Catch a Space Taxi to a Galactic Giveaway of 200 Books!

***Sponsored by Hachette***

Meet the Morningstar family in Space Taxi, a new chapter book series from Wendy Mass! Archie Morningstar has waited 8 years, 8 months, and 8 days for the chance to accompany his father to work. But Archie’s dad is no ordinary cab driver. He drives an intergalactic space taxi, shuttling aliens from one corner of the universe to another. And Archie soon discovers that he has a natural knack for space navigation. Being a space taxi copilot is no easy task: Archie must steer them into wormholes, keep them from crashing into planets, and save the universe from an evil mastermind!

In the newest book in the series, Space Taxi: Water Planet Rescue, Archie, his dad, and their talking cat fly to a planet in peril. Someone is stealing the water from this underwater world.

Read the Q&A with the author below and submit a comment on our blog by 11:59 pm EDT on October 12, 2014, to let us know why this series is perfect for your students. We’ll randomly select 200 lucky teachers to win an advanced-reading copy of Space Taxi: Water Planet Rescue. Please note, to be entered into the contest, you must include your full name and mailing address along with the name and location of your school. This information will not be posted with your comment nor will it be saved; we are asking for these simply so we can mail you your book.


You are a self-professed lover of science, idolizing scientists over rock stars. What sparked your interest in all things science?

I’m not sure the exact moment when the world of science grabbed me, but an elementary school trip to Thomas Edison’s laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey, solidified it. I love the idea that scientific discoveries are made because someone wondered why something is the way it is or how they can use the material they have to make something better. Then they are willing to fail over and over again until they find out. With today’s technology, the mysteries of the universe are unraveling in front of us. How lucky we are!

Your books—Every Soul a Star, Pi in the Sky, and now Space Taxi—seamlessly weave science with fiction. Do you begin with the story idea and work in the science or does the science evolve from the story?

I start with the story idea and then research the science behind it. The things I learn always spark more story ideas. So it soon becomes hard to separate one from the other. Even though these books are science fiction/fantasy, we (my co-writer and husband, Mike) try to base Archie’s adventures on real scientific principles—with a generous helping of creative license on the side.

Through the writing and researching process for your books, you’ve become quite the amateur scientist. Did anything surprise you as you did research for Space Taxi?

I was surprised once I really dug into the theories of what life on other planets might look like. The main theory for decades has been that carbon-based life forms could only exist if the conditions for life were in the “Goldilocks Habitable Zone” where everything was just right—not too close to the sun but not too far; not too cold so water would freeze but not too hot so it would evaporate, etc. But now scientists believe that different conditions would simply lead to different types of life forms, perhaps not carbon-based, water-dependent life forms at all.

Archie and his family live in a city. Why did you choose to settle the Morningstars in an urban setting?

We wanted Archie to be pretty unfamiliar with the night sky before his first adventure, truly unaware of what was out there. Living in the city would keep him from seeing many stars when he looked out his window. There’s so much light pollution in big cities that most of the sky is blotted out. This way he could be surprised and amazed at what he saw in the same way that the reader would hopefully be.

Can you give three clues to help readers figure out where in the universe Archie will travel next?

1. In Book 2, if you lived here, you’d have fins instead of fingers.
2. In Book 3, you’ll wonder just what a certain princess ate for breakfast.
3. In Book 4, you just might meet someone’s evil twin!


Don’t forget, you can WIN a copy of Space Taxi: Water Planet Rescue by submitting a comment to our blog. Send your comment right now. Two hundred teachers will WIN!

Good  luck!



PS:  Get a free Educator’s Guide for the first book in the series, Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight! Click here!

118 thoughts on “Catch a Space Taxi to a Galactic Giveaway of 200 Books!

  1. My students love to read. They also love science, so combining fun fiction with scientific principles is such a great idea. I know my students would love to read this book. I know I’m looking forward to.

  2. This series is perfect for my students because it will spark their imagination! It will also help them to see things from another perspective. They will begin to wonder. Science is such a powerful subject!

  3. My 21st Century kids would love this if I offered this as a class. It offers humor and a new look at life forms and outer space. Will have to look for it in the book orders or book stores.

