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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Science terms, such as "photons," "thermal imaging," and "light pollution," are used throughout and defined in the glossary at the back.
Strong messages about the value of curiosity, problem-solving, science knowledge, bravery, willingness to try new things.
Positive Role Models
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.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.