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I remember a children's book published by about 1961 in which a boy and girl who probably lived on a rocket base stowed away on an unmanned rocket to the moon.

I remember that when the newspapers revealed that they stowed away on a moon rocket various stereotypical characters read of it, including an Indian maharajah and a wealthy Mexican ranch owner.

As I remember, the maharajah marked the newspaper story with his bejeweled mechanical pencil, and the Mexican hacienda owner leaped up when he read the story and fired his silver pearl-handled pistols into the air. But I don't remember such "minor" details as the names or fate of the protagonists!

On the trip to the moon the boy looked at the sun through a telescope and when he looked away he was temporarily blind and couldn't see anything. I remember as a child thinking that looking at the sun through a telescope would likely to be instantly extremely painful to the eyes and that nobody could have forced himself to stare at the sun as long as the book said.

The moon seemed to have enough air for them to travel outside the rocket. The surface seemed to be full of ashes and they found what seemed to be a human skull in the ashes.

It was a public library book in Philadelphia read sometime between about 1958 and November 1961 when we moved away. As I remember the two children stowed away in an unmanned (but presumably designed for passengers) rocket for the first trip to the moon. When it was discovered it was a big newspaper story.

05-07-2018 Having just read Young Stowaways in Space by Richard Elam, 1960, it is not the book I asked about and doesn't have any of the incidents I remember.

  • Was just flicking through a book and found Peggy and Peter go to the moon - Don White which I thought might fit the bill, but alas it doesn't fit (The titular children are sent packing to the moon by their father and nanny, story ends shortly after take off). – Eborbob Jul 14 '15 at 20:12
  • I doubt this is it and I'm strugglig to find more details about it, but there is a childrens book titled, When I go to the Moon by Claudia Lewis and illistrated by Leonard Weisgard. According to Amazon listing, it was published in 1961 amazon.com/When-Go-Moon-Claudia-Lewis/dp/B0000CL741 – Darth Locke Jan 5 '18 at 2:05
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    About when and where did you read it? I ask because in 1960/1 there was a British tv series called Pathfinders in Space, in which children (albeit with adults in charge) went successively to the Moon, Mars and Venus. And in the "Mars" serial a boy did go temporarily blind in the way you describe. However, I haven't heard anything about it being made into a book. – Mike Stone Jan 8 '18 at 8:24
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    Mike Stone - It was a public library book in Philadelphia read sometime between about 1958 and November 1961 when we moved away. As I remember the two children stowed away in an unmanned (but presumably designed for passengers) rocket for the first trip to the moon. When it was discovered it was a big newspaper story. They had no adult supervision and there would not be much time for a hypothetical Pathfinders book to reach my local library. I added details to the question. – M. A. Golding Jan 9 '18 at 6:29
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    I have added some details to the question. – M. A. Golding Jan 9 '18 at 6:32
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Rather late to this query, but I think it may have been Young Stowaways in Space by Richard Elam actually available for Kindle now -- it was on our school book cart when I was in 2nd and 3rd grade

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    Welcome to the site! Please could you add some more info about this book to support why you think it's what the OP is looking for? E.g. a short summary of the plot or a link to some online info. – Rand al'Thor May 5 '18 at 13:40
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    I see that Young Stowaways in Space was published in 1960 and thus it is chronologically possible that I read it in the right time period. – M. A. Golding May 7 '18 at 17:32
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    I just read Young Stowaways in Space and it is not the answer. gutenberg.org/files/54547/54547-h/54547-h.htm – M. A. Golding May 7 '18 at 19:47

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