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This is a very light, space opera-ish YA or younger novel, probably from the 70's.

The basic plot that I remember is that this kid has a friend/mentor who is part of the space scouts or some such. Explorers? He gets involved in an adventure where he saves the day but, while doing it, manages to break some laws.

At the very end of the book his space scout mentor and some sergeant of the guard type person are with him. They congratulate him but the sergeant type person says that it is too bad, that he broke the law, so he will never be able to go into space again. The Space Scout mentor guy says, "Well, yes, but before you take him, I am going to induct him into the Space Scouts as a reward for his actions." The sergeant says "OK", and duly witnesses the induction.

Then the Space Scout reminds the kid and the sergeant that he cannot be arrested, since Space Scouts can't be arrested etc.

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    Sounds a bit like Heinlein's "juvies", but I've read most of them and I can't recall it being one of them. But it feels like Heinlein.
    – SQB
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 9:05

1 Answer 1

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The Forgotten Star (1959) by Joseph Greene.

Dig Allen is 17 years old; his father is Space Explorer Corps member Boyd Allen. Boyd was off on a mission but failed to return. The Corps figures Captain Boyd is dead, but Dig is certain his father is alive somewhere.

Dig is befriended by Ken and Jim Barry, also 17 years old. They receive some basic training in spacecraft piloting from Guardsman Sargent Brool.

The trio figure out that Captain Boyd is trapped inside the asteroid Eros, which turns out to be an alien colony starship pretending it is an asteroid. The boys want to enter the asteroid to rescue Captain Boyd, but Sargent Brool (who doesn't believe that Eros is a starship) directly orders them to stay in their ship until Brool can arrive. The boys disobey the direct order and rescue Captain Boyd.

But the punishment for disobeying a command from the Guardsmen is to be banned from space, forever. Even if Brool admits he was wrong.

Ken's father, over the radio, mentions that one of the other space laws might help. Dig knows that the law allows people to be inducted into the Space Explorer Corps as reward for acts of valor. Brool even helps by doing the induction.

Then Sargent Brool realizes he's been flim-flamed. Members of the Space Explorer Corps are immune from the commands of the Guardsmen! So Dig Allen and his friends get to stay in space.

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    If I remember correctly he wasn't upset at being flim flammed :) Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 16:45
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    That is correct. He was not happy about banning Dig Allen from space, but them's the rules. So he was relieved when he was flim-flammed. Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 17:07

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