cover image Diary of a Mad Brownie

Diary of a Mad Brownie

Bruce Coville, illus. by Paul Kidby. Random, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-39247-1

This diary-style first book in the Enchanted Files series introduces hotheaded brownie Angus Cairns, a tiny elfin creature with a penchant for cleanliness and keeping order. He's also cursed and must serve the youngest eligible female of McGonagall family; his newest master, 11-year-old Alex Carhart, could be his biggest challenge yet. She's a "disorderly, messy, negligent, slapdash, untidy, unfastidious, unsanitary creator of disorder," and Angus is sure that they will never get along. When Angus realizes that his curse has infected the entire household and could cost the Carharts their futures%E2%80%94Alex's father abruptly quits his job to write (terrible) songs%E2%80%94the two team up to find a long-lost princess to break the curse. Coville infuses Angus's diary entries (as well as interspersed letters, poems, curses, text messages, etc.) with humor and heart, creating a lovable, altruistic, and slightly grumpy hero in Angus and a determined sidekick in Alex. With magic, mischief, and mayhem to spare, this sweet story of an unlikely friendship ought to delight readers of any age. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (June)