Book: Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein (1948)
The most striking thing to me about this story is how humans want to exploit resources on another planet and will be deceptive in order to reach those ends.
In Space Cadet, the planet Venus is inhabited by what humans call Little People since they are short, or “frog people” because they are like amphibians. Unfortunately, Heinlein gives very little description of what they look like and that is one of my few complaints about this book.
The Venusians are pretty good-natured according to one of the young men who lived on Venus. He says that they “don’t have the cussedness in them that humans have.”
The females are the only ones any humans have seen, and they speak using the term “mother” for nearly all individuals who are of high rank.
The fact that Venus is inhabited doesn’t stop humans from determining what valuable metals exist there and strong-arming the inhabitants in order to get access to them.
When watching Avatar, I had not realized this storyline had been developed so many years prior. Avatar takes it to a much more detailed and exciting conclusion, but the idea is planted by Heinlein with Space Cadet. Fun book with lots of great ideas for the time.