The THINK Series introduces you to ten important issues in thorough and easy-to-use books. Expert authors take you through the history of each issue, the hot topics of today, and possible directions for the future. The THINK Series gives you the information you need to know about these vital issues in a provocative way that challenges you to think.
As with most of Asimov’s later collaborations, this one owes more to the collaborator than to Asimov. Even allowing for its intended audience—children late in grade school or early in junior high—the style is primitive. The narrative flow is choppy, and although it covers the ground adequately it isn’t always easy to follow. White is a competent author, but he’s no Isaac Asimov, and it’s hard to detect the Good Doctor’s hand at any point in the book.
The purpose of the book is to help young people learn more about the history of manned space flight and some of the issues involved in continuing the adventure in the future. It refers to Star Trek frequently—also a bit jarring, although it makes sense when dealing with a generation whose main exposure to space travel doubtless comes from old Star Trek reruns and the Star Wars movies. Star Trek is held up also as an example of the optimistic future we’d like to have for humanity in space.
It is, I think, a reasonably good and thought provoking book for younger readers who want to understand why we went to space and why we‘re not there so heavily now; why we left the moon some forty years ago and haven’t been back. I’d hand it to a nine-year-old gladly—but I wouldn’t reread it myself gladly.