The Wonderful flight to the Mushroom Planet


Does anyone know this book? The author is Eleanor Cameron. Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet holds a special place in my childhood memory (what little of it I can remember.) I believe it was the first sci-fi/fantasy book I ever read. This was years before the Hobbit or Narnia -- I discovered those in junior high. Mushroom Planet must have been third or fourth grade. That was eons ago…1968, ’69. These years are all a blur to me now – memories so jumbled I don’t know where they begin or where they end.

I grew up an Air Force Brat. I was born in Maine and have lived in Japan, Michigan, South Carolina, Ohio, Delaware, Alabama, Washington, DC and a bunch of other places I don’t remember. I do remember the pain of becoming friends with kids, and then, after two years or so, moving away to another state. I remember the tearful farewells as dad’s station wagon pulled away from the house. Timmy or Susie or Johny or Steve standing at the end of the driveway, waving goodbye, their eyes damp, faces flushed…

Hold on a sec…

Ok, I’m back. *sniff* sorry.

Mushroom Planet is about a couple of kids who, with the help of a mysterious benefactor, build a rocket ship to explore a tiny planet. I rediscovered it a few years ago on Amazon and was pleased to read the reviews of adults who have the same fond memories.

I think I ordered it from school. The teacher would pass out the little brochures with the books we could order. An envelope from mom with one or two dollars was all it took, and a few weeks later we would get the books. I remember the teacher handing out the books, the smell of inky paper; the glossy covers, thumbing through the pages, eager to be taken away to new worlds.

Ah.

So what’s your special book? The one that first took your imagination on a flight of fancy?

7 comments:

K. M. Walton said...

First, let me say that you should write about your childhood - if it makes you cry, chances are it will evoke emotion from other readers... Just a thought.

The book that made the biggest impact on me was the first novel I ever read, Are You There God, Its Me Margaret? by Judy Blume. I went to Catholic school so we never read books in school, oh no, we read SRA cards with questions at the end. Loads of fun.

So, Margaret and her life were immensely exciting to me and I could relate to her inner thoughts on many levels.

p.s. I also LOVED the Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson - first book to make me cry my eyes out.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I really enjoy your blog. I do remember this book from childhood, I completely forgot about it! I'm 25 now, but one of my favorite books would have to be 'Interstellar Pig' by William Sleator. 6th grade. Good times...

Jordan

Carrie Harris said...

My problem is that it's so tough to pick just one. So I'll pick The Westing Game. It's the one I remember with the most fondness. I read two copies to pieces!

Pink Ink said...

I think for me it was "Little Women". I had a typewriter in my room and I'd copy passages from it that I liked. Jo was my favorite character and I dreamed of being a writer like her someday :-)

Prince Balthazar said...

K.M. thanks, I know that Judy Blume book is a classic and one of my wife's favorites. Didn't read Bridge as a kid. I did see the film recently though and I was so surprised by it. Wow. Serious stuff. That must have really impacted young people when they first read it.

Anon, thanks for visiting.I'll have to look into Interstellar Pig.

Carrie, I'll also Google The Westing Game. Strange title.

Pink, maybe one of these days if I ever get the time I would like to read all these classic book, Little Women being one of them.

Pink Ink said...

Oh, and for fantasy, I remember loving CS Lewis' Narnia Chronicles. My first ever Sci Fi story I remember thinking "This is so out-of-this-world, and yet very believable" was a book of short stories by Isaac Asimov. I don't even remember the title of the collection, but I loved the suspense set in a high-tech world.

Dawn Colclasure said...

One book I couldn't stop reading was White Fang. I read it so many times and always kept it close by. Maybe because I love dogs and wolves or because I'm a survivalist by nature. :)

I know what it's like to move away all the time and leave friends behind. I was not a military brat; just part of a nomadic family. :/