If you’re a reader who doesn’t like animal narrated books, a story told through the voice of a rat may have you looking the other way. But wait, Mortimer has the smarts and charm to pull you in.

Mortimer’s goal is to be chosen as a passenger on the International Space Station. He feels strongly that rats would be much better suited than humans on a future mission and colonization of Mars. When he is finally picked to head off to space, Mortimer plans to spend his time taking notes, shooting videos, and conducting experiments to prove the inadequacy of human astronauts.

Things don’t go as planned when his scheme takes many unexpected turns. He first meets Boris, a rat from Russia who has never lived on Earth. Together they learn about each other while frequently not getting caught sneaking out of their enclosures. Mortimer faces new truths about friendships, humans, and doing what’s right.

Details about the space station come alive as the story unfolds. A fun read and the 27 chapters move along at a quick pace. A perfect addition to the middle grade shelves.

BOOK BIRTHDAY: September 20, 2022 PAGE COUNT: 192


  1. Meals on the ISS (International Space Station) are a eye-opening read. What you go through to get a cup of coffee in space will make you happy that you are on earth.
  2. Facts about life in space were well researched and learning about them through Mortimer’s adventures was much more appealing than reading the facts in a non-fiction book.
  3. Mortimer’s character arc was perfect. He’s a different type of rat after orbiting the earth for several months.
  4. The jokes and pranks are numerous and you’ll be smiling at one involving underwear.
  5. You know you’ve read a good one when you hope a sequel will be forthcoming.


Joan Marie Galat is an award-winning author of more than 20 books for children and adults, with
translations in seven languages. She is best known for her science books for children, specifically her
astronomy titles and interest in everything outer space. Her books have won and been nominated for
numerous awards, including the Moonbeam Children’s Book, Crystal Kite, Skipping Stones, Rocky Mountain Book, Red Cedar Book, and Hackmatack awards, among others. She is the 2018 recipient of the MarthaWeston Grant, awarded annually to one member (worldwide) of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Galat lives in Edmonton, Alberta.



Comments are welcome below and be sure to visit all the other bloggers on this week’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. If getting coffee is a problem in space, then I’m definitely staying on Earth!! 🙂 Sounds a fun read, and a great way to learn about space! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m not a fan of stories with animals as the main characters. But I have to admit that this one sounds unique and like it has a great plot. Thanks for sharing it with us this week.

  3. This sounds like very entertaining read that will have readers wanting more — just like you. I’d love to hear what Mortimer has to say about the international space station!

  4. carolbaldwin says:

    Clever idea and sounds like a fun book! Kids will love it and learn at the same time. Win. WIn.

  5. I used to say I don’t read books with animal characters, but I have changed my mind about that. This sounds good. I think the space station themed will get a lot of youngsters interested. Thanks for the heads up.

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