A classic novel from the mind of the storyteller who captures the imagination of readers from around the world, and across two generations Science Fiction Grand Master ROBERT A. HEINLEIN CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY In a distant galaxy, the atrocity of slavery was alive and well, and young Thorby was just another orphaned boy sold at auction. But his new owner, Baslim, is not the disabled beggar he appears to be: adopting Thorby as his son, he fights relentlessly as an abolitionist spy. When the authorities close in on Baslim, Thorby must ride with the Free Traders -- a league of merchant princes -- throughout the many worlds of a hostile galaxy, finding the courage to live by his wits and fight his way from society's lowest rung. But Thorby's destiny will be forever changed when he discovers the truth about his own identity....
Heinlein's most inspirational juvenile novel
By Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" - November 26, 2002
Citizen of the Galaxy is probably Heinlein's most mature juvenile novel and is certainly one of his most inspirational. It contains a sweeping indictment of slavery and provides a stirring message about citizenship and civic responsibility. Thorby is a slave; the only memories he has are a tangled morass of mistreatment spread among faceless men on nameless worlds; all he brings with him to Sargon are a filthy piece of clothing and an ugly assortment of scars and sores. On the block, no one values him enough to even bid on him, all except for the beggar Baslim. He takes him home (a hole beneath the abandoned amphitheatre) and raises him as a son rather than a slave. Thorby learns the art of begging from his new Pop and enjoys the happiest years of his life with him. Then Baslim, whom Thorby eventually learned was much more than a simple beggar, is arrested as a spy. Thorby satisfies his Pop's wishes by evading capture himself and taking a message to a certain ship's captain... read more
Heinlein writes his story of freedom...
By Strategos "The Guardian of Time" - August 31, 2004
I've only read a few books by Heinlein, but the more of his stories I read the more I see two trends. First, he likes to take an idea, and then run with it through every possible effect and ramification it could have. Secondly, he seems to (unless I miss my guess) be writing his adventure stories from the dual perspective of himself as a youth, and himself as an older world-weary traveler (in his own eyes anyway). Reading this book I got the same feeling from Starship Troopers and Tunnel in the sky, that our protagonist is struggling to learn the essential life lessons that he will one day be in a position to hand down. But that's just Heinlein...
In this story, our master of sci-fi take the idea of freedom to it's absolute philosophical limits. First, he shows us the world of a person who is an actual slave and has no rights whatsoever. Then, he takes that individual, and shoves them into situation after situation that leave us wondering what exactly freedom is. When... read more
fascinating, creative concepts about society,makes you think
By Eric C. Maass - September 20, 1999
Personally, I believe this is the type of book we should have on the required reading lists at our schools - a book that is fun and fascinating to read, that introduces creative concepts about society, technology, and people...and a book that makes you think. It makes you think about the importance of freedom, about the slipperiness of the concept of freedom...about the choices that we make, and the choices that are made for us...about how people may have more to them than we suspect based on first impressions or based on their chosen profession. The first time I read the book, I was disappointed in the ending. In rereading it, I realized that Heinlein was showing one more aspect of freedom - and, in having his character give up what many people would consider an almost ideal life, in being rich with no responsibilities --- and choosing to take on the burden of those responsibilities...Heinlein was showing even more about the importance of values, of character, over... read more