  4. My students LOVE books!!! I think they would really enjoy having this in our classroom library! Thanks for the opportunity! 🙂

  5. I like to provide a wide variety of books in our classroom library. My students love books about space.Since we have been in a drought, we have been learning ways to conserve water. This book sounds like it will support what we have been learning.

  6. I have a set of twins that are space crazy. I would love to read these books so that it opens the world of space to all the kids. And to have real science in it. YAY hoo.

  7. A series of books dedicated to a young boy’s exploration of scientific discovery certainly fills a niche and a need for my classroom.

  8. Any books that inspire students to think science is cool are good in my book. Thanks for the chance to introduce a new series to students.

  9. I love science and I try to instill that into my students. This book would be an added asset to my class library and for my students!

  10. I think my students will love Archie and his adventures. Tying science with fiction storytelling is a great way to not only spark their imagination, but to spark interest in learning more about a science topic.

  11. Our grade level focused on the science concept of water and the environmental issues that affect this precious resource. I like how your book integrates two science concepts of space and water. What a great way to get students engaged through an entertaining and informative book on science topics. My class would love to have this as part of our classroom library.

  12. We’ve been waiting for a new series in outer space adventures! The kids will have so much fun imagining what it’s like to drive a space cab! Can’t wait to read it!

  13. These books look like they will be a lot of fun to use with teaching. I am always on the lookout for fun new books to use with my students and I think these will be perfect to build lessons around.

  14. My country school was reopened just this August. We are looking for good books to keep our students reading after school. This looks very exciting for our students. We will have to try it.

  15. These would be awesome for my struggling readers. They are intimidated by content books, especially science! What an awesome way to lower their risk factor and include some sneaky content vocabulary in while we enjoy. Thanks for the teachers guide it looks wonderful!

  16. These books look like they would grab the attention of my boys especially those who love science. It’s harder to engage my boys into a love of reading. An added plus is that the author solidified her love of science from going to the Thomas Edison Museum; right in our home state of NJ! I look forward to reading these with my class.

  17. My son is home schooled. He loves science and loves to read, as well. Making this perfect for him. It is sometimes hard to find books about science that keep his interest. Some I have found, either can’t keep him interested, or he says are boring. These would be great for him. Plus it would help allow him to use his imagination more.

  18. Can’t wait to order these for my third graders. With the demands of ELA and Math, we do not get to do Science as a separate subject. These books can help me develop a theme based curriculum for my students!
    Thank you!

  19. Our kids live just the opposite – we are in the country, no town or city lights, so we can see it all. I tell them in the city there are no stars to see and they don’t believe me. They are amazed everynight at the light show and right now we have been reading about satelites in the library so I get reports everyday of what they saw.
    Kids always love reading about space. Thanks for making it fun!

  20. My students are just now learning astronomy and they are exceedingly interested. I am also introducing them to chapter books. We are a gifted/inclusion class and would love to have a more challenging read for some.

  21. I have students with reading disabilities who struggle with self-motivation when it comes to reading. I have several boys that would love this series and it would help to increase their interest in reading.

  22. I coordinate reading for our whole school, managing the curriculum, teaching small groups for intervention, encouraging kids to read, etc. I love finding out about series that might pique the interest of specific kids and I know a number of kids who would really enjoy the combination of a fictional story filled with real science facts!

  23. I teach students with emotional disturbances, who have difficulty staying engaged with academics due to having low coping abilities. Because of their emotional and behavioral challenges, many of these students have experienced rejection from schools, classrooms, and peers, which has, in most cases, made school an inconsistent and scary place for them. However, I’ve seen their little worlds light up when learning topics of high interest that they feel confident in. One of these topics has been outer space. I’m excited for the adventurous and scientific spirit of the Space Taxi series, and think it’s a great resource for a thematic unit on outer space. With these books, my students might be motivated to read, write, and discuss concepts related to both literacy and science. This might be just what my students need to feel empowered in and excited by their learning!

  24. I teach Special Ed. these books sound like something that my students would be interested in reading. I like to have resources available to my students that they might like to read. I really like the fact that they include real science facts in them because I teach Science and Math to middle school students.

  25. My 2nd graders are going to love this!! One student is obsessed with Space, and he’s going to eat this up! Thank you for your awesome work!

