Magic Below Stairs
by Caroline Stevermer
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010. 199 pages. Juvenile fantasy.
Frederick Lincoln seems to be living the typical life of a young orphans in Victorian London. He works in the kitchen to earn extra tables scraps with the extra benefit of avoiding the orphanage director and the resident bullies. Frederick soon discovers he has an unusual companion, Billy Bly, a queer little brownie that no one else can see or hear. Billy aids Frederick in being chosen to leave the orphanage to work for Lord Schofield, a mysterious wizard. Frederick is soon immersed in the astounding world of magic as he assists his master in clearing up the remnant of a nasty curse placed on the family home. Frederick is a great character with a bit of a selfish and naive personality. Add into the mix a slightly vague wizard and you have a fabulous combination of historical and magical adventures.