Space Taxi: Archie's Alien Disguise

Book review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Space Taxi: Archie's Alien Disguise Book Poster Image
Fast-paced third book centers on princess, electricity.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Science terms, such as "photons," "thermal imaging," and "light pollution," are used throughout and defined in the glossary at the back.

Positive Messages

Strong messages about the value of curiosity, problem-solving, science knowledge, bravery, willingness to try new things.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dad's a solid, mentoring presence. Mom supports the duo's adventure. Pockets is a trustworthy and loyal assistant. Archie is a sweet, curious, optimistic kid.

Violence & Scariness

A mild battle breaks out with lasers fired, a small explosion, and some sword fighting with no injuries.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Space Taxi: Archie's Alien Disguise is a funny, fast-paced sci-fi chapter book, the third in the Space Taxi series by Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer. Dad, Archie, and cat Pockets are back to save a three-eyed princess from a planet without electricity. The book uses humor, mild suspense, and fun science facts to engage readers in a silly but grounded story about a boy and his dad, a taxi driver in space, and their adventures. Great for reluctant readers and learners.

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What's the story?

It seems like just another night in the space taxi, picking up new and interesting customers such as the goo-covered Bloppy, when Dad and Archie receive word that Princess Viola needs rescuing. In SPACE TAXI: ARCHIE'S ALIEN DISGUISE, it's a race against time fighting the evil crime syndicate B.U.R.P. as Archie and Pockets track down the princess on their own, while Dad makes repairs to the taxi. Can they find her in time? Will Archie's disguise be discovered?

Is it any good?

This third installment in the Space Taxi series keeps the momentum going by staying light, fast-paced, and fun, with the same infectious energy about space, science, and other worlds. It combines an imaginative, silly view of space and aliens while keeping the story grounded in real science facts that make learning seem effortless. Kids learn about photons while imagining an alien made entirely of goo, a princess with three eyes, or a cat with endless pockets.

Here, Archie and Pockets strike out on a crime-fighting mission on their own, which gives Archie a chance to put to use some of the map reading and troubleshooting Dad mentored him through on earlier missions, and the book has fun with a space-inspired version of a princess and video-game-style rescues in castles with knights and swords. There's very mild fighting with some lasers fired and a small resulting explosion, but it's quickly remedied and fairly cartoonish. Perfect for kids who need a spark to get interested in science.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about books set in space in the future. Why do you think they're so popular?

  • How is this princess story different from other princess stories you've read?

  • Does this Space Taxi book depict space the way you imagined it? How is it the same? How is it different?

Book details

For kids who love science fiction and adventure

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