Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Janitors by Tyler Whitesides

My little bookworm, Abby, has been encouraging me to try some of her recent favorites, so a couple weeks ago I read Janitors. New author Tyler Whitesides reminds me a lot of Brandon Mull (with the standard boy and girl main characters, some villainous adults, and loads of strange, magical creatures), but less wordy and bogged down. (I got a bit weary of Mull’s heavy plots and dialogues in the Fablehaven series. Blah, blah – his characters give me a headache.)

In Janitors, Spencer Zumbro is a 6th grade student with a stressful home life. He is new to his Idaho town and school, and being picked on by the class bully doesn’t help matters. When he suddenly begins seeing strange creatures at school and no one believes him, Spencer enlists the help of classmate Daisy to solve the mystery of the monsters and their connection to the school janitors.

I thought Janitors was a cute and fun read. Again, it didn’t feel terribly original, but I’m sure any 3rd-7th grader would overlook that and just love it. The premise and setting are fun fuel for any kid’s imagination – suspicious school janitors, scary creatures, cool weapons, dull teachers.

This spring, Abby heard that Tyler Whitesides would be signing books at Barnes and Noble. It was a crazy evening for us, so I told her we probably wouldn’t make it. Crisis! So, when I got home that night and realized we might be able to squeeze it in, I called B & N and Tyler agreed to wait an extra 15 minutes. Abby was ecstatic, and he was gracious and adorable. Sometimes, meeting the author can personalize the book and make the experience of reading it more meaningful.

We moved last weekend so things have been topsy-turvy, but I did start a GREAT book before getting immersed in packing. Legend, and I can’t wait to sit down and finish it and report back     . . . so stay tuned!!

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