FROM THE AUTHOR TO HIS SPACE-ADVENTURER NIECES:
Dear Sharon and Maureen,
Thank you for the very interesting and exciting stories you told me–you know, the ones you made up as you went along, when we sat together and took turns spinning fantastic yarns.
I liked the one you told, Sharon, about the Martians invading Earth. That was a long one, and a real thriller all the way through. And, Maureen, I remember your story about the winged horse. That was kind of a sad one, for, if I remember it right, in the end the winged horse got turned into a mouse and badger ate him. I also enjoyed your yarn, Maureen, about the giant monster who could cover up people and even buildings by dropping blobs of mud out of the ends of his horns. I was glad that the little boy and girl in the story managed to get away from him in the end.
The two of you have convinced me that not only boys, but girls also, like tales of action and adventure; therefore I’ve tried to write a story for girls that is something like the kind that you made up and told to me.
I’ve written this especially for you, Sharon and Maureen, but I’m hoping that other girls who have your kind of wild, wonderful imaginations will also enjoy it. And, since I, your big he-man uncle, enjoyed your stories so much, I think boys will also like this book.
With much love,
In THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF SHARON AND MAUREEN IN OUTER SPACE, these two girls ask their older brother to build a spaceship for them. He does so, and this craft, combined with the girls’ active imaginations, is all that it takes to carry them off into other worlds where they fight monsters, meet wonderful people, and help the lonely and downtrodden.
For a sneak preview of this book read the sample pages below:
CHAPTER ONE — SPACESHIP
THERE WERE TWO SISTERS–Sharon and Maureen. Sharon had just had her tenth birthday, and Maureen was seven years old. They lived in a two-story house on a farm. On one side of the yard was a great forest (at least it seemed great to the little girls), and somewhere in the middle of the forest was an extra-large tree.
The two girls spent many happy hours sitting under this tree telling stories to each other. But what stories they were! They were not stories about gingerbread men or fairy godmothers. Instead, they were stories about mad scientists, man-eating lions, and even six-headed monsters. But there was always someone good in each story–someone who had to run fast to get away from the lions; someone who was brave enough to fight against the evil six-headed monster; someone who did his or her very best to stop the mad scientist from hurting people. It was this hero or heroine in the stories that made the stories good.
One summer day the two sisters had been telling each other exciting yarns for some time–about things that might be going on in other worlds and on far away planets–when Maureen, the youngest of the two, said, “I have an idea. Let’s go into outer space and have some adventures ourselves.”
“Don’t be silly,” said her older sister. “To go into space we’d have to have a spaceship, and we don’t.”
“Maybe we could get Douglas to build us one,” said Maureen. Douglas was the girls’ older brother.
They talked this over for a while and finally decided that it was worth a try. They went to the yard where they found Douglas riding his bicycle.
“Oh, Doug!” called Maureen.
“Oh, Doug, please come here for a minute,” called Sharon.
Doug rode over to them and asked what they wanted.
“We’d like you to build a spaceship for us,” said Sharon.
“So that we can go exploring space,” added Maureen. “Will you do it, please, Doug?”
“Sure,” said Doug, “be glad to. I’ll go to the shop now and get started on it. I’ll have one knocked together in a few minutes.” And off he went toward the farmyard shop where the tools were.
Doug found an old wooden barrel that no one wanted, and after he had sawed a piece out of the side of it (so that the girls could sit in it) and nailed on some boards for wings and a tin can in the back for the jet power to come out of, it looked ready to go.
The girls went into the house to say goodbye to their mother and other members of the family–their older sister, Karen; their younger brother, John; and their little baby sister, Marilyn. They couldn’t say goodbye to their dad because he was out working in the fields. Karen packed a lunch for them so that they wouldn’t get hungry during their space travels.
They went back out to the spaceship and got in, Sharon in the front seat because she was older. Maureen didn’t mind that, but she was not quite satisfied about something else. “Where’s the gas tank?” she asked. “This thing doesn’t have any gas.”
Doug was standing by waiting for blast off. “With the kind of imagination you girls have, you don’t need any gas. You can fly on your imaginations.”
And, sure enough, it worked. Sharon gave the countdown, and when she got to, “… three … two … one … ZERO!” the spaceship rose up into the air as nice as you please. But that wasn’t all. As though by magic, the appearance of the spaceship had changed. No longer was it a wooden barrel, but instead it was made of shiny metal and had a bubble-like glass covering that fit over the head and shoulders of Sharon and Maureen.
Up and up they went. The farmyard with all its buildings seemed to grow smaller and smaller. Soon they hit a cloud and then the surface of the Earth was completely out of sight.
“Now that we can fly,” said Maureen, “why don’t we go and say goodbye to Dad before we head for outer space?”
“Good idea,” said Sharon.
So they flew back down a ways, and soon they were gliding over the field where their dad was driving a tractor, plowing. They swooped down low and waved to him.
“Goodbye, Daddy!” called Maureen.
“We’re going to explore outer space!” called Sharon.
Their dad smiled and waved back to them. “I hope you have fun,” he shouted, “and be careful.”
Then Sharon guided the spaceship upward again, into the sky.
Soon they were high above the clouds. Not much after that they looked back and saw that the Earth now looked like a big blue rubber ball with pretty swirls of white painted on it. These blue and white designs were the oceans, land areas, and clouds.
“Well, we’re in space now,” said Sharon.
“We sure are!” said Maureen. “I wonder what all we’ll find up here?”
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