Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein
Here's a Heinlein I hadn't re-read ... glad I came across it in my "quest for audio cassette books" - well worth it.
SynopsisThe Earth is crowded and food is rationed, but a colony on Ganymede, one of the moons of Jupiter, offers an escape for teenager Bill Lermer and his family. Back on Earth, the move sounded like a grand adventure, but Bill soon realizes that life on the frontier is dangerous, and in an alien world with no safety nets, nature is cruelly unforgiving of even small mistakes. Bill's new home is a world of unearthly wonders -- and heartbreaking tragedy. He will face hardships, survive dangers, and grow up fast, meeting the challenge of opening up a new world for humanity and finding strengths within himself that he had never suspected existed.
Originally written in 1950(!) and serialized in Boy's Life, this book had a lot of meat. An earth with huge overpopulation problems. Fairly liberal family depiction (Bill and his widowed dad call each other by first names. Bill essentially threatens to "do as he pleases" if his father emigrates without him. Lots of serious data and details about colonizing, malthusian pressures and ecology. Sure, there are lots of dated aspects - but more surprising is how relevant and challenging the book is. It's also a love song to Boy Scouting, as the hero is an Eagle scout, and a lot of action involves keeping scouting going out in the reaches of the solar system. I'll have to dig up a paperback of this to add to my Heinlein library.....