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3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  884 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
Short story by Isaac Asimov.
Published (first published May 6th 1952)
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Debbie Zapata
Feb 18, 2016 Debbie Zapata rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pg
This cute story from 1952 introduces us to Red and Slim, two youngsters with a secret. Their fathers, The Industrialist and The Astronomer, are waiting for the arrival of some people from another world who want to trade with the people of this unnamed planet. Little do our youngsters realize that their secret could jeopardize the whole plan.

I liked this story, but I do wish I had not seen the illustrations, as they completely gave away the ending twist before I even had time to think about ther
Apr 01, 2012 Andrew rated it it was amazing
I chose this book, because I’ve read some short stories before by Isaac Asimov at school and I really enjoyed them, so I decided to find a novel by him that I haven’t read before. Youth is about two astronauts who come to an alien planet to establish trade with the native extraterrestrials. However, they crash and are taken in as pets by a pair of mischievous youths. My favorite quote from the story is when one of the astronauts says “We would not harm the young of an intelligent species.” He ...more
Mar 17, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story: classic Asimov. However, only 25 pages long. (I'm embarrassed to claim credit for reading a book.) You can see where it's going, even if the characters can't. Good writing.

That is a problem with some ebooks: I don't mind getting short stories from Project Gutenberg, but two "books" I paid for were truncated.
Norm Davis
May 06, 2012 Norm Davis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Golden era science fiction fanatics
Recommended to Norm by:
Youth, by Issac Asimov

What a pleasant surprise to be wandering about the LibroVox Short science fiction site ( and come across an e-book of some long lost Issac Asimov story that somehow didn't renew its copyright (

I gave it two stars (it was ok) rather than three stars (I liked it) because in his effort to hide story details in order to spring his surprise twist at the end simply left me, the reader, mildly confused d
Sep 25, 2012 Srinivas rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Perry Whitford
Diminutive invaders from space with advanced technology crashland and are taken for pets by two youngsters. However, the aliens are not mere animals as the children suppose. Furthermore they have a sinister agenda, while Asimov has a little surprise in store.

I think I may have written in a previous review somewhere that I wouldn't be wasting any more time on Asimov again, the most overrated in the history of science fiction.

Everything I have read by him before has features both prose or dialogue
Feb 14, 2013 Shari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, classic
One thing I like about Asimov’s narrative style is his use of POV (point of view). Just when you think you get the story and how it will end, he’d surprise you by turning POVs around and you end up re-thinking his stories. Youth is one example of this. The ending would disorient you, but when you go over the story again you’d find the twist holds and the ending plausible. This narrative device may be irritating to some, but to me it is quite effective. It tells us that appearance can say ...more
Irena Atanasoska
Sep 18, 2012 Irena Atanasoska rated it it was amazing
I've read this book recently and I enjoyed every second reading it, even thought I have to admit the time flew so quickly I wanted to last longer. It's a perfect book: short, precise,exceptionally good written and above all the surreal imagination with which the author narrates is astonishing!!!
Oct 04, 2011 Abhay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a good short story, the twist in the end was expected.
You knew from the beginning that there would be a twist in the ending and you would guess it correctly what the twist is going to be.

nevertheless it is a good story to read the anticipation is great as well as the narration.
Oct 25, 2014 Trish rated it it was amazing
Delightful. What a surprise ending! This novella is science fiction at its best in just 75 fascinating pages. I finished with a smile on my face and in my heart.
Dec 31, 2015 Sam rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
Nice little short story about a couple dozen pages long.
Peter Curran
Sep 18, 2016 Peter Curran rated it liked it
I just got a new app on my phone for free ebooks, searched Asimov, they had just this one. Very short, all very 50's Sci-fi, though had a nice twist in the end, which seems to be a quality that attracted me to Asimov's writings in the past. Worth a read, entertaining, but not miraculous life changing stuff.
Sep 19, 2016 Renee rated it really liked it
Asimov does his usual magic with perspective in this one. Short but cute. I'd teach it.
Jan 03, 2011 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a person who doesn't normally read or enjoy a lot of short stories, it seems to me that is becoming a year end habit for me. This year, not only was it a short story, but science fiction at that. In Youth, Red and his new friend Slim are hiding two strange creatures in the barn with plans to use them as their ticket into the circus. Slim is there visiting only due to his father's, an Astronomer, proposed business plan with Red's father, and Industrialist. It seems that some species from ...more
Raja Subramanian
Isaac Asimov, the Grand Master of Science Fiction is my favorite author. While I have read lots of his books, I somehow I had missed this short story and got hold of this at Amazon (for free).

This short story centers around two youngsters who find two creatures on a rural estate. They keep the creatures in a cage, thinking of taking them to a circus, and away from the knowledge of their parents. They attempt to feed them grass and ground, raw meat.

