Monday, July 18, 2011

Janitors by Tyler Whitesides

First of all, I am very proud of my copy of this book, as it is the first ARC (advanced reader's copy) that I have ever personally received before. And I have the author's autograph and a little doodle of a broom inside the front cover to prove it. Thanks Tyler.

I dont read a lot of Middle Grade books. In fact, I think the only other one I've read is the Percy Jackson series. But I met Tyler at the LTUE and the LDStorymakers Conferences, heard all the hype, and decided to change that. This book is cool for so many reasons, and here's what I learned:

I learned that humor goes a long way with me. The voice of the young protag in this book is clever and witty, especially in situations where he could be cynical and depressed. He's not popular, he has a disastrous home life, and he has obsessive compulsive behavior that doesn't make any of this any easier. But instead of being a dark kid, he is a little fighter. He fights for normalcy, happiness, and above all...answers to the strange behavior of the Janitors.

I learned that doses of mystery are an effective way to draw in a reader. I want to know the answers behind those mysteries. I want to know what those dang creatures are that only he can see. I want to know why the pink soap opened up his ability to see them. I want to know about the government secrets, and why a special agency is tracking a particularly dangerous janitor.

I learned that sidekicks are important. Spencer (the protag) has a friend named Gullible Gates (first name Daisy) who he learns to confide in and trust. Together they help eachother--like Hermoine and Harry, Spencer and Daisy. Adventures are always so much better when there is someone to share it with.

I learned that short chapters are awesome. They make me feel like I can breathe easier. Like I am getting somewhere. Like my eyes get a break every few minutes. Maybe I have the reading ability of a middle grader??

Anyway, I really liked this book. And though it had no sweeping romance that I usually dig in books, its a really cute MG pick.


  1. I'm reading this book out loud to the kiddos and they are loving it!
    Thanks for the review.

  2. Awesome! I've been wanting to read this to my kids! We just have HP #'s 4, 5, 6, and 7 to finish. Gosh-- now that I'm typing it out, I realized it's going to be a HUGELY long time before I can read it to them! I might just have to read it myself first. :)

  3. You make this sound like an excellent read. I don't often read MG either, but I may have to give this once a look.

    BTW, new follower here, nice ta meet ya, Jessie!

  4. sounds really cute. I'm not an MG reader but never, say, never... ;)

  5. ARCs are awesome (one of the perks of being a librarian)!! This book looks fun, the author is new to me as well, thanks for the intro to them both. :)

  6. This book sounds wonderful. I love the occasional MG.

  7. I met Tyler back in May at a writer's conference - he's ALL kinds of awesome :D

    Also - I was just reading your sidebar - we lived in Vegas for a few years while my husband went to law school. It was WAY more fun to live there than I would have guessed, not that it's high on my list of places I'd like to live again, but it was still fun.

    And THIS is what you call a long rambly comment that only half has to do with the post you actually wrote...