  26. My third grades students will certainly be able to make a connection with your experience as student who visited Edison’s lab, since we are going on a field trip next month to Edison’s Winter Estate and Lab in Ft. Myers. Hope we win your book!!

  27. My students would love this book! I have readers of so many different levels in myroomand space/sci fi appeals to many of them and I have few of them in my classroom library. They are always love when I get new books for our “new books” bin, I’m sure this would be a fave! 🙂

  28. Love to find new books like this series that attracts boys to read more for fun! Look forward to sharing these with my class.

  29. What an exciting way to bring science into the classroom! At my school, we don’t have time for much science – unless we are reading at the same time. This would be perfect!

  30. This series if perfect my middle school students who are reading below grade level, but is interesting enough that they will want to read the books.

  31. As a home schooler, I am always looking for ways to engage my oldest child in reading material that appeals in a fun, learning manner. This series sounds perfect for him.

  32. Our school district is having a big push for science and technology. It looks like this series fits both of these categories and will appeal to reluctant readers all at the same time!! What could be better!

  33. Your series would be a perfect fit in my 6th grade literacy class! I have many reluctant, below grade level readers that would be engaged with these books. I also like to choose books that are entertaining but will also teach students something as well (like to love science!).

  34. This series would really inspire some of my students who are in the upper grades, love science, but are reading below their grade level. Using these books would capture their interest and also be a boost to their self esteem.

  35. This book would appeal to boys and girls. The science theme would spark interest. The readability would allow many students to enjoy the book.

  36. Thank you for creating science-related literature that ties-in science topics in a fun, imaginative way. I like that the book leads to different adventures. Series type books keep kids reading! 🙂

  37. The students I work with would LOVE Archie’s adventures due to the science themes in the books. I completely agree with Mrs. Hass’s comment about scientists being willing to fail in order to learn about the world around them. I want to encourage my students to question and wonder about their world and how they could improve upon what we already have. I think students need to see how mistakes and failures are learning opportunities.

  38. What a great way to make connections between what we read in fiction stories to what we are learning about in our non-fiction science books!

  39. My kids would love this book! They love adventurous books and I think it would help to get some of them interested in reading!

  40. What great appeal this book will have with kids of all ability levels. Aliens and outer space along with science is going to grab so many readers. It is a great way to tie the water unit we do in with reading skills.

  41. I teach fifth grade and this book looks like the perfect way to integrate both ELA standards with science standards. I know that it would be interesting for my students and they would enjoy reading about the fun adventures of Archie and his family!

  42. How wonderful to have a new series that will motivate some of my science loving and reluctant reading students to read fiction.

  43. What a perfect series to read to my third graders!!!! Their homeroom teacher’s name is Mrs. Morningstar!!!! This would get them hooked and keep them reading for hours!! I can’t wait to check them out!!!

  44. My 4th and 5th graders would LOVE this series. They love learning science. They especially like it when we do “science magic” (demonstrations). I would love integrating science and literature with science fiction, my favorite genre.

  45. My students would all love this book. Sometimes I think it is hard to find books that appeal to boys and this one fits the bill. Sounds like a fun story!

  46. This series is perfect for my students! They live in a city like Archie and since most of them live in apartment complexes, they do not go outside much at night. I wish my children would be like a scientist in that they don’t mind failing because they know in the end, they are going to get it right. Archie may be able to teach them this.

  47. This book would fit in great with our science unit! I am a new teacher and I don’t have many resources yet! My kids would love reading a story that fits so well with our unit of study!

  48. This looks like a great series! My kids would love this book and to add the science theme makes it even better!

  49. Had the privilege of skyping with author Wendy Mass last year. She inspired my students in both reading and writing! I love her because she authors books which appeal to both genders and does a great job of incorporating non-fiction elements within the context of a fiction story. Would love to add this to our classroom library!

  50. These books sound fantastic, and I wish I would have known about them when I was teaching about space. I will surely find a way to weave them into my current curriculum. The Q & A with the author makes for a great lesson too. It’s okay to fail over and over, you can learn so much while doing what you love, writing can be fun, etc. Can’t wait to read the series with my students.

  51. My students and I are learning about conserving our natural resources. This would be a great book for them. Thank you for writing this book. I hope we will be one of the lucky winners.

  52. My students would enjoy this book. I loved space stories as a child and would love to share more stories. It is entertaining!

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