Space Station Rat

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This charming debut novel-which The Bulletin called "light-years ahead of the competition"- about the adventures of a boy and a genetically engineered rat on a space station is now available in paperback, coinciding with the release of its sequel, Rat Trap.

A lavender rat, which has escaped from harsh scientists in a laboratory, accidentally stows away on a space station. Besides the scientists, technicians, and astronauts on board, a lonely ...
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This charming debut novel-which The Bulletin called "light-years ahead of the competition"- about the adventures of a boy and a genetically engineered rat on a space station is now available in paperback, coinciding with the release of its sequel, Rat Trap.

A lavender rat, which has escaped from harsh scientists in a laboratory, accidentally stows away on a space station. Besides the scientists, technicians, and astronauts on board, a lonely young boy attracts the rat's attention. When Jeff and Rat encounter each other, the boy discovers, much to his amazement, that the rat can communicate in sign language and by typing. The two misfits begin a friendship based on need, learning to trust each other as they fight off frightening efforts to discover and stamp out the stowaway.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A laboratory rat has escaped and has accidentally stowed away on a creaky old space station. But this is no ordinary rat. This modified, lavender colored rodent, named Rat, has been specially trained by scientists to be a super spy rat. Rat has been taught sign language and computer skills in order to communicate. Unfortunately, Rat cannot access any food on the space station. So this intelligent creature writes a macro virus and puts it into the email start up routine of a lonely young boy's computer. Now Rat can write emails as if they are from earth. She hopes to convince the boy, Jeff, that she is his new pen pal and ultimately find access to food through him. The plan goes wrong when Rat accidentally chews through a wire causing a power outage and suddenly the hunt is on for the space station rat. Jeff is unaware that he is hunting down his new friend. Also in on the hunt are Jeff's scientist parents, the captain, several mini robots called sniffers, and his evil caretaker robot called Nanny. When Jeff realizes his new pen pal is Rat, the very rat that they are hunting to kill, he makes a decision to do what he feels is the right thing, despite the dangers. Young readers will enjoy the fast-paced, exciting action of this tale. 2005, Holiday House, Ages 7 to 10.
—Sally J. K. Davies
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-When Rat escapes from the experimental lab, she accidentally stows away in a space-bound supply crate. Now she is marooned on an orbiting observation station. There are many intriguing tunnels and hiding places, but food is hard to come by. She can hide from the slow, clumsy humans, but not from the sniffer robots. Rat knows that the hunter machines can track her anywhere, and their long mechanical tendrils are deadly. Without help, she knows that she won't survive. Meanwhile, Jeff, the only kid on the station, chafes under the supervision of his Nanny robot. He is excited to receive an e-mail from a new friend. At first, he assumes his correspondent is on Earth, but then he discovers Rat at his computer. Wary at first, Jeff and Rat begin to trust one another. When a meteor strike endangers everyone onboard, they must work together to save the station. The point of view shifts between Jeff and Rat, often describing the same objects and incidents from both perspectives. The developing interspecies communication raises interesting questions about the nature of intelligence and individuality. A thoughtful and satisfying adventure for middle grade science-fiction fans.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a space station far far away lives one escaped lab rat with an extraordinary knowledge of all things human, one boy who is ignored by his scientist parents and one single-minded robot named Nanny. Rat has escaped and he's starving. Though he understands human speech and all things scientific, his stomach is in charge and he's forced to look for help from the only place he can think of-the boy. The boy leaves crumbs, messes around with his computer and is bored on the space shuttle as his parents frantically try to avoid meteors and study the sun. When Nanny shows her true identity and becomes Rat's most feared enemy, Rat has to trust the boy for more than food. Plodding plot lines mar a good idea and threaten to leave new readers lost in space. However, true science geeks will enjoy the details of life on a space shuttle. If this leads those readers to Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, all the better. (Fiction. 8-12)
Children's Literature - Michael Jung PhD
When Jeff, a lonely boy stuck on a space station with his scientist parents, starts receiving emails from an anonymous pen pal, he never suspects his new friend is a genetically modified, super-smart rat who wound up on the space station after escaping from the lab where she was created. Hungry for more than the apple cores and crumbs she's been finding, Rat uses her friendship with Jeff to learn how she can get some real food from the machines aboard the station. But when Rat steals too much food, the station's captain re-programs Jeff's nanny-robot to exterminate Rat! Now, Rat must make Jeff understand who she really is, or be hunted down by a disturbingly lethal robot. Performed by stage actor Daniel Bostick, this audio book version of Daley's Space Station Rat presents a bizarre but poignant tale about two lonely kids trapped in a place full of neglectful and self-absorbed adults. Kids will enjoy Jeff and Rat's e-mails, as Rat tells Jeff about herself while hiding her animal identity (her email about her "lavender coat" is especially funny). Bostick's vocal talents are remarkably versatile as he shifts from Jeff's high-pitched (and somewhat whiney) tone, to the nanny-robot's ominous mechanical voice, to Rat's animalistic yet articulate thoughts. It's significant that while most of the characters are female, one has no problem accepting Bostick as all the characters. Fans of this audio book may want to check out Daley's sequel, Rat Trap, and the upcoming Full Cast Audio book, A Dog on His Own, which is previewed at the end of this audio book. Reviewer: Michael Jung, PhD
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—A liverwurst-loving, scientifically modified rat and a lonely boy make an unlikely pair in Michael J. Daley's fun science fiction story (Holiday House, 2005). Isolated on a space station with parents that are preoccupied with studying sunspots, Jeff longs for attention, company, and something to do. His needs for socialization are met by an unusual cyber pen pal, an equally isolated and frustrated former lab rat named Rat. Following a mild electrocution after chewing on electrical cords, Rat's presence is finally discovered and the hunt is on for him. Not knowing that the rat he is chasing is actually his pen pal, Jeff races down the corridors armed with a smart gun and his ubiquitous robot, Nanny. Upon discovering Rat's identity, Jeff becomes its friend and protector. Rat slowly learns to trust Jeff and the two become fast friends. Children will enjoy both the space adventure and friendship aspects of this well-constructed story. Daniel Bostick's excellent narration perfectly captures the essence of each character and will enthrall listeners.—Terri Crowe, Daviess County Public Library, Owensboro, KY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823421510
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 181
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael J. Daley has enjoyed a lifelong love of science, spaceships, and science fiction. He writes his stories on a solar-powered laptop in a five-foot by five-foot square tower room. This keeps him well acquainted with the cramped conditions in spaceships and space stations! There's a warm place in his heart for rodents of all kinds-unless they are chewing acorns in the tower walls. When not traveling the stars, Michael lives in Westminster, Vermont with his wife, children's author Jessie Haas. Visit his website and for more information.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:


