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Between Planets

(Heinlein's Juveniles #5)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,644 ratings  ·  158 reviews
A revolution on Venus, sparked by governmental disregard for the rights of the individual, forces a young citizen of the Interplanetary Federation to come to terms with his own sense of allegiance.
Paperback, 222 pages
Published by Ace (first published November 1st 1951)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,644 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Don Harvey whose (human) mother was from Venus
and father was from Earth was studying on our good ol' planet when a message from his parents came. He was to drop everything and catch the first flight to Mars there they currently reside. Nothing however was quite so simple. For starters he was harassed by Earth secret security forces. During his transfer to interplanetary spaceship on a space station Venusian colonists rebelled and Don realized he was not going to Mars fast.

By the way the whole
Mary JL
Nov 26, 2008 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
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
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 am addicted to listening to Heinlein juveniles. There, I said it.
Mar 26, 2012 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.)
Nov 22, 2012 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
Sep 21, 2008 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
Jun 04, 2011 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
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.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I don't know how many of the Heinlein juveniles I've ready by now, but it's probably more than 1/2, and maybe even beyond 3/4. There probably aren't that many left to devour.

The funny thing is that when I heard of the "juveniles" in high school--back when I was researching sci fi for my final paper in American Lit senior year--I was so turned off by the term that I never read a single one. Oh no, not me! I wanted the grown up stuff, so I went straight to Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon i
Feb 04, 2009 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
This is another Heinlein title that holds up very well. Don gets an unexpected radiogram from his parents: come "home" asap and btw say goodbye to Uncle Dudley. Don is confused but obedient. However, once he sees "Uncle Dudley", things go wrong in a big way. In the meantime Don makes everything worse by being polite and whistling hello to a Venerian Dragon. He was just being polite after all. (Was Heinlein trying to plant the notion in youth that politeness isn't such a great idea?) Don ends up ...more
John Defrog
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Robert Heinlein was doing YA sci-fi decades before YA was a thing, and this 1951 novel is regarded to be one of his better works. As it happens, this was the first Heinlein book I ever attempted to read, but despite being 13 (a.k.a. the target demographic), I didn’t finish it – mainly because I was only just getting into sci-fi novels and my expectations had been set by Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, which is totally unfair, I know, but did I mention I was 13?

The premise is a good one – the
Woody James
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like many of Heinlein's books it is a classic. The planetary and rocket science is all wrong but being it was written in 1951 that is totally forgiven. Still a fun read.

I read this book long ago. In fact I still have that version and when looking at it I discovered a notation on the inside front cover that I read it in January of 1975, some 43+ years ago. It's no wonder I didn't remember any of it. I'm afraid that old copy is in pretty bad shape as the binding glue has dried and the pages are st
Al Philipson
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don Harvey was born between planets (in space) of a mother from Venus and an Earth father. As such, he doesn't really have solid citizenship anywhere. His parents now live on Mars, doing scientific research, and he's going to school on an Earth ranch.

He gets a note from his parents to come home and to visit a friend on the way out. Things go downhill from there and everyone seems to be gunning for him. Things get really hairy after that, but I won't spoil it for you.

It's vintage Heinlein from hi
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the first 90% of this book. Classic Heinlein juvenile. Good pace. Good characters. Of course, the science is outdated, but, I don’t care about that. I am in it for the stories.

Then, it ended very suddenly. I felt like Heinlein ran up against a deadline or a page limit and just ended the book. He wrapped it up, but, after all the set up, I wanted more ending than was provided.
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
A moving tale, definitely classic Heinlein and not something to be missed for the old school sci-fi fan. For those that missed it, Heinlein corrected predicted the cell phone in the opening scene 40 years before it hit the market. Bravo Mr. Heinlein!!!
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I accidentally came across this book last week. I did a quick search on Goodreads and saw people saying it is a science fiction classic. So I had to read it. And I was not disappointed. Well, at times the science felt archaic. But I kept reminding myself that this was first published way back in 1951. Also, the story did not let me down. A classic indeed.
Doug Turnbull
Jul 30, 2012 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
Paul Hancock
Apr 25, 2014 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
Aug 22, 2016 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
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.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  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"
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2013, sci-fi
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.
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complicated and imaginative, very good.
May 17, 2012 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
another great by a master storyteller
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
Anders Blixt
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a recent review of Arthur C Clarke's The Sands of Mars I mentioned how I found that book in a bargain bookshop in my hometown of Gothenburg around 1980. That bookshop -- long since gone and I have forgotten its name, even though I remember its interiors quite well -- carried for a while a large selection of classical SF titles from a cheap British paperback publisher (the shoddy proof-reading is ample evidence for its cheapness). I bought a score or more books there during a warm summer, most ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Heinlein's Juveniles (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Rocket Ship Galileo (Heinlein's Juveniles, #1)
  • Space Cadet (Heinlein's Juveniles, #2)
  • Red Planet (Heinlein's Juveniles, #3)
  • Farmer in the Sky (Heinlein's Juveniles, #4)
  • The Rolling Stones (Heinlein's Juveniles, #6)
  • Starman Jones (Heinlein's Juveniles, #7)
  • The Star Beast (Heinlein's Juveniles, #8)
  • Tunnel in the Sky (Heinlein's Juveniles, #9)
  • Time for the Stars (Heinlein's Juveniles, #10)
  • Citizen of the Galaxy (Heinlein's Juveniles, #11)
“My old man says when it's time to be counted, the important thing is to be man enough to stand up.” 80 likes
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