Janitors #1

Janitors #1

4.5 75
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

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Overview

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

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.)
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
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)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609080754
Publisher:
Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication date:
08/03/2011
Series:
Janitors Series, #1
Sales rank:
1,507,236
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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.

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.

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