Tuesday, December 23, 2014
2015 Contenders: Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight, by Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer
Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight is billed as the first in a new series, and its thin plot is largely setup for the forthcoming installments. It was fun and offbeat, in a Daniel Pinkwater-lite for second graders kind of way, and I enjoyed the time I spent with it. It felt like the book would be an easy sell to a certain brand of reluctant reader, and that's always nice to see. I also liked the surprisingly prosaic use to which the mysterious item that Archie's grandfather gave him is put.
The novel doesn't excel in any of the Newbery criteria, however -- even compared only to some of the more "pop" books we've covered this year, the characters and setting are only loosely developed, and don't measure up to Nanny X or The Vanishing Coin. Space Taxi is pleasant, and I can see the series developing a real following, but it's not going to be a serious contender for any of the ALSC awards.
Published in April by Little, Brown Books