Space Taxi: Archie's Alien Disguise


By Wendy Mass

By Michael Brawer

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Archie Morningstar’s dad drives a taxi through outer space! And with the help of a talking cat named Pockets, Archie and his dad help fight crime across the universe.

In the third book in the series, Archie, his dad, and Pockets visit a planet that resembles medieval Earth in every way but its inhabitants, who have rainbow colored hair and extra eyes. To beat the evil organization B.U.R.P., the trio must disguise themselves as aliens and rescue a princess! When Archie must act on his own, can he find the courage to save the day?


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Table of Contents

Copyright Page

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Chapter One:

Hi, My Name Is Bloppy

If you've never been woken up by your little sister lifting your eyelid with sticky peanut butter fingers, consider yourself lucky.

It's still dark, so it can't be time to wake up for school yet. Plus, it's Saturday. I try to bat Penny's hand away, but she grabs my sleeve and tugs. I groan. "Can't you see I'm sleeping?" She doesn't answer, of course. It's times like this when I wish Penny would say more than two words in a row.

"Go back to sleep, Penny."

She tugs again. I rub my eyes and look at the clock. It's 11:55 at night. I start to lie back down when it hits me.

It's 11:55 at night!

My dad and I leave in five minutes and I'm still in my pajamas! The business of ridding the universe of supervillains has been slow these days, so Dad was allowed to get back to his regular space taxi job. I am still his awesome copilot. But not if I'm late! I throw off my blanket and, by mistake, Penny with it. Oops!

"Sorry!" I say, lifting her from the floor. She just giggles.

I look around for a pair of jeans. Yesterday's clothes should be in a heap by my bed. Ugh, Pockets cleaned my room again. I know he is bored not saving the universe every day, but he needs to find better ways to spend his time between missions.

"Why are you even awake?" I ask Penny as I grab clothes from my drawer.

She puffs out her pink cheeks. She does this when she's about to speak. The seconds tick by. I wait as patiently as an eight-year-old who is late for a trip into outer space can wait. Seriously, I should get some kind of award. Finally she blurts, "Kitty." Then she takes a deep breath and adds, "BIG kitty."

"Yes, he is a very big kitty," I agree, pulling a sweatshirt over my head. I should have figured Pockets woke her. He insists on sleeping at the end of her bed every night. Sometimes his purring wakes up the whole family. He purrs louder than Dad snores!

I lead Penny back into her room, and she climbs into bed. "Story?" she asks.

"Sorry," I whisper. "Bedtime stories are a Mommy thing."

She curls up around her stuffed purple dragon and is asleep before I shut the door. I tiptoe to the kitchen. Mom hands me my snack and thermos, my silver space map tube, and my Intergalactic Security Force badge. "Dad and Pockets are waiting for you in the car," she says, hugging me. "Have fun. Make good choices." The fact that Mom doesn't seem nervous anymore when I go into space makes ME a little less nervous.

"Why is Pockets with us?" I ask Dad as we head downtown in the taxi. "Aren't we just picking up a regular customer?"

"Yup," Dad says, "but Pockets couldn't miss a chance at a tuna sandwich from Barney's."

Pockets springs up from his nap. "Did someone say tuna?" He rolls down his window, takes a deep whiff, and announces, "We have arrived!"

He bounds from the car before we come to a full stop in front of the restaurant. He's already eating by the time we get inside. The man behind the counter hands Dad a slip of paper and says, "Your pickup's in the back room."

I follow Dad to a door at the end of the restaurant. It's marked KEEP OUT.

"This is where the customers who can't blend in on Earth wait for their taxis," he explains. "You can open it."

But my hands stay at my sides. What if something gigantic is waiting on the other side, ready to shoot fire out of its eyes? "It says 'keep out,' " I tell him. "And you know how Mom's always telling me not to rush into things."

He laughs. "I promise it's okay."

I take a deep breath and face the door again. An ISF deputy has to be brave, I tell myself, and slowly push open the door. All I see at first is normal stuff that you'd find in the back room of a restaurant. Shelves with napkins, pickles, and ketchup, along with a few chairs set up in front of an old TV set. I relax. "I don't think our customer is back here, Dad."

Then out of the shadows glides the blobbiest, slimiest, gooiest creature I have ever seen. Picture a melting marshmallow snowman, only orange-colored like the inside of a ripe peach. He has two large black eyes, no visible nose, and a rectangle-shaped sticker on his chest that says HI, MY NAME IS BLOPPY.

I know it's not polite to stare, but wow. I've seen some odd-looking aliens in my short time as Dad's copilot, but nothing this odd. A puddle of orange goo lands at his feet. I watch as more goop drips and plops to the floor.

Dad looks down at the paper in his hand, clears his throat, and says, "Hi, Bloppy, I'm Sal Morningstar. My son and I will be taking you to Libra 6 today. Looks like it will be a one-way trip?"

Bloppy begins to quiver and shake. Maybe he's getting ready to shoot fire after all! I'm not proud of it, but I sort of hide behind Dad.

But no fire comes out of Bloppy—just big, wet, goopy tears.

Chapter Two:


On Sale
Sep 1, 2015
Page Count
128 pages

Wendy Mass

About the Author

Wendy Mass is the New York Times bestselling author of The Candymakers, Pi in the Sky, Every Soul a Star, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, and A Mango-Shaped Space.

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