Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Review: The Janitors Series by Tyler Whitesides

 As you all know, we have a Bellon Family Book Club and sometimes it is really hard to find a book that both me and my 11 year old will like, but Tyler Whitesides has solved our problems for us.  We discovered The Janitors series and honestly, it's been a race to get everything done so we can have reading time together.  These books are so good!  Funny, witty, lots of twists and turns in the plot.  Great characters that kids relate to, it's a story that has it all.


Janitors, Book 1: What a great beginning to a series.  Spencer is having some troubles at home and getting bullied in school.  Dez, the bully, writes on his face and Spencer, who's a little particular about cleanliness, goes to get it off and uses special soap.  And then when the soap stops stinging, he starts seeing creatures that roam around the school.  These creatures get into schools and inhale brainwaves of students and exhale things like distraction and apathy. (It started some good convos with me and my son on these topics, too!) There is a rebel underground to stop them, but the monsters and their friends are pretty powerful.  Thankfully a girl named Daisy believes Spencer's story, and after she uses the soap, she can see them too, and helps him try to figure out what to do.  Then the adventure really begins!  I am glad Book 2 was already available, because this one had a bit of a cliffhanger ending. A great beginning to the series for sure.



Janitors, Book 2: Secrets of New Forest Academy

This one had a lot of depth to it and really sucked up deeper into the story.  Spencer finds out that the Bureau of Educational Management wants a package from his missing father and so he's sent to the New Forest Academy.  Unfortunately, the bully Dez is also sent there which adds another stress to poor Spencer. Probably the best thing about the books are the everyday cleaning tools that are turned into weapons. Mops, brooms and toilet plungers have a lot of uses I had never thought of!  When the kids get trapped in the school all sorts of questions come up in their quest to stop the monsters and save education.  (Plus, I just love the ingenuity of the plot.  It's so clever!) This book was so fast-paced and really kept us up way too late just to read one more page.  Loved it.



Janitors, Book 3: Curse of the Broomstaff

To tell you the truth, we haven't quite finished this one yet.  It is SO good and it's easy to see how the characters have grown as they follow the clues that seem to be leading to the big battle between good and evil.  I can't wait to see what happens and neither can my son.  This is such a well-written series, I am thoroughly enjoying myself.  Two thumbs way up.  Highly recommended for anyone who loves middle-grade fantasy or wants to read one with their kids/family.

Here's the back copy:

Janitors, Book 1

No one takes Spencer Zumbro seriously when he tried to warn his classmates about the mysterious things prowling the halls and classrooms of Welcher Elementary School. But when he sees Marv, the janitor, going after one of the creatures with a vacuum, he knows he's not the only one who can see them.


With the help of his new friends, Daisy, Spencer has to find out what the janitors know. The children's search uncovers the magic taking place behind the scenes of their seemingly ordinary school, where a battle is being waged for the minds of the students. Who can be trusted – and can Spencer and Daisy protect their school and possibly the world?


Janitors, Book 2: Secrets of New Forest Academy


No one takes Spencer Zumbro seriously when he tries to warn his classmates about the mysterious things prowling the halls and classrooms of Welcher Elementary School. But when he sees Marv, the janitor, going after one of the creatures with a vacuum, he knows he's not the only one who can see them. With the help of his new friend, Daisy, Spencer has to find out what the janitors know. The children's search uncovers the magic taking place behind the scenes of their seemingly ordinary school, where a battle is being waged for the minds of the students. Who can be trusted – and can Spencer and Daisy protect their school and possibly the world?

Janitors, Book 3: Curse of the Broomstaff

A secret society of Janitors with wizard-like powers continue their battle, and now, the stakes are even higher. The Bureau of Educational Maintenance is after Alan Zumbro and this time they mean business, deadly business. Spencer, Daisy, and their little team of rebels must find the source of all magical Glop and destroy it before it can destroy the world as we know it. No small task with the BEM and their monster toxites at their heels. It s a wild and dangerous ride as they follow the trail of clues all the way to the hiding place of the mysterious aurans: guardians of a secret landfill. What they discover there will change the way Spencer sees himself, not to mention the fate of the rebels.

About the Author

Tyler Whitesides worked as a janitor at an elementary school to put himself through college. He graduated from Utah State University with a degree in music. In addition to writing novels, Tyler is an avid composer and arranger of instrumental music. He and his wife, Connie, who teaches third grade, live in northern Utah.


4 comments:

Melanie Valderrama said...

I'm glad to hear you like this series. I just started reading it with my kids and we're liking it so far!

Debra Erfert said...

These sound like fun books. Glad you have kids the right age to read with.

Heather Marsten said...

I went to Amazon to check out book - always like good book recommendations for YA. Found out that the first volume is available for 99 cents on Kindle.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Melanie, it's so fun to read it with kids!

Debra, your grandkids just need to be a little bit older and you'll be in this boat with us. :)

Heather, thanks for the heads up!