Fifth-grader Jack Rankin's father is the janitor of the junior-high school. That wouldn't be so bad if nobody knew about it. But on October 5, disaster strikes when Lenny Trumbull throws up his cafeteria ravioli: Jack's dad appears on the scene with a mop and says, "Hi, son." Jack loves his father and is proud of him, but he knows a giant letter L for loser has just been branded on his forehead. To make matters worse, Jack, furious when the inevitable stream of ridicule begins, blindly crashes into his bucket-bearing dad in the hallway, unleashing laughter, clapping, and plenty of water all around. Jack's anger is now a firestorm, and as author Andrew Clements so vividly phrases it: "The sizzling chunks of Jack's burning rage stuck to his father--like gobs of well-chewed watermelon bubble gum."
Jack's fury manifests itself into the perfect crime--a carefully premeditated, 13-piece Bubblicious attack on an innocent music-room chair that results in a sticky, gooey, smelly web that only a janitor would have the skills to remove. The "sweet smell of victory" diffuses quickly, however, when Jack is condemned to after-school gum-removal duty for the next three weeks. Stickier still is how this is going to play out at home with his mom and dad.
The after-school hours Jack spends scraping gum off furniture prove to be eye-opening. He develops a scholarly interest in gum excavation, and has plenty of time to make a list of ways he is not like his dad the janitor. But one day--first in a forgotten underground tunnel and then on a long truck-ride home--he discovers that there is more to his good-hearted, strong, unassuming father than he had ever even thought to imagine. Clements, a former public-school teacher and author of the bestselling Frindle and The Landry News, has a knack for getting to the heart of things while keeping the story buoyant. Readers of all ages will think twice about what kind of people (outside of their parental or occupational roles) their own parents might be. (Ages 8 to 12) --Karin Snelson
Ordinarily, no one would have imagined that Jack Rankin would vandalize a desk. But this was not an ordinary school year for Jack....
When Jack Rankin learns that he is going to spend the fifth grade in the old high school -- the building where his father works as a janitor -- he dreads the start of school. Jack manages to get through the first month without the kids catching on. Then comes the disastrous day when one of his classmates loses his lunch all over the floor. John the janitor is called in to clean up, and he does the unthinkable -- he turns to Jack with a big smile and says, "Hi, son."
Jack performs an act of revenge and gets himself into a sticky situation. His punishment is to assist the janitor after school for three weeks. The work is tedious, not to mention humiliating. But there is one perk?janitors have access to keys, keys to secret places....
In this new novel by the author of Frindle, a boy's explorations lead to surprising new discoveries about himself and his father.
|Book:||The Janitor's Boy|
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers|
|Number of Pages:||144|
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