Reading Rabble Review: "The Rolling Stones" by Robert A. Heinlein

4 Rabbles with an R for an excellent classic!

The Rolling Stones
By Robert A. Heinlein

The Stone clan is off to the asteroid belt to educate their brood and find a new life away from stuffy, bureaucratic Lunar City. But, as a great man once said, ''There Isn't Any Such Thing As a Free Lunch.'' The Stones know that making a living in deep space and facing the dangers of exploration are the pioneer's great challenge—and the only path to a hopeful tomorrow for humankind! 

''Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.''
—Robert A. Heinlein, from The Rolling Stones.

Another classic entry from the master Robert A. Heinlein comes this great story of the family 'Stone' from his 'Juvenile' series. This is what YA fiction was known by in the 1950's. During the 'Golden Age' of science fiction, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and many others were creating a new genre - later to become known as 'Science Fiction'. And these 'giants' the genre's godfathers. They themselves, however, owe their very existence to the real groundbreakers such as H.G. Wells, and Jules Verne. Were it not for their extraordinary storytelling in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the landscape-changing genre of sci-fi may have never been born.

That said, these men and others soon went on to expand and enrich this new style of storytelling. The time was ripe, the era was full of new expectations. The 'Atomic Age' was in full swing. Nothing was impossible. Nothing was too extraordinary. Soon, pulp fiction magazines were all the rage. Even in the most conservative of communities these 'sci-fi' mags made themselves known and the Golden Age of Science Fiction was upon us!

This age delivered to us too many books to list here. Isaac Asimov created the 'Foundation Series' (see Reading Rabble Review: The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov.) which most other sci-fi authors aspire to. Robert A. Heinlein also created his share of adult sci-fi novels. But with genius aplenty, Heinlein also introduced what were later to be called the 'Juvenile Series', a series of independent books that Heinlein wrote with a direct audience in mind. Those of the younger teen audience as well as what we refer to now as Reluctant Readers were who Heinlein had in mind.

This particular novel, "The Rolling Stones", takes place in the years after the lunar colony has gained it's independence from Earthly rule. One of the characters, Hazel, will be fondly known in other Heinlein novels ("The Moon is a Harsh Mistriss", "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls", and others). 'Stones' is the story a journey that Hazel (now a grandmother in her later years) takes with her family, consisting of her son Roger, his wife Edith and their children, 18 year old Meade, 16 year old twins Castor and Pollux, and 4 year old Lowell. While the story is about all of them, the stars of this book are Castor and Pollux (Cas & Pol). These genius twins hatch a scheme to buy a ship and ply their way across the inner solar system's trading routes, buying and selling.

Alas, this is not exactly the way it works out as the rest of the family decides to go along and make it a new life for all of them. With plenty of action and adventure, the Stone family first goes to Mars then to the asteroid belt then further out. This lighthearted novel is a look at the early exploration of the solar system. Fun, adventurous, and entertaining, it is a story that all readers will enjoy including those Reluctant ones. The writing is easy to read and the vocabulary is consistent with Heinlein's Juvenile Series of books, where even Reluctant Readers will find it easy to read and get hooked. More of these Juvenile books will be reviewed in the future as Heinlein left us with many many books to read and enjoy.

4 Rabbles with an R for Reluctant Readers for "The Rolling Stones"

Rabble back at us. Which classic YA novels you grabbed you?