Rocketship Galileo Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Rocketship Galileo

Three boys are recruited by an underfunded scientist to make the first trip to the Moon. Art with his new friends Morrie and Russ are recruited by Doc to built a rocket and fly to the Moon just after World War II. Doc convinces the boys mothers that they are the best for the job because of their amatuer rocket work and good grades. Doc takes Art and his friends out to the desert where Doc previously worked on atomic weapons for the war.
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They use scrap from old projects to build their rocket and a new type of fuel capable of powering the journey. Early on, there is tampering with the project. They suspect each other, then find evidence of someone else, but never discover who is behind the trouble.

They complete the rocket, fly to the Moon, claim it for all the nations of the world, and build a base. They get a communication from on the Moon. Then, they are attacked. The rocket is destroyed, but they hide inside the base. They fight back and capture one man who turns out to be a Nazi commander.

They attack the Nazi base and discover that the Nazi's were left over from the war a planning a mission to take over the Earth. The Nazi commander kills the other Nazis before they can tell how to use the rocket. The boys discover that aliens used to live on the Moon, but the craters are from an atomic war that killed them off. They threaten to eject the Nazi into space, so he tells them how to fly the Nazi rocket back to Earth.
Best part of story, including ending: The boys building the rocket out in the desert had a fun adventure feel.

Best scene in story: Art getting out on the Moon and saying,"Swell." It captured a different time and viewpoint. Everytime I see footage of the real Moon landing, I think about hearing Armstrong say, "Swell."

Opinion about the main character: Art is a comic book character. With his interactions with the other boys and Doc, I have to love Art vs. Nazis on the Moon. You don't get stories just like that anymore.

The review of this Book prepared by Jay Wilburn a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Heinlein's first Juvenile. Later loosely made into movie, "Destination Moon'. First trip to Moon; but turn out others there first.

The review of this Book prepared by Philip A. Petmecky

A scientist takes a bright group of young boys under his wings and together they build a spaceship to take them to a moon. But sabotage delays their launch, and when they get to the moon, they find an unpleasant surprise awaiting them.
The review of this Book prepared by Steve

Chapter Analysis of Rocketship Galileo

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   very upbeat FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   primitive/present day space voyage Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male


Which planet?    -   Earth's Moon Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes Not Earth, in Solar System?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a moderate amount of scientific explanation

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Rocketship Galileo

Robert A. Heinlein Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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