Review by: Scott
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.