Random Heinlein Notes #whateverOne of the interesting things about THE ROLLING STONES is that unlike Heinlein's other juveniles, it's not really a coming of age story. In fact, it really has no central theme at all. It's a series of adventure episodes about a supposedly typical family exploring the Solar System several hundred years in the future.
Oh, the twins do grow up considerably during the course of the book, but the book isn't about them. It's about the family, and yet, it's not really about them, either. It's more just about the idea that the human race will always expand into whatever room is available to it.
Nearly every other Heinlein juvenile ends with the central protagonist becoming a man (other than PODKAYNE OF MARS, which ends with the central character either dead or in a coma in a hospital, depending on which version you read -- yet another indicator of Heinlein's unpleasantly deep misogyny... but I've gone into that in detail elsewhere, I'll spare you here). THE ROLLING STONES ends when Heinlein apparently either ran out of ideas or just decided to stop typing.
Of all the Heinlein juveniles, this one and THE STAR BEAST are the only ones that aren't 'coming of age' stories that show a boy becoming a man. Perhaps that's why I'm always so reluctant to reread them, despite the fact that they're both very well written.