This was the first book of his which I read and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is a quality adventure story and well-suited even for a SF neophyte such as I. Additionally, there are a lot of interesting themes here such as homesickness, authoritarianism, and alienation. Pick this as an introduction to Heinlein.
Matteo Pellegrini

Don Harvey è nato nello spazio, a bordo di un'astronave in caduta libera oltre l'orbita degli asteroidi, da padre terrestre e da madre di cittadinanza venusiana, si ritrova senza patria quando le colonie di Venere decidono di ribellarsi allo sfruttamento della Federazione Terrestre. È la storia della prima guerra cosmica, sullo sfondo di una grande trasformazione del sistema solare, in orbita intorno alla luna si sta costruendo il Cercatore di Orizzonti. La nave interstellare che porterà uomini

Jun 07, 2016 Bryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, favorites, 2013
My Dad gave me Stranger in a strange land for Christmas. Since reading it ive been working my way through Heinlein's library.

Between Planets is a short story which was entertaining all the way through, and kept my interest to find out what happened to the hero. Good story with some good ideas.

I would recommend this as a light read or first sci-fi read.
Jeff Yoak
Heinlein's story of a young adult finishing school on Earth before heading home to Mars, only to find himself stranded by a war between Earth and Venus, has always been a favorite. I'm writing this after reading it in 2014 with the kids, and surprisingly this is probably their least favorite of the Heinlein that I've introduced them to.
Richard Crooks
Mar 04, 2016 Richard Crooks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must have read this book at least once before, but must have been very early on. I recall the illustrations but not the story. Present day readers will need to readjust their thinking to 1951, when we KNEW there were canals on Mars, the clouds of Venus were water vapor hiding great rain-forests or at least muddy swamps, and intelligent species could inhabit both worlds, even if they fell into the B.E.M. category (Bug Eyed Monster). Otherwise, this could have served to inspire The Expanse serie ...more
"Between Planets" is classic SciFi by Robert A. Heinlein and often considered Young Adult or Teen reading. I liked it a lot but then again... I'm old. :-)

The Story: A young man must skip his graduation because of an urgent message from his parents on Mars, but war is brewing. Suspicion about his loyalties begin because his mother is a Venusian and it looks like war with Venus. Earth agents think he might be a spy.

Any problems with the book? Well... if it makes you nervous when young women look o
Carl V.
Feb 22, 2015 Carl V. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don Harvey is a young man working on a ranch on Earth who is about to depart for the colony on Mars to join his scientist parents. On instructions, he first visits an old friend of his parents, Dr. Jefferson, who cryptically bestows upon him a cheap trinket ring wrapped in paper with a request that he deliver the package to his father. Soon after, Dr. Jefferson is taken into custody and dies under mysterious circumstances.

Rumblings are in the air regarding a possible war for Venusian independenc
Feb 22, 2015 Aries rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks-queue

Don is a citizen of the Interplanetary Federation - yet no single planet can claim him as its own. His mother was born on Venus and his father on Earth, and Don himself was born on a spaceship in trajectory between planets. And he fights for the rights of this curious citizenship in very curious ways. Heinlein reveals in a dashing fast-moving style what can happen when politics - on an interplanetary scale - disregard the liberty of the individual. In the end, only the remarkable scientist-drago

May 17, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the very first sci-fi book that i read and was pretty much hooked ever since.
Debra Harrison
Jun 21, 2008 Debra Harrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
another great by a master storyteller
This was the first sci-fi story I ever read as a youth. Ironically, it was serialized in a comic-book format in Boys Life magazine back in the 1970s, which is where I read it. It was a few pages each issue, and ran through several months of the magazine. So it is funny when I read this book, because I still get images from that serialization in my mind as I read. I could not remember the name of the book, so you can well imagine my surprise when I read it years later in late high school and reco ...more
My edition of this book is not one of the ones shown, but there's not much point in adding it. This is the 1981 edition of the Del Rey printing. It's neither a paperback nor a hardback--more of a hybrid bound paperback (maybe that's what people mean when they say 'library binding'. Actual library binding is either those cardboard thingies or the sort of thing you see when journals are sent out to binderies. This has the paperback cover pasted on thick cardboard and covered with plastic).

This boo
This is one of Heinlein's juvenile novels. That said, there's a couple of somewhat more adult portions, so I'd recommend that younger children shouldn't read it. At least not without having some an interesting discussion or two. But, since the main character is a older teenager, it's more aimed towards that age range.

It was written in 1951 and it certainly bears some of the hallmarks of that. Most notably in the fact that there is very little for the women in this novel to do. That said, the ma
Paul Darcy
by Robert A. Heinlein, published in 1951.

Ah, the golden age of science fiction. I always enjoy a work of fiction from Heinlein. His stories are adventurous and thoughtful if wistful as well.

This work, Between Planets, is no exception. It is, at its heart, a quest story. The protagonist, Don Harvey, has been sent a cryptic message to go back to Mars to his parents immediately. And as with any simple quest tale, this tale is far from simple.

Complications arise almost immediately. You see a war eru
Feb 26, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don Harvey is a young man living on a ranch in New Mexico. His parents are scientists living in the human colonies on Mars. He receives an urgent message from them, asking him to come to Mars, immediately. He is stop and see professor Jefferson, a friend of the family, and bring to Mars whatever the Professor gives him. Political tensions are rising between the Earth Federation and the colonies on Venus and Mars. When war inevitably comes, Don's less than clear citizenship (Mom was born on Vanus ...more
Our family has listened to several of Heinlein's youth novels. The quality of the Fullcast Audio production was fantastic, as always. Of course, Heinlein has something to say--all of which we have heard before, but that always bears repeating (i.e., love freedom, be courageous, live with integrity). I liked this book, but it was my least favorite of the series. (view spoiler)
May 18, 2016 Alison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1951, full of atomic power and slide rules. Don Harvey is 17 and a student on Earth when his parents summon him to Mars. He is caught up in a war between the Venusian colonists and the Federation, and ends up staying on Venus fighting for independence. Don is upright and honest and makes a good soldier. A boy's book with lots of fighting and zero romance. Interesting to read now; a typical juvenile Heinlein.
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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
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Starman Jones
  • The Star Beast
  • Tunnel in the Sky
  • Time for the Stars
  • Citizen of the Galaxy

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