In the meantime,the parents of these youngsters
Dione Basseri
Jun 02, 2016 Dione Basseri rated it really liked it
The ending is a bit predictable, but the general story is cute. Aliens have landed, and are about to meet with the native beings of the planet to broker peace and trade agreements. Unfortunately, they are small and easily captured by enterprising boys. The adults seeking to make contact with these aliens remain unaware that their young ones have managed to put peaceful relations in jeopardy in their quest to capture and train some novel animals so they may join the circus. Will the aliens be ...more
Scott Kaelen
Oct 09, 2014 Scott Kaelen rated it it was ok
I've been a fan of Asimov since I was 7 years old. As such, I begin each Asimov story hoping to enjoy it. Some of them are fantastic - easily 5-star material - like the Robots/Foundation series. Some are whimsical yet enjoyable stories that are deeper than they at first appear, like The Last Question. Others, sadly, are plodding and predictable; Youth is such a story. The dialogue here is iffy at best, annoying at worst, and this isn't just a quirk of the year it was written because I've read ...more
Rizwan Ullah
Feb 03, 2016 Rizwan Ullah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The last paragraph in this little tale delightfully twists the entire perspective of the story - and it's suddenly propelled, from delighting just as an intimate encapsulation of youth set in a small corner of a scientastical canvas to charming in a far more expansive way. The first tale I've read from the Father of Robotics definitely leaves me wanting to delve deeper into the worlds within his mind!

The book would have worked much better if the publisher had de
Aug 08, 2013 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
“Youth” is a short story by Isaac Asimov aimed for younger readers in which Slim and Red, two kids, come across a pair of strange animals and decide to keep them.

The two main characters (Slim and Red) had distinct personalities: Red is the leader and Slim is the follower. The adults spoke more à la science-fiction, which makes sense.

However, the twist that (view spoiler) was pretty obvious. Maybe kids would find this story cute, but i
Apr 21, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
I thought this was a great little short story by Isaac Asimov. I haven't read any of his other works and am excited to check out more of his stuff. Youth tells the story of two aliens who arrive on a planet to seek out business dealings. Upon their arrival the tiny men are captured by children and kept as pets. Shenanigans ensue. It's a fun little story and a very quick read. It's also the only of Asimov's works in the US public domain so you can get it for free on a lot of different websites.
Nov 02, 2013 Gary rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, gutenberg
A short story which reveals how we look at those who are different. It is a good, quick read, well worth the hour or so of time read it. While not providing any new thoughts or questions, you do get to look at questions from a different perspective. As one reviewer noted, Asimov likes to give you a surprise twist to a story. But it is also noted that some of the story gets contrived while trying to accomplish this. Youth provides the same type of twist which Asimov is known for.

See my blog for a
Laura Jelenkovich
Dec 04, 2015 Laura Jelenkovich rated it liked it
Una storia piacevole, ma scontata. Penso che la cosa maggior degna di nota si il fatto che Asimov abbia dato ai terrestri il nome di Arturiani. La leggenda di Re Artù spazia (e scusate il gioco di parole ) nelle menti di tutti i grandi scrittori, come un magnete che definisce i confini dell'uomo. Quale sia il mito e quale la realtà sulla provenienza aliena di Artù, sempre che sia esistito, non ci è ancora dato sapere
Senthil Kumaran
May 18, 2013 Senthil Kumaran rated it really liked it
It is one of Asimov's very early writings. It is story of two young boys and their fathers discussing about an alien visit. It is extremely funny as the young boys treat the aliens as pets and try to feed them. The small inter galatic travelers hold to their principles of not harming the young of any species. The book is from the perspective of these 4 characters and only in the final chapter does the point of view change to the aliens one and we find a nice surprised packed for the reader.
Sandeep Ellawala
Jun 13, 2015 Sandeep Ellawala rated it liked it
This is a simple Science Fiction story with adventure, spaceships, aliens with giant tentacles and a little bit of excitement and anticipation as well. It is not too intense and there is no exploding twist to the plot at the end. It simply leaves you with a realization that even though from the physical appearance we may look worlds apart, deep inside we act in a very much predictable manner that closely resembles each other.
Nov 28, 2012 Joe rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This was my introduction to Asimov and I liked it quite a bit. It was enjoyable to read but kind of quaint and very predictable. It read very much like a Twilight Zone episode but with less sexism and no Mickey Rooney. Since it was written in the 1950s, I guess Asimov and Serling were contemporaries and you can sort of see it in these pages. Still, I plan on reading more Asimov to give him a fair shake.
Sneh Pradhan
Jun 10, 2013 Sneh Pradhan rated it it was ok
"Youth" is more of a short story than a novel , actually ...... and is an easy read . A neat story , more likely to be liked by children than adults , it brought back gleeful reminiscences of the childhood , when we all are fearless, intrepid explorers . To me , the story was more of a juxtaposition between the guileless innocence and venture of the two children , Red and Slim , with the alarm and foreboding instincts of the adults .
Obed M. Parlapiano
May 11, 2016 Obed M. Parlapiano rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Beautiful short story. A great quick read to whenever you're bored and have an hour or so to spare.

As every story I've read of Asimov so far, it's absolutely great.

I find very marvelous the way Asimov plants an idea into your head simply to smash it later on a leave you amazed at his cleverness as a writer.
Jul 08, 2013 KingKoopa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short humorous story of exploring a foreign world with a nice twist. I really like the way Asimov wrote in the point of view of the different characters in the book. I read this book in one sitting while waiting for a relative at the airport. Also the book is free so whats stopping you from reading it?
Sep 24, 2013 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cutting satire from Mr Isaac Asimov. Asimov shifts perspective every 2-3 pages, from one race to another, sympathizing with each, as creatures from two different worlds make their first alien contact. The concept of youth is just a little overstated in this story, but it makes good points nonetheless.
Azael Márquez
Jun 30, 2015 Azael Márquez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The style of Asmiov isn't as apparent in this title as in the other I have read. Perhaps because this story centers on a handful of individuals and not on ideas or technology, or a mighty civilization, like the others. But its a great short story nonetheless.

And the twist at the end. Classic Asimov.
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered the most prolific writer of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the te
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