Daley, Michael J.
Daley, Michael J.
PERSONAL: Male. Education: Xavier University, B.A.; Villanova University, M.A.
ADDRESSES: Home—OH. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Holiday House, 425 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017.
CAREER: Educator and writer. St. Xavier High School, Cincinnati, OH, teacher.
At Home with the Sun: Solar Energy for Young Scientists, Professor Solar Press, 1995.
Nuclear Power: Promise or Peril?, Lerner Publications (Minneapolis, MN), 1997.
Amazing Sun Fun Activities, illustrated by Buckley Smith, Learning Triangle Press (New York, NY), 1998.
Getting Around without Gasoline, Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, 2002.
(With William Madges) Vatican II: Forty Personal Stories, Twenty-third Publications, 2003.
(With Lee P. Yeazell) In All Things: Everyday Prayers of Jesuit High-School Students, Loyola Press, 2003.
Space Station Rat, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributor to periodicals, including St. Anthony Messenger, Momentum, Youth Update, America, and Religion Teacher's Journal.
SIDELIGHTS: Ohio author and educator Michael J. Daley has published several nonfiction titles for children and adults, many of which focus on science and nature. With Space Station Rat, Daley moves into fiction, spinning a futuristic story about a boy named Jeff who lives with his parents on a space observation station. The only young person on the station, Jeff is usually in the way or in trouble of one sort or another. Then adventure enters his life when he decides to help his robotic nanny find a space-station stowaway: a rodent who is chewing on and damaging the station's electrical wiring. Unknown to Jeff, the rat Nanny is hunting is not a normal rodent: an escaped lab rat, the creature is actually a smart, technologically proficient creature that has been trained to wiretap and retrieve confidential information. The Rat has also been taught to communicate on a computer keyboard, as Jeff learns when he begins receiving e-mails from the tiny typist. In Daley's novel, rat and boy learn to trust each other, thwart Nanny's efforts to destroy the rodent, and become friends despite their odd circumstances.
Chris Sherman, writing in Booklist, enjoyed Space Station Rat, writing that "short, snappy sentences, appealing characters, and tension between Nanny and Jeff combine with constant threats of ship malfunctions and Rat's struggle to survive to create a fast-paced story sure to please science fiction buffs." Elaine E. Knight, a reviewer for School Library Journal, called the book "a thoughtful and satisfying adventure for middle grade science-fiction fans," and a Kirkus Reviews critic predicted that "science geeks will enjoy the details of life on a space shuttle."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 1, 1997, Chris Sherman, review of Nuclear Power: Promise or Peril?, p. 459; August, 2005, Chris Sherman, review of Space Station Rat, p. 2026.
Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2005, review of Space Station Rat, p. 635.
National Catholic Reporter, July 4, 2003, Dennis M. Doyle, "Reminiscences Bring Vatican II Era to Life," p. 16.
School Library Journal, January, 1998, Linda Wadleigh, review of Nuclear Power, p. 122; August, 2005, Elaine E. Knight, review of Space Station Rat, p. 126.