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Janitors #1

Janitors #1

4.5 81
by Tyler Whitesides

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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


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? 

Editorial Reviews

Orson Scott Card

"An enormously entertaining book."--Orson Scott Card
Brandon Mull

"Entertaining . . . with plenty of twists and turns."--Brandon Mull, author of Fablehaven and Beyonders series
Alaska Association of School Librarians’ Battle of the Books

Alaska Association of School Librarians’ Battle of the Books nominee 2015-2016
Publishers Weekly
Students at Welcher Elementary school are falling asleep, getting distracted, and becoming disinterested in schoolwork. It's up to a 12-year-old germaphobe Spencer Zumbro and his friend Daisy "Gullible" Gates to save education. Spencer's father mysteriously disappeared years ago, and now Spencer, his mother, and his siblings are living in his aunt's house; between feeling invisible at home and being bullied at school, Spencer's school year isn't looking up. After washing his face with "burn-your-face-off soap" in the school bathroom, he can see dust-eating, demonlike monsters (which he later learns are "Toxites" that are draining students' brains). Only the gruff janitor, Marv, appears to be able to see the creatures. When the Bureau of Educational Maintenance comes to investigate the school's society of elusive janitors and inducts Spencer to help overthrow them, he isn't sure who to trust. Whitesides's debut novel, first in a series, is action-packed and surprising. Well-drawn school dynamics and Spencer and Daisy's relationship ground the story. Readers, like Spencer, will become convinced of the value of telling the truth, while having a lot of fun along the way. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews

With both cleanliness and educational function at stake, a government agency and a rebel faction duke it out in the halls, restrooms and classrooms of an Idaho elementary school.

For centuries the Bureau of Educational Maintenance has trained wizard-janitors to fight the insidious, invisible, dirt-loving, brainwave-sucking "Toxites" (i.e., Rubbish, Grime and Filth) that infest every school and gleefully leach interest, attention and even consciousness from hapless students (now you know). Thanks to applications of a magical slime, hyper-fastidious Spencer and his gullible but steadier sixth-grade classmate Daisy find themselves able to see the revolting little monsters all around them. They become caught between a cohort of BEM agents after supposed mavericks and two fugitive custodians who claim that BEM has, for never-explained reasons, turned traitor to its principles. Who is to be believed? Choosing a side, Spencer and Daisy train with Toxite-killing brooms, mops and vacuum cleaners, and the clandestine battle escalates into a wildly destructive sequence of chases, break-ins and brangles. Whitesides, himself a former school custodian, commits rookie mistakes by suddenly dropping a major character (the obligatory bully) and sets up sequels by leaving too many basic questions unanswered. Still, his debut spins plenty of action, authentic janitorial detail and foul substances around an audience-pleasing premise.

An implausible but entertaining ruckus: Squeamish readers may never touch a school water fountain again. (Fantasy. 10-13)

Product Details

Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication date:
Janitors Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
10 Years

Read an Excerpt

"I see creatures in the school," Spencer insisted. "Some are slimy, some are furry, some have wings. I don't know why the rest of you can't see them. I'm trying to figure that out. I don't want to freak you guys out, but I had to tell you what I've seen."

Dead silence.

Then, like an avalanche: laughter.

Meet the Author

Tyler Whitesides worked as a janitor at an elementary school to put himself through college. He is the bestselling author of the Janitors series. He graduated from Utah State with a degree in music. In addition to writing YA novels, Tyler is an avid composer and arranger of instrumental music. He and his wife live in Logan, Utah.

