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Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2014 The first in the Space Taxi series for emergent readers, this sci-fi adventure introduces an engaging character, Archie Morningstar, and a talking cat sidekick who fights crime. When the action begins, Archie doesn’t know about his father’s secret identity as an intergalactic voyager who, well, pilots a space taxi. Soon Archie himself is being tested as a navigator who can expertly spot wormholes. When a fare turns out to be a wanted criminal, Archie and his dad make the acquaintance of a cat Archie nicknames Pockets in honor of his capacity to stow a tremendous amount of policing gear beneath his fur. In the end, Pockets agrees to come back to Earth with Archie so they can join forces in fighting an evil organization called BURP. The plotting never overdoes it, the surprises are gentle, and the humor is always on target for a young demographic. This reads like the beginning of a story with legs (or perhaps wheels), so prepare your cab fare for future installments. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2014 Gr 2–4—At eight years, eight months, and eight days old, Archie Morningstar is finally old enough to join his dad on the midnight taxi shift for "Take Your Kid to Work Day." When they blast out of orbit, it quickly becomes clear that his dad has an unusual job and that his vehicle is no ordinary taxi. Archie is now privy to the secret family business: driving aliens around the galaxy in a high-tech space vehicle. Displaying a special talent for reading an interactive space map, Archie becomes his dad's copilot, guiding them through wormholes and taking them to a distant planet to pick up their first fare. He soon finds himself helping a furry deputy of the Intergalactic Security Force apprehend an alien associated with B.U.R.P., the universe's biggest criminal organization. This series opener zips along at an energetic pace that will keep readers actively engaged. Plenty of humor and adventure make it a solid addition to early chapter-book collections, and the inclusion of science facts at the end adds an educational element. Grayscale cartoon illustrations open each chapter and are interspersed throughout the text; they have a childlike quality that complements young Archie's first-person narration. Readers will look to the stars for more interplanetary adventures to come.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2014 Archie has been waiting all eight years, eight months, and eight days for this night, when he can finally accompany his dad on his second-shift taxi route for Take Your Kid to Work Day. As they pull away, though, the taxi takes off into outer space, and Archie’s dad reveals that he’s actually a space taxi driver. Their first fare unfortunately turns out to be a notorious intergalactic criminal, a fact they find out by witnessing Pockets, a stowaway talking cat agent of the Intergalactic Security Force, take him down. Seeing a strategic opportunity, the ISF then invites them to use their space taxi skills as the Force’s agents under the guidance of Pockets, who comes to live on Earth in their home. While these extra-solar system adventures will garner enthusiasm, the plot’s pretty thin to sustain even this slight length, and Archie’s adjustment to intergalactic norms and his dad’s agreement to an out-of-this-world homeschooling program are implausibly sudden and contrived. The short chapters, large print, and plenty of blocky, simple spot art enhance the readability factor, though, and a brief afterward accessibly explains the concepts of gravity, wormholes, and exoplanets for budding scientists. Even with its shortcomings, most kids will be fans of the idea of dropping out of school and having a pet alien-police-cat, so while O’Ryan’s Hello, Nebulon! (BCCB 7/8/13) may be a stronger interplanetary early reader, this is going to have appeal for readers ready to take off on their own. TA - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.