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The Janitor's Boy

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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  4,110 ratings  ·  198 reviews
IT WAS THE PERFECT CRIME
Unfortunately, it also led to the perfect punishment. When Jack Rankin gets busted for defacing a school desk with a huge wad of disgusting, watermelon bubble gum, the principal sentences him to three weeks of after-school gum cleanup for the chief custodian. The problem is, Jack's anger at the chief custodian was the reason for his gum project in
...more
Paperback, 140 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published May 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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kwain
This was a pretty cool book to read, I had to endure a few jokes from friends and family who saw me reading it. Any book that carries a positive message or has a valued lesson to be learn, is a book worth reading and this book made the cut. Granted its a kids book, and kids should read it. Most important, adults can benefit from the message as well.

P.S. Dont sleep on kids book, you just might learn something.

K's out peace...
Alvin
The Janitor’s Boy is an amazing quick to read book that explores the mind of a 5th grader. In The Janitor’s Boy the main character Jack messes around in school experimenting on what is the smelliest gum; he gathers a bunch of watermelon gum and vandalizes a table in music. Then he is ordered to do community service, cleaning up gum, which isn’t as easy as you think it is – after all who likes to pick up someone else’s mess. He doesn’t really mind all of this; the problem at hand is his dad, als ...more
Ethan B
I have just finished reading the book called The Janitors Boy by Andrew Clements. This boy is chewing up so much gum and makes a mess with it on the seat hiding behind a tall kid. He knows that the janitor will have to clean it up and every one calls him john the janitor but jack calls him dad. The author gives detail using descriptive words and makes it a very funny story. I would never chew gum in the school because were not allowed to so we could never do a crime as jack did and you would ge ...more
Jackie
Sometimes the truth comes from odd places. Jack Rankin's dad is the janitor at his school. To say he is embarrassed by this is an understatement. And, it doesn't help that two popular bullies tease him about it endlessly. So, Jack is determined to get back at his dad. He deposits the biggest, messiest wad of gum underneath a music room desk, expecting that his dad will have to clean up the mess. Little does he know that the music teacher can identify who left the mess. Jack's punishment, issued ...more
Lars Guthrie
Andrew Clements is just the greatest. His books manage to convey the perspective of an adult and the viewpoint of a child. They always make me laugh, and usually make me cry. This one certainly did.

The story of Jack Rankin's uneasy relationship with his father, a smart guy who somehow ended up as a school custodian, 'The Janitor's Boy' gently pushes its protagonist toward understanding and conciliation.

At the same time, the novel has acridly witty criques of a sixth-grade bully festooned in logo
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Annie Xu
The Janitor's Boy is a realistic fiction narrative of a fifth grade boy who vandalizes a desk with a wad of Bubbalicious watermelon gum to punish a particular someone in his life. However, as perfect of a crime it was there were flaws. He was caught with the crime and sentenced to gum duty after school where he had to report to the chief custodian, the one man he didn't wish to see was also his father. During his time as a part-time janitor cleaning the gums off of tables and chairs he discovers ...more
Tilia
Classic Clements. Not a great deal happens, but what does has profound reverberations, in a quiet and lasting way. Elementary school student Jack is embarrassed by his father, John the janitor, and attempts to sabotage his workplace with chewing gum. Things change when Jack is punished by having to work his dad's job--and gains unexpected insights into what kind of man he is. This works for both kids and adults. It's splendid.
Jose Reyes
The book Jannitor's boy was a very exciting book to read. It was about a kid named Jack Rankin who gets busted for violating a school desk and has to become the janitors assistant for a whole 2 weeks but jacks dad is the janitor at Jacks school. This book seems realistic to me because Jack is a real boy that goes to a real school with real friends but the reason that it is not entirely REAL to me is because he finds this room in the back of the stage in his cafeteria that leads to a sewer. I mea ...more
Suzanne
Very sweet book that would appeal to girls or boys. Boy is embarrassed by having his dad as the janitor at his school until he comes to really know his dad. Emotions ring true and the story has enough plot to keep interest alive.
Rong7
All Jack Rankin wants is to get back at the janitor of the school. The man has embarrassed Jack a lot, so Jack plots revenge. He comes up with the perfect plan, which is sticking a huge wad of gum under a desk, but the teachers come up with the perfect punishment. He now has gum duty with the man he tried to get back at. So Jack is now staying after school scraping gum off of under the desks, with the help of John Rankin, who is his dad and janitor at the same time. Then, Jack finds some keys hi ...more
Kristine Pratt
Jack hates being the janitor's kid and sets out to get revenge against the person he feels is most responsible for the teasing he endures - his father. But he's caught and the punishment means getting to know his dad, and seeing him with new eyes. A sometimes funny story that I understand very well, especially the need for the two keys that Jack chooses. I would have taken the exact same ones.

