Starman Jones

Heinlein, R. (1953) Starman Jones. New York, NY: Scribner’s


Max Jones dreams of traveling the stars as an astrographer, like his late uncle, but finds his way blocked by selfish guardians and self-serving guilds.  Just when it seems that his situation cannot get any more dire, he sets out on a journey that takes him not only across his native countryside, but through outer space and onto other worlds.


I really wanted to like this book, and I wouldn’t say that it was a bad book, precisely, but unfortunately something about it simply rubbed me the wrong way.  Despite the story being so dated, it excelled the most during the parts where Max got into the science of it all, and especially how connected he felt to his chosen profession.  Outside of that, however, Max came across and bland, overly naive, and weirdly reluctant to take charge of his life for someone who begins the book with a dramatic show of independence.  This lack of concern for his own welfare and dreams in turn makes every achievement he gains anti-climactic instead of triumphant.


That said, it’s an entertaining adventure story and I would recommend it to many tweens, I just wouldn’t suggest it to most tweens.  Best for ages 10 to 16.


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