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Janitors #1 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about the mysterous world of janitors. You would think janitors are boring but wait till you read this book. You will never see a broom the sameway. It is about a fight for education. This book has so many twist and turns. Good Job, Tyler Whitesides
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Janitors is an amazing book! At every moment you are either laughing, gasping, or sighing. Middle aged readers will love it and the relatable characters too! I would highly suggest it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I seriously couldn't put this book down. Read it in 2 days!
Zalen_Redlaw More than 1 year ago
'Janitors' is a magical story that will sweep you off of your feet. Spencer Zumbro is your typical 6th grader trying to fit in at a new school, although he tends to be a bit of neat and clean freak. One day he dozes off during algebra (who hasn't?) and wakes to discover the class bully has decorated his face with a marker. Anxious to remove the obnoxious equations he races to the bathroom and the only thing he can find that works is a bottle of hotel soap someone left on the sink. When he returns to class he is alarmed to discover strange creatures inhabiting his school. Tag along with Spencer and his new friend Daisy as they fight off hoards of evil janitors with magical mops and other enchanted cleaning devices. You'll never look at a bag of vacuum dust the same way again. Hazen Wardle, author of 'The Triumph Detective'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like Fablehaven, this is the book for you! If you haven't read Fablehaven (Brandon Mull), this is a good way to start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is well i love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friends and i have met the author. He is really funny. I loved the book. It is a great twist
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book because it is a great book and it is magical book about a janitor named marv and a boy named spencer and a girl named daisy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trust me, i have read over 500 books in my lifetime. This book was one of the best. Really, trust me, this book is really good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was deffinately unique that is probably why I liked it so much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book I feel bad for marv and I can't wait to read the second one!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't even start to read the book and it sounds amazingly legit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow in this book you see janitors in a hole new way u thoht they were boring your wrong just read this book nd you will find out what the secrets are about janitors!!!
wwillson More than 1 year ago
This was a good book and I like the cover too. Makes me wonder what's in my school and if the janitor has read this haha!
Bookblogger More than 1 year ago
Janitors by Tyler Whitesides is a middle school friendly fantasy book that adults can enjoy as well.  Primarily following Spencer Zumbro, a student who has a bit of a rough time at school.  There is a bully named Dez that loves to pick on him.  He has also had some turmoil at home.  His father left the family and his mom is pushing hard to make everything stick together without him.  He also has a little bit of OCD in terms of keeping his room organized and himself clean.   When Dez draws on his face one day he rushes to the bathroom to try to get the marker off and finds some super strong soap on the edge of the sink.  After his face stops stinging he makes it back to class and starts to see strange creatures in the classroom.  This leads him to suspect the janitors in the school of an evil plot and tries to contact the BEM (Bureau of Education Maintenance) in order to report them.  Along the way he enlists the aid of Daisy, a classmate who is also picked on constantly.   The idea of this book was actually pretty fantastic.  The idea of magic at a school is nothing new in this day, but the idea of janitors being the source of the magic in normal schools is unique.  The monsters are well described without being overly disturbing making them perfect for kids to read about.  The best part of the book may be the weapons that are created out of everyday items that would be found in a school.  The great thing is that only pretty basic stuff is talked about in this book so I'm hoping that there will be a whole host of new items discussed in the second.   I've been contacted by the publisher a few times for review requests and when they first got a hold of me I was hoping that some day they would want a review for this series.  Happily for me the book did not disappoint at all.  This is going to be a book that is filed away for reading with my daughter when she gets a little older for sure.  This book has a wide range of appeal so I'd recommend giving it a shot if it appeals to you at all. Review copy provided by the publisher.
wordforteens More than 1 year ago
I don't normally read middle grade; this was one of those books that magically appeared in the mail against my will, but since it's here, might as well read it, right? Janitors was a mildly adorable fantasy as far as fantasies go; I love the magical elements they used in the story. All of the creatures were interesting and I loved the way the magic worked. (So that's how brooms fly!) I was impressed by the plot in the aspect that I did want to see what happened next, even if one of the big reveals of somebody being the bad guy was easy to figure out, at least for me. (Maybe the average MG reader will have a harder time figuring it out, but it's pretty obvious.) Besides that, I liked the going back and forth between who were the real bad guys or not. I wasn't that impressed by the writing itself, but on the other hand, I'm not it's targeted audience. The main characters were fun to read about; I loved Gullible Gates and Spencer's family made me grin. (The mom? BEST character.)
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
Janitors is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, and New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Though a bit cheezey, this book is highly entertaing and I would definately read the whole series. -M Reviews
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I so want a grime as a pet i know it's wierd BUT I WANT ONE all that is in caps is my cachphrase read book I STILL WANT A GRIME FOR A PET i have no mental isuses just read the dang book alread i mean get out of the review and get vthe book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intresting point of view . . . You get to see janitors in a new point of view. Whoa. I sound like some sort of teacher, soooo. . . Just read the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had started reading this book and it was amazing! Also hit yes if you think that the nook should have a facebook app!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This boo is about a kid named Spencer who sees stuff that only him and the janitors could see.Luckly he finds a friend who will help him stop these creatures.But the real question is that whi should Spencer and his friend help,the janitors or the BEM.This book has a lot of action in it.It is also very detailed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very awesome interestin kids will never want to put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its really amazing and i couldnt put the book down