Thoughtful and insightful, I find myself not wanting to let go of book or characters as I turn the last
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Anna
Dear Readers,

I have been reading a book called'The Janitor's Boy'. A boy named 'Jack' was playing with a lot of chewed gum that he chewed. Oneday, in music class Jack brought his chewed gum in a plastic bag. During the music time he was making those shapes made out of his chewed gum. Then the next day, the school principle knew what he was doing during the class. So the principle called Jack to talk with him. Jack and principle was talking about his behavior. Principle decided to send his parent
...more
Oric
“I smell some watermelon gum.”(pg10)

The book I read is The Janitor’s Boy by Andrew Clements-best selling author of Frindle. The setting of this story is at a school called Hungtington Middle School, and the main character is Jack Rankin and some of the supporting characters are Helen Rankin, John Rankin, Lou Carswell, Eddie Wahlson, Mr. Ackerby, Jack’s teacher, and Lois Rankin.
This story started when Jack came to the first day of school he was in 5th grade. After his first class Mr. Ackerby came
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Amy
The Janitor's Boy, by Andrew Clements, designed by Steve Scott, published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, publication date: 2000.

This is a great realistic fiction novel about a fifth grade boy. The fifth grade boy's name is Jack. Jack struggles at school to deal with the fact that his dad is the janitor. Jack does his best to hide this fact but soon everyone finds out when his dad says hi to him and they run into each other in the hall. Jack is boiling with rage and he aims it at
...more
Ryan Lum
So this book really isnt that good but i remember loving it when I was a child. The fiction book is based on this kid named Jack Rankin. The first chapters talk about how this kid comes up with this scheme to basically defile this desk. He spends a whole day chewing the stickest gum he could find and then when he couldnt chew any more and the gum was finally choking him, he spits it on a desk. The next day he gets caught though because apparently there was cameras in the class room, When asked w ...more
Soccerplayah07
Jack feels so humiliated by the fact that his father is the school janitor that he decides to get revenge by smearing a desk with gum. When he's caught, his punishment is to scrape gum off desks for three weeks after school, leading to discoveries about his dad's past.

