No one takes Spencer Zumbro seriously when he tries to warn his classmates about the mysterious things prowling the halls and classrooms at 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 friend, 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?
I finally own this book!I know what you're thinking-"What a kidder! There's no way she actually got around to buying that book, despite how much she wanted to read it."
You're right. . .
It was a gift.
From the very beginning this book had me hooked. It was easy to identify with rather germaphobic Spencer Zumbro, and I loved 'Gullible Gates'. I smiled so hard at their quirks, and laughed every time a predicament came up because of these. Tyler Whitesides established them as solid characters early on. Later, the Janitors, Marv, Walter, and workers of BEM, were introduced, and their characters were lovable if rather stereotypical. I thought Spencer's mom was so cool, and I liked how towards the end of the book she was involved. This is unusual for a fantasy book, but I found it to my taste.
Characters: 2.9 Stars
I always love when plots match up with the real world. It helps me imagine it could really be happening. Tyler Whitesides' idea of creatures living in a school, eating brainwaves, and keeping kids from learning was believable and fun, because it could really be out there, happening in our schools. His magic system and plot points didn't seem to flow as well as they should, but for a debut book it was surprisingly well done.
Plot: 3 StarsThe narration was charming. Simple actions were phrased in such a way that I broke up laughing at several parts. This book has strong under-themes of standing up for what you believe in. Several times throughout the book it was stressed that telling the truth is always best.
Style: 4.2 Stars
The ending was a complete cliffhanger, but still managed to tie up the novel as a whole fairly well. If you are planning on buying this book, may I suggest buying it from the author directly. Tyler Whitesides is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. This book is not a must, but if you have minute, it's definitely worth considering.
P.S. Fantastic job by Brandon Dorman on the cover! This is the type of illustration you go out and buy fifty large prints of just so you can look at it wherever you go.