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Monday, September 28, 2015

Diary of a Mad Brownie by Bruce Coville

Diary of a Mad Brownie
It's tough being bound by a curse, but that is exactly what happens to Angus Cairns, a brownie from the Enchanted Realm of Scotland.  He is bound to the McGonagall clan.  The curse can only be ended one of two ways:  (1) either the last of the Scottish McGonagall women dies, or (2) when a male McGonagall returns to the Queen of Shadows what has been lost.  The tale of Angus begins when Sarah, the McGonagall woman he is bound to passes away and he must travel to the United States to live with Alex Carhart, the next of kin.  Alex is a very messy 11-year-old-girl who is hard for Angus to deal with because brownies are very neat and does chores for you (I need one).  But Angus also has a quick temper which doesn't always help him in situations.  When Angus becomes part of the Carhart household, the curse starts to take hold.  Alex's dad quits his job to become a song writer (very bad lyrics!) and her brother begins writing awful poetry and drops out of soccer which was his passion.  Will her family be able to break the curse?  Will Angus be freed from his bondage?

I really loved the format Bruce Coville used to write this story.  It is told through Angus' diary, Alex's journal, text messages, bad poems, articles, letters and illustrations.  Also included are mythological creatures such as brownies, goblins, fairies, selkies, etc.  It definitely made me more aware of the differences in these creatures and introduced me to some I didn't know (like a brownie - not just a delicious edible treat!).  I enjoyed the relationships of the Carhart family as the siblings argued but came together to help each other when needed.  Definitely a book to add to my recommendation list!

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