By fifth grade, Jack has learned to be embarrassed by his father's profession--janitor. When Jack begins class in the building where his dad, John, is head custodian, Jack's worst nightmare comes true. The other kids find out, in
...more
Ruth
I just finished reading this with my nephew. I felt largely ambivalent throughout, but he clearly enjoyed it. The message is a good one, the writing decent, and the action keeps moving along, which is nice. I wasn't a fan of the dialogue overall, but my nephew seemed to notice nothing amiss, even laughing at some of what I considered to be the more clunky expressions. Considering that I'm not the book's target audience, I suppose this shouldn't be surprising.
Grace
I am a young girl who loves to read. This book is touching, and I love the Author. However the part I love most is that this book was on my fourth grade battle of the books list, which is bittersweet for me. I am in the eighth grade , and my cheerios box gave me a free ebook, and seeing this one I immediately chose it. I am glad I did, as although the writing is simple, the meaning is true and clear. It is worth a read. ...more
Rachael
This is an easy read and a good story about a boy who resents his father because of the teasing of kids about his father being a janitor. After he does a mean prank making a mess for his father to clean up, he is sentenced to work along side him for a while, and learns to respect him as he gets to know his father better. Great for boys 3rd-5th grades I think.
Alyssa Dempsey
This book is really good!!! It is about a boy whose father is the chief custodian. This boy's name is Jack and he allways chews gum in class and does not know where to put it when he is done with it. So guess where he puts it? he puts it under his desk. When the teacher finds out what he has been doing, he tells him he has to clean all the gum up from the desks instead of his father the chief custodian. One day after school his dad asked Jack if he could mop the theater room of the school becaus ...more
Kathleen
I was on a bit of an Andrew Clements bender this year, since one of my classroom teacher associates had a nice collection just sitting there, and I enjoyed all of it, to varying degrees. This was one of my more favored tomes. I liked the kid; I appreciated his motivation; I admired his really disgusting plan; and I enjoyed the Clementsian twist (I just made up that term, can you tell?) that brings about the morally satisfying and humorous ending. The Landry News is probably still my favorite, an ...more
Amber the Human
Man. Clements. Rough books. Like, hard hitting. Family issues. It's all real. There's no holding back. But it's a good story at the same time. Clements does a good job of allowing you to see both sides of the issue. You get that the son is frustrated, but at the same time you can see where the dad is coming from.
Tsia G
I like this book because it shows how the main character named Jack gets a job as a junior custodian because he puts lots of gum on a chair. Jack puts the gum on the chair because he is mad at his dad. Jack's dad is chef custodian so when Jack gets gum patrol because of putting the gum on the chair Jack has to ride home with his dad. Jack and his dad don't love each other very much. Jack and his dad don't have a very good relationship but Jack has lots of adventures and they end up coming very u ...more
Amanda
3.5 Clements always writes really good books about kids and captures their thoughts and attitudes perfectly. What kid has never been embarrassed by a parent? In this book, he writes about Jack, the son of the janitor, who learns to love his dad for who he is, not what he does. In the beginning, Jack hates being teased about being "the janitor's boy" and decides to take his revenge. But that revenge doesn't seem to solve the problem; it just makes it worse. Jack has to learn to see past names and ...more
Matthew Hunter
This story is about a boy known as Jack and his dad is a janitor at his school. He puts gum under a sit for no reason just for fun. He is also bullied because he wants to grow up and become a janitor.
KidsFiction Teton County Library
J Clements

How would you feel if your father's job was emptying wastebaskets, sweeping floors, fixing toilets and whatever dirty work needed to be done in the school?

Jack Ranckin, the main character in the book is made fun of by the other kids because his father, the school janitor, does these things. So Jack decides to get even with his dad, but the price he pays is tough. Jack finds out some real private info about his father and discovers a big secret about the school at the same time.

For a n
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Aaron
Meh. I wanted more. Turned out it is just a sweet little story about sons who are embarrassed by their fathers who learn respect for their fathers. There I just spoiled it for you.
Haidin
Loved it

I love any book Andrew Clements writes. I give him a million stars no wait infinity stars. Thank you Andrew Clements keep writing more good books
David Shenson
the best book in the world.

Funny, happy, and a good story. Thank you Andrew Clements for these amazing books you write. from Kristina, age 11, Portland Oregon
Kiomy Perez
Dear mom, today I red the janitors boy. It talks about a boy named Jack . Jack has a relly sens of smell . Why ? Because he can smell what they are surfing in the lunchroom .
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book for u 1 2 Feb 01, 2008 06:12PM  
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63095
I was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1949 and lived in Oaklyn and Cherry Hill until the middle of sixth grade. Then we moved to Springfield, Illinois. My parents were avid readers and they gave that love of books and reading to me and to all my brothers and sisters. I didn’t think about being a writer at all back then, but I did love to read. I'm certain there's a link between reading good books an ...more
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