Monday, July 18, 2011
Janitors by Tyler Whitesides
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.