Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mini Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
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

A modern-day fairy tale set in a mysterious museum that is perfect for readers of Roald Dahl and Blue Balliett.

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)


  1. I didn't know you read MG. The cover is extremely cute in my opinion. I think that the story could teach a lot to a kid and I always love a good retelling (I'm pretty familiar with Snow Queen since it was one of my favorites a s a kid). Plus, I'm a sucker for a good illustration book. I love watching beautiful drawings, especially if they're colourful. I'm better in painting than drawing so anything to do with colours is always a plus in my book. I actually like the premise and the journey Ophelia goes through and MG reads usually aren't that long so this may be my first MG read in forever. Thanks for sharing, Lauren!

  2. I've got to agree with your assessment of this book! It was seriously an adorable MG read, and I enjoyed it. I loved how imaginative it was, and I really think the author did a good job making her world whimsical and wonderful.

  3. This is probably a little young for me, I'm not a huge MG reader, but I think it's PERFECT for my cousins who are just starting to really get into reading. I have no idea if they like fairytale retellings as much as I do, but I sure hope so! Thanks for your thoughts Lauren:)

  4. This looks adorable. I saw it on some list somewhere and the cover alone made me smile. I also like that it's a retelling of the Snow Queen, a story I really like.

  5. I saw the ballet of the Snow Queen this past winter and can't say I enjoyed it as much as my younger brother did. I think I'll be skipping out on this one, only because MG doesn't always work out for me. Wonderful mini-review, though, Lauren!

  6. I'm not too familiar with Snow Queen either, beyond what I've seen on screen, but I really like the sound of this book. It's not often that I'll gravitate towards something middle grade, but I have a strong feeling that this will work for me, so I can't wait to give it a try. I'm glad you thought it was a delightful book overall. Great review, Lauren! :)

  7. My little sister was actually nagging me the other day to request it on Netgalley so she could read it. I didn't know you read MG! I usually stay away from it because I find it too kiddish but if someone pressures me enough to read one I will. Great review Lauren, I might just buy this one for my little sister when it comes out in hopes that she'll like it!
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  8. I don't usually read MG, but this does have my interest. It sounds adorable and illustrations! Ah, I miss having illustrations in my books. I might give this one a try :)

  9. This book sounds very cute:) Somehow my 11 year old has already graduated from this type of read and moved on to the more action packed ones (like The Hunger Games) which makes me a little sad:( I'll have to wait until my 6 yr old is a bit older and try to enjoy the couple of years he'll read these and like them before I lose himto the world of action packed teen boy reads too:)

  10. I would definitely love to read to this one! I'm not familiar with the Snow Queen at all, but the whimsy vibes I'm getting is really pulling me in. Fabulous little review, Lauren!

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

  11. Sounds like a delightful story. I love it when the underestimated girl shines! I'm not much of a middle grade reader but it's always nice to have a recommend handy. Wonderful review, Lauren! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...