by Karen Foxlee
Read: January 12 - 17, 2014
Published: January 28, 2014 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: NetGally - Thank you Random House.Category: Middle Grade, Fairy Tale retelling
Find: Goodreads | Amazon
Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.
As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.
A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.
Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard is a practical, modern eleven year old girl who believes in science and not magic. When she visits a museum in a foreign, snowy land where her father is curating an exhibit on swords, she meets a boy locked in a room who challenges her firmly held ideas. This boy tells Ophelia that he has no name, but he has been sent by wizards in another place to defeat the evil Snow Queen. Of course, Ophelia thinks he's crazy. She's also not sure what a small smudgy girl like herself could possibly do to help. But somehow Ophelia gets drawn into helping the boy anyway, and slowly she learns that the world may be filled with magic after all, and she may be able to accomplish more than she ever thought possible.
Ophelia and The Marvelous Boy is an enchanting story featuring a queen who is appropriately evil, a small under appreciated girl who learns to be brave, a family in turmoil and a boy who is indeed marvelous. This is the type of story that I would have adored as a child. The language is lovely, and the story is magical, dangerous and a little bit creepy. I especially enjoyed the interactions between Ophelia and the boy, as well as the role of Ophelia's family in the story. Ophelia and her father and sister are all a mess at first, struggling with the recent death of Ophelia's mother, but they come together when it's most needed. As an adult I did find the book to be obvious in places, but still a wonderful tale.
I read an ecopy of Ophelia and The Marvelous Boy, but the book is interspersed with some lovely illustrations. I recommend getting the paper copy for that reason. Also, this story is a retelling of the Snow Queen, but I'm not familiar enough with that fairytale to talk about how it is as an adaptation. On it's own, Ophelia was a sweet, delightful middle grade read.
Love Triangle Factor: N/A
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone (as far as I know)