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Spacer and Rat Hardcover – September 15, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 6 - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 500L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596430583
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596430587
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,709,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10–Jack, who has spent his whole life in space, is preparing to leave his apprenticeship on Freedom for a new position on Liberty Station. On his way back from the spaceport, he runs into an Earthie named Kit. She is considered a rat, a pejorative term the Spacers use to refer to anyone who doesn't contribute to society, particularly Earthie children abandoned by their parents. Kit has in her possession a modified maintenance bot that is a highly intelligent and sentient being. Protecting this extremely useful and illegal tech and evading the various forces out to get possession of it forms the basis of the adventure. In the process, Jack's views about his future, his attitudes, and his preconceived notions about others are all transformed. The book is loaded with literary references to science-fiction writers as well as very funny and appealing space slang. A gripping and gritty look at a vividly realized future world.–June H. Keuhn, Corning East High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. Those Earthies.^B First they ruin their own planet, and now they are going to ruin the rest of the solar system! No wonder Jack and the other Spacers on Freedom Station call them "rats." Then Jack meets Kit, a rat, and her sentient Bot, Waldo, and against his better judgment finds himself drawn into their--well, orbit--and fleeing for his life. Although perhaps best known for her realistic novels, Bechard is no stranger to sf, and she adds sly homages to classic works and authors. Her own writing may sometimes seem derivative, she does a good job of creating snappy space jargon, and Waldo is an inspired character. An open ending suggests the possibility of a sequel. Michael Cart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Knapp on November 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Great adventure story about Jack (Spacer) a teen who has grown up on Freedom station and Kit (Rat) who was abandoned there with her father's other "baby": a sentient robot. Plenty of sophisticated humor and sci-fi references, but also a great invented world, even without background knowledge of Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein. Perfect for young adults (and adults) looking for a space chase adventure with a human heart.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. S. VINE VOICE on December 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Have you seen the stars tonight?

Would you like go up on 'A' deck and look at them with me?

Have you seen the stars tonight?

Would you like to go up for a stroll and keep me company?"

--Paul Kantner, from Blows Against the Empire (1970)

Jack is an orphaned adolescent spacer. He's always lived on Freedom Station, which was formed from the asteroid X-117 and moved to its current site (just inside the Asteroid Belt) in 2217. The Station serves and services the ships that move Earthies away from their troubled planet heading for the similarly-troubled colonies in the Belt. Apprenticing at Gert's Pub, Jack comes into contact with all types. But heading into work one day:

"Jack stopped beside the fence that ran around the pub's side yard. The inorganics recycler was humming, processing a load of Gert's empties. A cool breeze fanned up from the South Dock. Cycle Four of the weather program. Jack took a deep breath and caught the smell of the fish farm, heavy and musty. Gert would say it was the ventilation glitching again. Gert would say the Company admins should get off their big, soft, fat butts and fix a few things around here.

"But Jack had always kind of liked that smell.

"Over the soft drone of the recycler, he heard a thump. And then a bump.

"Slowly, carefully, Jack set down the sling bag and peered over the fence.

"A rat was sneaking out from behind the bin of the recycler.

" 'Hey!' Jack shouted. 'Hey!'

"The rat froze. Its head turned, and just for a nano, it stared up at Jack.

"And then it made a dash for freedom.

" 'No!' Jack leapt over the sling bag. He reached the gate just as the rat did. His fingers hooked into its shirt collar.
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By Team LitPick on February 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Jack is a kid who grew up on Freedom Station. He works in a bar and can tell the Earthies from the Spacers. He thinks he knows everything about Earthies, but that was before Kit showed up. Kit is just a normal Earthie except for what she carries with her. When Jack finds out Kit's secret, he feels he has no choice but to help her. Even if it is illegal. Even if it means risking their lives in space.

Spacer and Rat, by Margaret Bechard, is an amazing sci-fi story that will keep you not only entertained but surprised as well. I have never read another book like this, but I am hoping more will come out. The characters fit in very well with the story. The description of the scenery was thorough but sometimes difficult to understand. I recommend this book to any reader who is looking for a good sci-fi book.

Reviewed by Flamingnet Book Reviews

[...]

Preteen, teen, and young adult books and book recommendations
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By terryannlibrarian on December 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
while i found this book to be fast paced and very interesting, i also was disappointed in its lack of depth.

the 'space' terminology, slang, wierd, futuristic thingies like nutricubes and vividly 'visual' desriptions were well worth the read.

however, i was left feeling a little like the author copied from johnny 5 is alive (what was that movie called anyway??).

this is a great book for reluctant readers and young readers of science fiction. older readers and advanced younger readers will probably be left wanting more.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michel Goldstein on December 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Spacer and Rat is quite a fun story about the life in a human colony far in the future. Its high amount of action makes it a quick read. But that's all I can say about the whole story. The rest is mostly adapted from other works: people in the colonies (spacers) have prejudice against "Earthies" (called rats), but one decides to be different and ends up helping one to solve a problem related to a rogue self-aware robot (technology that is forbidden everywhere). Deja vu?
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