Magic Below Stairs by Caroline Stervermer is another one of those delightful books that exists in an alternate version of Regency history where there is magic, wizards and the like.
Synoposis (from Goodreads):
Young Frederick is
plucked from an orphanage to be a footboy for a wizard named Lord
Schofield in Victorian England. Is his uncanny ability to tie perfect
knots and render boots spotless a sign of his own magical talent, or the
work of Billy Bly, the brownie who has been secretly watching over him
since he was little? No matter, for the wizard has banished all magical
creatures from his holdings. But Billy Bly isn't going anywhere, and
when he discovers a curse upon the manor house, it's up to Frederick and
Billy Bly to keep the lord?s new baby safe and rid the Schofield family
of the curse forever.
Frederick is a very likable character and the world he inhabits is interesting. Just enough details are given of day to day life without being overly descriptive. It is a short read and will definitely appeal to children who enjoy historical fiction or stories with magic. It is the perfect mix of both. This would be perfect for children who are interested in, but not quite ready to tackle, Diana Wynne Jones's Chrestomanci books or Stephanie Burgis's Kat books. As an adult reader I found myself wanting Frederick to get out of the way so the story could focus on Lord Thomas and his wife Kate which is a clear indication I need to move Sorcery and Cecelia and The Grand Tour to the top of my TBR as those books do focus on them.