Series: Janitors #1
Author: Tyler Whitesides
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Source: Publisher Provided
Available: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: Have you ever fallen asleep during math class? Are you easily distracted while listening to your English teacher? Do you find yourself completely uninterested in geography? Well, it may not be your fault. The janitors at Welcher Elementary know a secret, and it's draining all the smarts out of the kids. Twelve-year-old Spencer Zumbro, with the help of his classmate Daisy "Gullible" Gates, must fight with and against a secret, janitorial society that wields wizard-like powers. Who can Spencer and Daisy trust and how will they protect their school and possibly the world?
I’m not sure I’ve ever reviewed a middle grade title on this blog. I’m fairly certain I haven’t, even though I do read them from time to time (can we say hellloooo Percy Jackson?). I picked up books 1 and 2 in the series at BEA last year and they’ve just been languishing on my shelf ever since. When book 3 showed up on Netgalley a few weeks ago, I decided it was definitely past time for me to get started.
I think the reason this one stayed on my shelf for so long was because I was dubious that a book about janitors and demon dirt creatures could possibly be good.
And now I feel like an ass.
It’s certainly not Harry Potter good or Percy Jackson good, but it is a good story. And it’s unique. In an age where every other book is a vampire or witch novel and the rest are plucked out of Greek mythology, it’s a nice change of pace.
It was also really nice to have characters acting their own age. Parents and adults were involved. That almost never happens! I didn’t find myself screaming at Spencer to just go tell someone for goodness sake! I tend to do that a lot in books.
The Grimes, Filth, and Rubbish creatures were disgusting (though the names could use a little more imagination). I’m pretty sure if I ever came face to face with one, I’d lose my lunch.
In the end, I’m glad I read it. Will I read it again? Probably not. But will I recommend it to my co-worker’s kids? Absolutely.