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
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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 CartCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved