Friday, June 3, 2011

Janitors - Tyler Whitesides

One of the first things I saw at BEA this year was a group of people scattered around the building handing out flyers for a book with a big, burly magical seeming janitor. Needless to say, getting a hold of this arc was one of my priorities for the day, out of sheer curiosity.

Janitors is a book about Spencer, a sixth grader who one day washes his face with a magical soap that allows him to see the magical beings infesting his school when nobody else seems to be able to--besides the Janitor, that is. Spencer is told that the creatures feed on brain waves of children and in return give off waves that make it impossible for those same children to learn. But when Spencer tries to find out more about the creatures and the janitors, he gets thrust in a war between two different forces, and he isn't sure which one he should trust.

Janitors is a children's book, first off. Keeping that in mind, I felt that the book was really good for what it was. The storyline is clear and simple, and more than a little creative. The idea of Janitors fighting for education is a fun one, and one that I've definitely never heard before. That alone makes me give kudos to the author. There's potential for a sequel as well, and I'd love to see this turned into a series. It wouldn't be a series on par with Harry Potter, but let's be honest: nothing really is. This has the potential to be something great, though, and I'll be keeping an eye on the author.

I'd recommend this to any parents looking for books for children who like to read, to begin with, because it's a really cool story and, being as the story is based around and applies to elementary school kids, it might be a big hit. I'd also recommend it to any older kids and adults who are just looking for a cute, light read. And, hey, I'd recommend it to anyone else who, like me, is just really curious about a story consisting of magical janitor wars.

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