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Rocket Ship Galileo

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  6,306 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
Ross Jenkins, Art Mueller, and Morris Abrams are not your average high-schools students. While other kids are cruising around in their cars or playing ball, this trio, known as the Galileo Club, is experimenting with rocket fuels, preparing for their future education at technical colleges.
Art’s uncle, the nuclear physicist Dr. Donald Cargraves, offers them the opportunity
MP3 CD, 200 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published February 1st 1947)
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Brad I read it as a 6th grader, that's probably about right.
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May 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Please suspend you disbelief when you read the plot description; you would have hard time keeping a straight face. Three teen boys love to build rockets and hope to win their school science prize with a successful model. One day a university professor offers them to help build a real spaceship in exchange for taking them to the Moon on the said ship. Do you think any normal teen of early fifties would refuse the offer, or consider refusing it even for a second?

Space Flight

If you think this all sounds too fa
Will M.
The first thing that you need to know would be that this book was written for children. I knew that before reading, but I still had high expectations for it. I was not that impressed with this one, and I can thank the last 1/3 of the book for that.

The novel started out really strong. Anything space related is interesting for me, especially the moon. Like I said, this book is for children, so normally the author would introduce characters of the same age as the targeted audience. Lately that hasn
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rocket Ship Galileo is a Heinlein classic, good, straight up science fiction, and a fun story with some genuine twists.

True, it is not ageless, the 1947 publication date speaks volumes about what the reader will encounter, but reading between the lines, the reader can also find the beginnings of RAH’s budding libertarianism.

Not too far removed from his time in the Navy, a crisp, starched, straight postured militarism is still noticeably present. Good fun.

FIRST HIGHSCHOOL GEEK: Okay guys, welcome to the Moon!

SECOND HIGHSCHOOL GEEK: Explain again how we got here?

FIRST HIGHSCHOOL GEEK: Wallace and Gromit showed us how to build a moon rocket in our basement. The rest was easy.


NAZI IN SPACESUIT: Guten Abend, meine Herren! Ve are all on ze same side, nicht wahr?

FIRST HIGHSCHOOL GEEK: Sorry Fritz, there's been a change of plan. [Shoots him]

NAZI IN SPACESUIT: Schweinhund! Aaargh!

SECOND HIGHSCHOOL GEEK: I thought that in space,
I can just see Heinlein as a teenager, hiding under his blanket and playing with his wand, astronomy textbooks splayed all around him with their covers spread wide. This is a guy who may just get his astrobation on more than Arthur C Clarke.

Herein lies the tale of three teenaged boys who like building rockets and get pulled into an inventor's crazy scheme to build a rocket that can make it all the way to the moon!!!!!!! I know, right? Remember, this is from 1947, so when this puppy came out, th
This was Robert A. Heinlein's first full-length novel. It's one of his "juveniles," which is another way of saying it's rollicking "golly gee whiz"-style adventure that could have just as well been published in Boy's Life magazine as in hardcover by Scribner's.

Three high school seniors on the cusp of graduation get the opportunity of a lifetime when one of their uncles, Dr. Cargraves, a nuclear physicist, is so impressed with their scientifically minded tinkering that he offers to take them with
Mark Muckerman
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's easy to dismiss the pre-1965 sci-fi books as "quaint" when read from today's understanding of science and space travel. However these 1940-1960 works are the gems of the golden age.

If you can suspend your 21st century hubris and read the story from a mindset of a 1950s reader, Rocket Ship Galileo holds up as a great read. The storytelling is strong, and is a classic representation of the style of the era. When read with an open mind, it also provides the unexpected enjoyment of getting a g
Mike (the Paladin)
Not a bad read. It's one of the Heinlein "teen' books that I missed when i was younger. AND this one does read a bit younger than some of hie other youth books.

This is the story of young people who get to participate in a private moon shot. One of the more interesting parts of the book (for me anyway) is the dated science. This is a pre-computer, pre-minaturization book and that gives an interesting (did I already use that word?) look at earlier science fiction.
Patrick Justo
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
What can I say? This book epitomizes everything that is right, and everything that is wrong, with young adult fiction. Especially, young adult fiction written by Robert Heinlein.

The basic plot: three high school boys (interested in science and engineering, but well rounded and NOT ANTI-SOCIAL NERDS) get an offer to help one boy's uncle -- the noted Nobel Prize Winning physicist and self-made businessman -- to go to the moon. They work through all their technical setbacks, and eventually blast of
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
gee willikers! This teen fiction from 1947 is really showing its age.. I enjoy Heinleins fiction, but this one is not his best. Worth reading since it is short and shows more of a bygone era.
Jeff Chase
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Fitzgerald
This started out nicely, but ended up somewhere else. I was impressed with the sci fi aspects - more than 20 years ahead of the actual moon landing.
S. Naomi Scott
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
(view spoiler) There. I said it. What a way to start a review!