    The book SPACE STAITION RAT is very ENTERTAINING!! The book Space Staition Rat is about Rat who escaped from the Scientist and so Rat sleeps and hides in an airvent because she does not want to be found. Next, she went into the cafeteria and found liverwurst and Jeff, the boy got blamed for it but, he does not like liverwurst. And that just the begining of SPACE STAITION RAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2006

    this is an outstanding book

    If you like a good science fiction book I recommend this book to you. Space Station Rat is about a rat that secretly lives in a space station. The problem is that she barely gets enough to eat. All she gets to eat are crumbs from food left behind by humans. So she has to steal from vending machines. One day the captain called for a meeting. Everybody thinks it¿s the local trouble maker Jeff who¿s been stealing the food from the vending machines. Rat gets nervous because she is watching from an air vent. When ever she gets nervous she starts to chew on wires. She starts chewing on the wire next to her. It snaps and causes a block out. Later they find out that it was the rats fault and they go on a hunt. Will they find her? What will they do with her if they do? The two main characters of the story are Rat and the local trouble maker Jeff. Rat is color lavender, white cuffs and is really adventurous. Jeff as you know is a trouble maker and is really messy. He isn¿t really responsible he keeps forgetting his emergency mask. I think this a good book while reading it I felt as if I was in the story .The author really has a good style he is really descriptive. So check it out if you like it then buy it.

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