I remember reading this as a boy and picked it up for my 10 year old, but had to give a reread first Slightly dated, but largely holds up the test of time It s definately young adult but I still enjoyed it Largely a colonization story told first person by a teen boy Very fast read. Well gosh, Pop, wasn t that about the hokiest book you ever did read Why, yes indeedy, son Even with them newfangled rocket ships n all A few months ago I wrote in my review of Little Fuzzy that the far future characters seemed mired in the culture and s of the 1950 s I take it back Compared to Farmer in the Sky, Piper s work was visionary In Farmer we have microwave ovens, easy space travel, and mass to energy conversion technology, but we also have a teenager who plays accordion a Well gosh, Pop, wasn t that about the hokiest book you ever did read Why, yes indeedy, son Even with them newfangled rocket ships n all A few months ago I wrote in my review of Little Fuzzy that the far future characters seemed mired in the culture and s of the 1950 s I take it back Compared to Farmer in the Sky, Piper s work was visionary In Farmer we have microwave ovens, easy space travel, and mass to energy conversion technology, but we also have a teenager who plays accordion and cribbage, works hard on his merit badges, and thinks girls are yucky I ve enjoyed Heinlein s juveniles in the past, though I ve never been one of those who worshiped at his altar I always preferred Asimov or Clarke I think this book may have put me off of him forever, since about halfway through it the theme to The Andy Griffith Show started playing in my head and wouldn t stop All done now Next I can t go as low as 1 star because the book does have a few good bits, just not enough to redeem it The central theme of colonization being hard, backbreaking work is strong and well presented, though the lack of ground transportation on the colony was hard to swallow The earthquake disaster and planetary freeze is compelling and, if you could remove it from the larger context, would have made a great short story.Throughout, though, we get Heinlein in preachy mode with a Mary Sue protagonist and other characters who fall into the categories of Wise Men Who Are Never Wrong and straw men for Heinlein to attack And then, in the end, for no good reason at all Aliens Because gosh, wouldn t that be swell Bill knew his destiny lay in the stars, but how was he to get there George Lerner was shipping out for Ganymede to join the fledgling colony, and Bill wanted to go along But his father would not hear of it far too dangerous a mission Bill finally talked his way aboard the colony ship Mayflower and discovered his father was right This was one of the books that made me love space and take another, hard look at the world around me I can t think of a better one for kids, pre early teens Of course, it s great for an older crowd too, but early exposure is best As a kid, I never liked learning just for its own sake, but you can t help learning something about rockets, celestial mechanics, ecology as Bill, a young Eagle Scout, immigrates to Ganymede to start a new life as a farmer Bill is pretty cool, but far from perfe This was one of the books that made me love space and take another, hard look at the world around me I can t think of a better one for kids, pre early teens Of course, it s great for an older crowd too, but early exposure is best As a kid, I never liked learning just for its own sake, but you can t help learning something about rockets, celestial mechanics, ecology as Bill, a young Eagle Scout, immigrates to Ganymede to start a new life as a farmer Bill is pretty cool, but far from perfect He has a copter license is a troop leader, but he makes a complete ass out of himself over his father s marriage Understandable and part of the charm He has some typical adolescent struggles, but is a darn good kid His descriptions of how the ship got to Ganymede and the night sky were wonderful perfectly in character.Bill explains what he learns every step of the way on his new adventure A friend tells him that living on Ganymede is unnatural George, his father, tells Bill,People have a funny habit of taking as natural whatever they are used to but there hasn t been any natural environment, the way they mean it, since men climbed down out of trees So true Obvious today, I guess, but when I first read it around 1970, a whole new world way of thinking opened up for me There was a big push for natural living back then Think Mother Earth News Silent Spring Back to nature was the cool thing, but how far What is necessary to keep our modern world running Later in the book, he discusses turning dead rock into a field that would grow a crop and what went into it He starts with how the atmosphere was formed, making Einstein s equation real useful, all the way up to using compost made from garbage Why bugs worms were so important, too but it really brings it up to the top of your mind to know that stepping on an insect carries with it a stiff fine if you are caught, as well as a very pointed lecture telling you that the colony can get along very nicely without you but the insects are necessary.What a fantastic way to make the point I ve never been all that fond of the end The last section is tacked on is too much Not as bad as the last half of Glory Road, thankfully Still, in both cases, I get the idea he had to deliver a certain number of words the story was too short, so he tacked on rather than expanding the story Oh well, it wasn t awful, just not up to the rest of the book anticlimactic.The reader was quite good this is a marvelous way to enjoy Heinlein s early books all over again As usual, I m surprised at how well they ve held up since this was written in the 50 s Sure, people are using slipsticks instead of calculators, but that s OK pretty minor All I can remember about this book is a boy and his Dad and his sister travel as colonists to a different planet to settle They knock about a bit At the end they discover alien technology life but don t make any contact, for some reason that I can t recall The amusing thing for me is that this science fiction as a rerun of the American frontier but this time made perfect because no pesky indigenous peoples as apparently they are extinct and this time the settlers had nothing to do with it, an All I can remember about this book is a boy and his Dad and his sister travel as colonists to a different planet to settle They knock about a bit At the end they discover alien technology life but don t make any contact, for some reason that I can t recall The amusing thing for me is that this science fiction as a rerun of the American frontier but this time made perfect because no pesky indigenous peoples as apparently they are extinct and this time the settlers had nothing to do with it, and there are no inconvenient minorities Implicitly the consequences of our history are insoluble, the answer is the cosmos as expanding frontier, under which all problems can be swept and ignored.Life is short and there arememorable books to read I love me some good old classic science fiction This book was just wonderful, short and sweet, and the only thing that saddened me was the fact that it reminded me of Andy Weir s Martian, when it should have been the other way around The first step into my Hugo Awards odyssey was quite promising, can t wait for what s to come next It is remarkably hard to hunt down some of the earliest books that were nominated for a Hugo at either of the libraries I have access to, but I assumed that one of Heinlein s juveniles would not particularly pose a challenge Turns out I was wrong Then again, it popped up at a local used bookstore, and so it was, in the end, not really an issue I was just surprised that it had been a problem at all, particularly since the one I picked up used was a recent re issue.Note The rest of this review It is remarkably hard to hunt down some of the earliest books that were nominated for a Hugo at either of the libraries I have access to, but I assumed that one of Heinlein s juveniles would not particularly pose a challenge Turns out I was wrong Then again, it popped up at a local used bookstore, and so it was, in the end, not really an issue I was just surprised that it had been a problem at all, particularly since the one I picked up used was a recent re issue.Note The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook This is the first Heinlein Juvenile that I haven t really loved It was certainly well written and interesting, but not a lot happened It tells the story of some Earth colonists settling on Ganymede Unfortunately, it s long on the details of the process and short on action, mystery and intrigue Only at the very end is there a really interesting discovery Definitely my least favorite so far among the early Heinlein works. The title tells it all, but this is also a very entertaining book, good read 2020 re readThere are some people who can tell you about a trip to the post office and make it interesting Stephen King famously told about a rabid dog, filed up a novel with said rabid dog story, and it was actually pretty good.Robert A Heinlein, is such a writer Describing a far future world where the Earth is facing overpopulation and scarcity problems, one solution available to Terrans is to join up to be co The title tells it all, but this is also a very entertaining book, good read 2020 re readThere are some people who can tell you about a trip to the post office and make it interesting Stephen King famously told about a rabid dog, filed up a novel with said rabid dog story, and it was actually pretty good.Robert A Heinlein, is such a writer Describing a far future world where the Earth is facing overpopulation and scarcity problems, one solution available to Terrans is to join up to be colonists.Our hero, leaping off the pages of Boys Life Magazine in Heinlein s 1950 Scribner s juvenile publication, learns that farming on Ganymede is much different than his agricultural chores on Earth Heinlein demonstrates the charm of his juvenile work as he explores determination, family, perseverance and hard work.One of his better juvenile works this one earned a Retro Hugo in 2001 I have been interested in the process of colonization for years In 1990 I published an article analyzing the survival pattern of the Mayflower colonists during the first year when half the colony died having relatives along on the voyage was a big help in staying alive I read this book to gain whatever insight brilliant author Heinlein might have had to the process I learned a bit about subjects I had not yet considered, for instance earth status vs space status on such a mundane b I have been interested in the process of colonization for years In 1990 I published an article analyzing the survival pattern of the Mayflower colonists during the first year when half the colony died having relatives along on the voyage was a big help in staying alive I read this book to gain whatever insight brilliant author Heinlein might have had to the process I learned a bit about subjects I had not yet considered, for instance earth status vs space status on such a mundane but interesting topic as scouting, as in boy scouting The book was published in 1950 and suffers a little from being dated, but as usual, Heinlein s futuristic mind takes care of some time incarcerated items.The book pulls no punches Although classified appropriately as a juvenile or young adult novel, Heinlein lays bare the probability that tragedy can, and will, happen in the process of colonization Much of the book concerns the very topic that Andrew Weir took up recently in The Martian, namely agriculture on a dead planet and goes into great detail on the ins and outs of this arduous process Weir s book extends this education for readers.The book read well, and while written for young adults it was also tagged as a book that adults could read with great profit I concur whole heartedly another Heinlein triumph In 2000 it won a Retro Hugo Award in 2000 and deservedly so.PS Heinlein was right in one detail of interest to me the largest family survived well in the midst of disaster, as I found for the Mayflower bunch and Donner Party