Sweet Sounds: Diary of a Mad Brownie by Bruce Coville

Goodreads Synopsis

Told in diary entries and other “documents,” this magical, modern-day comedy by the master of funny fantasy, Bruce Coville is a story filled with laugh-out-loud humor and heart.

Angus is a brownie. No, not the kind you eat! He’s 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, thankyouverymuch! 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. 


Alright folks! Here is the first of the many "Sweet Sounds" I promised you. Get ready to be inundated with audiobooks!


For some reason, this story reminds me of Beverly Cleary. Because Angus is so small. he faces many similar situations to Ralph S. Mouse. Add to this the fact that Alex carries Angus to school in her backpack, and we have a solid "Mouse on the Motorcycle" comparison. The Cleary comparison does not end here; however. This was my first Coville novel and he surprised me with the quality of writing he poured into this novel. Diary of a Mad Brownie is in the tradition of many of the classic middle grade novels from the sixties and seventies and a breath of fresh air after the slew of low-quality, debbie-downer, angsty, middle grade novels we have seen the past couple of years. 

On the audiobook, the story is told by multiple narrators.  Euan Morton is the primary reader who performs Angus' diary. The "supporting documents" are performed by several other narrators. I am unsure whether Euan Morton is a native Scotsman or not, but his Scottish accent is superb. The other narrators gave good performances as well, but I enjoyed listening to Euan the most. Angus' emotions, (especially anger), were delivered in an exceedingly believable fashion and added color and verve to the performance.


Although, Euan Morton's accent is interesting and easy to listen to; unfortunately, his voices for other characters do not differ from Angus' as much as I would prefer.  In addition, if Alex has a speaking part in Angus' diary, that part is performed by Euan Morton; however, one the "supporting documents" is Alex's diary, which is performed by another narrator. This results in two voices, and; therefore, a disconnect for the character of Alex.  Overall, the pros far outweigh the cons of this delightful audiobook. If you are searching for a good holiday road trip audiobook children and adults alike can enjoy, this is the one!

What are middle grade audiobooks are you listening to right now? How many have adult, as well as kid appeal? Does that matter to you?

Merry Christmas,


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