Today I am reviewing the Middle Grade novel, Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy by Karen Foxlee. I read this one with my son who is 8, almost 9, so I thought I would do something a little different and share not only my opinion of the novel, but my son’s too!
Also, it is the 9th book I have read for the Australian Women Writers Challenge.
Publisher: Hot Key Books.
Release date: February 6th 2014.
Source: Won. Thank you to the marvellous Notebook Sisters.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Eleven-year-old Ophelia might not be brave, but she certainly is curious. Her family are still reeling from her mother’s death, and in a bid to cheer everyone up, her father has taken a job at a fantastically enormous and gothic museum in a city where it never stops snowing. Ophelia can’t wait to explore – and she quickly discovers an impossibility. In a forgotten room, down a very dark corridor, she finds a boy, who says he’s been imprisoned for three-hundred-and-three-years by an evil Snow Queen who has a clock that is ticking down towards the end of the world.
A sensible girl like Ophelia doesn’t quite believe him, of course, but there’s no denying he needs her help. There are many other, darker, impossibilities in this museum too. Ghosts, wolves, Misery Birds, magical swords – and even fabled Snow Queens – will all do their very best to stop Ophelia and hurt her family. She will have to garner all her courage, strength and cleverness if she is to rescue this most Marvellous Boy – and maybe even save the world in the process.
I really enjoyed Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy. I thought it was a great retelling of ‘The Snow Queen.’
While exploring the museum her father is working at, Ophelia discovers a boy locked in a secret room. He tells her a fantastical tale she finds hard to believe, but she does want to free him and goes to find the key that will do it. With magic unfolding around her, she slowly starts to believe the Marvellous Boy. But the clock is ticking and Ophelia must free the Marvellous Boy before the Snow Queen takes over the world.
Ophelia was very much the reluctant hero, and I was endeared to her for it. She was scientifically minded and was skeptical when it came to magic. I loved that she wore glasses and had asthma. She wasn’t immediately brave, but she pushed on even though she was scared, wanting to do the right thing, which made her brave after all.
I loved the things Ophelia encountered in the museum. We have ghosts, statues that come to life and the creepy, creepy misery birds. Overall I thought it was exciting, magical, and adventurous. The prose was beautiful and I thought it was extremely well written.
I would highly recommend it, especially to those at the younger end of the middle grade scale.
My Son’s Thoughts.
Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy was exciting. Some bits were funny. I liked the Snow Queen, she was a good villain. She was really mean and weird. I liked that Ophelia wore glasses, and that she liked science. She was brave. The Marvellous Boy was very interesting. I enjoyed reading about his magical journey. The museum made me a lot excited. It had awesome things in it, like swords. The ending made me happy.
You can add it your Goodreads here.