Diary of a Mad Brownie

illus. by Paul Kidby. 256p. (Enchanted Files). Random. Jun. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385392471; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780385392488; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780385392495. LC 2014026335.
Gr 3–6—Angus Cairns is a young brownie at only 150 years old. As a magical being, he is a subject of the Queen of Shadows, who rules the Enchanted Realm. When the old woman to whom Angus is bound passes away, the binding curse from the queen forces Angus to leave his native Scotland to live and serve in an unknown territory—America. Angus's ancestors were obligated by the curse to the McGonagall family until what was taken from the queen is returned. The curse further stipulates that all male McGonagalls will become obsessed with poetry that "shall be like the braying of asses," sure to bring embarrassment and misery. After a harrowing journey, Angus arrives at his new and strange home and finds the girl to whom he is bound, 11-year-old Alex Carhart. Not only is she a messy, disorganized child—the antithesis of brownie behavior—but there is also a brother, a younger sister, and a cat in the house. Reluctantly at first, Angus and Alex come to respect and even believe in each other. Together they break the curse, which has started to have devastating (and very funny) effects on Alex's brother and father, the cursed McGonagall male descendants. The story unfolds through Angus's diary, Alex's journal, and a host of other communiques in the form of letters, text messages, and notes. Each maintains its own cadence and the sense that magical and human worlds are meeting. The result is a humorous, quick-paced, and engaging tale. Human and magical characters are likable with characteristics that readers will recognize.
VERDICT This is a fresh and fast tale that is sure to elevate the standing of brownies, goblins, and other magical beings.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing