Space Taxi

Archie Takes Flight


By Wendy Mass

By Michael Brawer

Illustrated by Elise Gravel

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Archie Morningstar learns a big family secret and helps save the universe. All before breakfast!

It’s not every day a regular kid like Archie gets to wake up at midnight. But today is Take Your Kid to Work Day, and Archie is finally allowed to ride along in his dad’s taxi cab. He has been waiting eight years, eight months, and eight days for this moment to arrive.

But he’s about to discover his dad is no ordinary cab driver…In fact, he drives an intergalactic space taxi! All night long, he shuttles aliens from one corner of the universe to another. And being a space taxi copilot is no easy task: Archie must steer them into wormholes, keep them from crashing into planets, deal with a very unusual cat…and save the universe from an evil mastermind!

Space Taxi marks the debut of a brand new chapter book series from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Mass and teacher Michael Brawer, filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of science to impress your friends and teachers!


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Table of Contents

Copyright Page

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Chapter One:

Take Your Kid to Work Day

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

It's not every day a regular kid like me gets to wake up at midnight. But this is no regular day. Today is Take Your Kid to Work Day, and I'm going to ride with Dad in his taxi! Dad works the night shift, so he's usually awake when I'm asleep and asleep when I'm awake. But not tonight.

I've been waiting eight years, eight months, and eight days for this day to arrive. Instead of staring at the maps of the big city taped to my walls, I'll actually get to go places. Mom likes to keep us close to home, but I'm itching to explore. My little sister, Penny, is the same way. Any open door and she takes off like she's late for something important.

Mom sticks her head in my room. "Archie Morningstar, aren't you up yet? Dad's waiting outside."

Mom always uses my full name when she wants to make sure I'm paying attention. I wish I had a normal last name that no one would tease me about. The real Morning Star is a nickname for the planet Venus, which is so bright you can still see it as the sun rises. Maybe Morningstar would be a cool name if I lived in the country and could actually see the stars and planets. But here in the city all we can see is bright lights and smog.

I jump out of bed, fully dressed.

She frowns. "Did you even sleep at all? It's going to be a long night and you don't want to fall asleep on the job."

I shake my head. "I was too excited to sleep. But I'm not tired, I promise." I hurry over to the window. Dad's yellow taxi gleams under the streetlight. He keeps it really clean, even though it's old and clunky and most mornings he comes home without any hubcaps on his tires.

I push up my window. "I'm coming, Dad!"

Mom groans. "Archie, it's midnight. You probably woke your sister. And half the block."

"Oops, sorry." I run over to my desk and grab the one thing I don't go anywhere without—the metal tube my grandpa gave me before he retired to Florida. It looks kind of like an empty paper-towel roll, but it's black with a single silver star painted on it. I bring it with me to baseball practice, to school, even to the bathroom! My friends are so used to seeing it they don't even tease me anymore. Well, not much, anyway. When Grandpa gave it to me, he told me I'd need it one day and I'd know when that day arrived. So until that day comes, it goes where I go. "See ya later, Mom!"

"Archie, wait," she says.

I stop, pretty sure she's going to tell me to leave the tube at home, like she always does.

But Mom doesn't mention the tube. Instead, she hands me a brown bag and a warm thermos. It's the same thing she gives Dad before he leaves every night. It would be dorky to show how cool I think this is, so I just take it and mumble, "Thanks."

"Let me take one last look at you," she says, wiping her eyes. "I never thought this day would come. I'm going to miss you."

Mom can be so mushy, always hugging and smooching me. She doesn't like it when I complain that I'm too old for that stuff. So I hold in my groan and say, "Oh, Mom. I'm only going to the other side of town."

"Well… it may be a little farther than that, honey." She pulls me in for a hug.

"I'll be fine," I tell her, squirming away after what I feel is a reasonable period of time. "I'll be with Dad."

She opens her mouth to say something, but instead she kisses me on the cheek, whispers, "I love you, honey," and shuts the door behind me.

Chapter Two:

Barney's Bagels and Schmear

With my supplies in hand, the dark night before me, and Mom inside, I'm feeling pretty grown up right about now. I hold up my thermos and paper bag. "Hi, Dad, I'm ready to go to work!"

He lets out a deep, rumbly laugh. "Buckle up then, Archie! You're in for a wild ride."

I carefully place Grandpa's tube on the floor behind my seat and put my seat belt on. The old taxi rattles and groans as we pull away from the curb. I don't think the ride's going to get too wild. Our biggest adventure will probably be going over a bump and losing a hubcap!


On Sale
Apr 1, 2014
Page Count
112 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.

Learn more about this author