This book was a fun read for me. It has been years since I last read it; it was not quite as good as I remembered it being the last time I read it. It had an easily readable flow to it. It had some logic errors in the narration [one which I did not catch until I read the comments of another reviewer]. The ending is rather abrupt. It felt like he could have gone on for another couple of chapters or s
Kat  Hooper
May 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Originally reviewed at FanLit:

When I was a kid I loved the “Heinlein Juveniles.” Rocket Ship Galileo, Heinlein’s first Juvenile, is one I missed back then. It won’t hold up well today (actually, it wouldn’t have held up well when I was reading Heinlein Juveniles in the 1980s) but sometimes it’s fun to read these old science fiction stories for kids and I did have fun recently reading Rocket Ship Galileo even though I am very much aware of its flaws. Let’s
Jeff Yoak
This is one of my favorites among the juveniles. It is often the Heinlein novel that I suggest to someone new to him. One trait I've noticed several times is that Heinlein will take something that sounds like a parody of bad sci fi and then make it completely and totally possible. Very early in his life in a letter, rather than in fiction, he talked about the implausible mapping of human culture onto aliens as a form of laziness in writing and then parenthetically says, "Some day, I should write ...more
SciFi Kindle
Approaching this story with no foreknowledge of its content, I quickly learned it is solidly a Heinlein Juvenile, one of those stories aimed squarely at the post-war youth of 1947’s middle class readers. Later research informed me that it is Heinlein’s first such book, and provides some of the template seen in the rest. A threesome of graduating high-school chums team up with an uncle, who happens to be a talented rocket scientist, to escalate their backyard rocket-design club into a mission to ...more
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I quite enjoyed this book! in some ways it made me think of a Sci fi version of Tom Sawyer. It has the youthful, adventurous quality that with which Twain charmed, and is combined with yearning for future adventures that, at the time of writing, we're just beyond humanities grasp. Another aspect of the book I found intriguing was that Heinlein wrote about going to the moon, well before we were actually capable of doing so, and some of his description of what that might be like were closer to rea ...more
Jun 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though it was written shortly after the end of the Second World War, this one seems to have held up less well than any of Heinlein's other books. It was the first of his juveniles; what's now called young-adult fiction. The idea of a group of high school boys building a rocket with the help of an uncle and then flying off to the moon where they find that they're not the first ones there after all and then they have to fight Nazis... Well, it's a very nicely told tale, filled with what now s ...more
Feb 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok the first thing to remember was that was written in 1947 - before any form of space flight let alone man on the moon. Next accept that this was written in the true boys own adventure style - where a phone call to a far away store can secure anything - from atomic material to a second hand rocket ship and finally accept that its all left to the men to do the science and college students at that!
If you can accept all this wait till you see what they discover on the moon, it was a fun slice of
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The audiobook version is read by Spider Robinson. He's not monotone per say, sometimes he sounds very natural, but, in the end it doesn't matter. Heinlein's story is so interesting that I don't hear the orator anymore, I simply see the story being played out. I LOVE the mini-lectures. He's always sure to explain the physics of what's going on. I love that. In classic Heinlein fashion it ends without a "true ending," though everything is wrapped up neatly. I love that too. Let's face it, Heinlein ...more
Charles Harrison
The premise of this book can essentially be summed up as: World famous scientist recruits three teenage boys for a shoestring trip to the moon. It gets sillier. As for the rest of the book well lets just say it was written in 1947 and leave you to draw your own conclusions about what happens when they get to the moon. All very silly classic sci fi but even more lacking in character depth than normal and with a fair few bizarre sections making this probably my least favorite Heinlein to date. Hav ...more
Clayton Yuen
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Ever watch the old cereal TV shows where they half-an-hour short segments ending with a cliffhanger? Read Rocket Ship Galileo and experience the old-time themes of adventure and action and fun.

I gave this novel 5 stars because it was so Retro in its methods, I thought I was back in the 60s, watching TV on a Saturday morning. The story is fresh and thrilling, with twists and unexpected turns. This not one of those moderns scifi stories that goes on for 600 pages, NO, it is like a novella on stero
To all the detractors of this book, I say lighten up. It is sci-fi meant to be enjoyed by 12 year old boys, written over 50 years ago. It holds up pretty well. The kids (characters) are smart and respectful. There is violence, but it isn’t gratuitous. My 10 & 12 year old loved it. They wanted to give it 5 stars. My only complaint has to do with the ending. I don't want to give anything away, but I didn't think it tied up the story very well.
Heinlein's 1947 tale of an engineer and three boys who journey to the moon is a fun, light read. Though it's early Heinlein it sets a precedent that his stories were to generally follow. His characters exude competence.

Of course, the ease with which his quartet get to the moon turned out to be far too optimistic. The Nazi twist to the story makes sense given the time in which it was written.

Don't go here looking for great literature or high drama. But it is a fun, simple read.
Brigid Ashwood
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was the loose inspiration for Heinlein's screenplay for the film Destination Moon - the first film to ever win an Oscar for special effects. The film is also notable for it's realistic and accurate portrayal of space travel and a landing on the moon. It was made well before our first visit to the moon.
James Jennings
I read this when I was eleven, and it started a life long love of science fiction. Though these days, I don't always approve of Heinlein.
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the first Sci-Fi books I have read. It really excited me about space trave, etc... Of course, I was a preteen boy!
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of Heinlein's better novels! Always stick to his shorter books; they're so much better!
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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...