Remember Sorcery and Cecelia? Well, this takes place after it, and The Grand Tour, and before The Mislaid Magician. However, it works as a standalone. No doubt because it is the tale of one Thomas, an orphan boy. In the orphanage, set the impossible task of sorting out peas and beans spilled on the floor, he hears a strange voice singing and wakes up to find it done.
Shortly thereafter, one Lord Schofield sends for a footboy, and Thomas is the one chosen because the uniform fit him perfectly. (Odd, considering that the last boy to wear was bigger than he was.) But that does not mean that the voice leaves him behind, and considering that Lord Schofield is a wizard, things mix and interact oddly.
Children, curses, polishing boots, chimneys, soot and the absence of birdsnests, and a Greek primer all mix together in the tale.