Two spacer kids stranded on earth befriend an ancient robot, and together they find sanctuary. Toby's parents are movie-makers in space who feel Toby should go to school on earth. There she meets Thaddeus, whose space-faring parents felt so alienated by earth that they left him as a ward in the same school. The two kids happen on Orris. one of the first self-directed robots, left over from the early years of exploration and warfare. Orvis has been declared surplus and dangerous; Toby is dismayed by the threat of another school on Mars; and Thaddeus needs a home. Together they set out to find Toby's mysterious great-grandmother, Goldie, who has stayed on earth. On the way they are ambushed by outlaws and nearly forced to take up residence with a colony of old spacers. In the end, Toby and Thaddeus find a friend and ally in Goldie, and Orris is given satisfying work with the old spacer's commune. A friendly and cheerful story, with Orris particularly well-drawn; a little predictable, but the threats and rescues are believable, and the theme of tension between spacers and earth people isn't overworked.