Author: Tyler Whitesides

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Curse of the Broomstaff by Tyler Whitesides (Janitors #3) – Review

August 28, 2013 Review 0 ★★★

Curse of the Broomstaff by Tyler Whitesides (Janitors #3) – ReviewRelease Date: September 10, 2013
Title: Curse of the Broomstaff
Series: Janitors #3
Author: Tyler Whitesides
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Source: NetGalley
Available: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: 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.
3 Stars

My attention is starting to wane with this series.

That’s disappointing because I was really looking forward to finding a really good Middle Grade series.

In this installment, Spencer has been reunited with his dad – but something is off. Spencer is frustrated and his attitude frequently shows. Daisy is more and more nonsensical. Rather than growing up, she seems to be regressing.

These kids are in elementary school – it’s not quite time for the angsty teen years!

We got to take a trip to an enchanted landfill and finally meet the 13 Aurans. They were not what I expected. I don’t like most of them.

The Rebel Janitors are really no closer to stopping the BEM than they were before this book. I just can’t really see what the point of this book was – it didn’t do a lot to further the story. Unless it was just needed to introduce a lot of characters. But that’s kind of a waste of a whole book, if you ask me.

What Others Are Saying:

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Secrets of New Forest Academy by Tyler Whitesides (Janitors #2) – Review

August 14, 2013 Review 1 ★★★★

Secrets of New Forest Academy by Tyler Whitesides (Janitors #2) – ReviewRelease Date: September 4, 2012
Title: Secrets of New Forest Academy
Series: Janitors #2
Author: Tyler Whitesides
Pages: 356
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Source: Publisher Provided
Available: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: Now, more than ever, Spencer, Daisy, and even Dez must fight to save schools everywhere. The Bureau of Educational Maintenance (BEM) is after Spencer, and the only place he is safe is within the walls of the New Forest Academy. Or so he thinks. In this fast-paced adventure, the kids must figure out where their loyalties lie and who they can trust as they fight to discover the true secret of the New Forest Academy and what it means to the future of education.
4 Stars

It’s time to dive back into the world of Janitors and Toxites!

The BEM is still after Spencer, but this time Spencer doesn’t really understand why. All he knows is that Walter has convinced his mom that he and Daisy need to leave town fast. To make things worse, school bully Dez gets mixed up in the whole mess and ends up getting sent away with them too!

At the new school, things aren’t as they should be.  Spencer and his friends (plus Dez) are left to determine what’s happening at New Forest Academy and why.

This is one sequel I enjoyed more than its predecessor. That doesn’t happen very often. While true that I wouldn’t have enjoyed it at all without the first one, I still preferred this one.

This one had more depth to it than the first one did. There was more world-building, more character development.

And I hated Dez so much more.

There was one part that I found to be particularly predictable. But I’m willing to give it a pass because a) I read a lot so it’s hard to get anything by me and b) this is Middle Grade fiction so just because it was predictable to me doesn’t mean it’s going to be predictable to the target audience (that doesn’t mean it won’t be – it just means I can’t tell, so it gets a pass).

The third one comes out soon, and I’m really looking forward to reading it. I want to see what kind of shenanigans Spencer and Daisy get into next, especially now that… well, I can’t tell you that now can I?

What Others Are Saying:

  • SciFi ChickThis installment is even better than the first – well-paced with interesting characters, an interesting plot, and plenty of twists.
  • Bonnie Gets a SayThe setting is wonderful, and any kids or adult will love being swept away into this fantastic world of Toxites. It makes school fun.

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Janitors by Tyler Whitesides (Janitors #1) – Review

July 31, 2013 Review 2 ★★★★

Janitors by Tyler Whitesides (Janitors #1) – ReviewRelease Date: August 21, 2011
Title: Janitors
Series: Janitors #1
Author: Tyler Whitesides
Pages: 300
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?
4 Stars

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.

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