Book Review: Diary of a Mad Brownie by Bruce Coville

Diary of a Mad Brownie by Bruce Coville is a children's chapterbook including diary entries and other documents (like notes from teachers). It is part of the Enchanted Files series, which includes a number of fantasy books that can all be read as stand alones. I listened to the audiobook with my children, which is delightfully done in full cast audio. Angus is a brownie, a tiny magical creature that loves to do chores. Angus has just “inherited” a new human girl, Alex. To say that Alex is messy would be an understatement. She’s a total hurricane-like disaster—and she likes it that way! Living with each other isn’t easy but Angus and Alex soon learn there is a curse that binds them. What’s worse, it threatens Alex’s family! Working together, Angus and Alex will set out to break the curse, without killing each other first, hopefully.
Diary of a Mad Brownie was a fun listen in the car, and the full cast audio certainly added dynamics to the story. I have never listened to full cast before, and will be looking for more in the future. The story itself met my expectations for the author. The characters are realistic, not perfectly good or bad. The humor is well done, sometimes silly and sometimes more for the older kids and parents that might be reading or listening aloud. There are some dramatic moments, nothing that would really scare either of my kids but dramatic enough to keep them both engaged. I really enjoyed the world building and combination of legends from a few different cultures. While none of the creatures of legends were new to me, they were new to me children and I enjoyed having the chance to explain and expand on them further after the book was over.

Diary of a Mad Brownie is a fun story that had my kids talking about what was happening in the audio book even when we are not in the car, which rarely happens. I think readers that enjoy fantasy, humor, and adventure all wrapped up together will enjoy the read.

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