As a homeschooling mom, you know that I take my children’s education very seriously. I must be able to keep the toxites away pretty well because there is a lot of learning going on within the walls of our home and we are just delighted to be doing it. Needless to say, a series that focuses on our failing educational system sparks my interest and is a PERFECT example as to why I love the fantasy genre so very much!
Janitors: Secrets of New Forest Academy by Tyler Whitesides is the second book in the series. In the previous book, Spencer Zumbro discovered the secret world of Toxites and the nefarious BEM. While attempting to help his school’s head janitor, Walter, he got on the BEM’s bad side in a BIG way. Now they are out to get Spencer himself, thinking that he holds the secret to the mystery his father was trying to solve before he disappeared. In an attempt to escape the BEM’s wrath, Spencer, Daisy, and even Dez flee to New Forest Academy; a school that a rebel janitor keeps toxite free and primed for learning. While they are there, the children discover the true agenda of the BEM… and it’s far worse than they could have imagined.
As I was reading I texted my sister and ordered her to buy the series immediately. Anyone who is distressed at the state of today’s public educational system will appreciate this book series. One of the things that I make a point of doing in our school here at home is create an environment for learning. Certainly there are some gifted children out there, as well as kids with dedicated parents who will help them succeed even if they are lacking a positive school environment–but for the most part if the school setting is not conducive to learning then the children will not learn. Sad, but true. Our schools are failing because not enough parents are involved, and too many schools are nothing more than daytime prisons (I actually met a school teacher who stopped teaching because the inner city school district in which he worked was run exactly the same way as a prison for those poor children to come to every day… how can anyone be expected to learn in that kind of environment?). While we don’t have angry salamanders and vulture bats roaming our schools, Secrets of New Forest Academy does shed some light on how important a good home life and learning environment is for our children’s futures, not to mention the importance of education itself.
I have already told you how much I enjoyed the first Janitors book; this one is even better! Tyler Whitesides has an incredible imagination. I can’t wait until the third book comes out (ok, in the interest of full disclosure–I don’t actually have to wait for the third book, because I have an advanced readers edition that I will open just as soon as I finish writing this post… but you have plenty of time to catch up before it comes out, and I can promise you that the review is forthcoming!). You can still get the kindle edition of the first book for free until Saturday!