Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Review/ Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Book Review and Study Guide/ Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee via

A powerful read about perseverance in the face of loss... 

While exploring a London museum, Ophelia stumbles onto the imprisoned Marvelous Boy. Can Ophelia brave danger to free him? Will she find the One Other, the only person who can defeat the Snow Queen? With three days until the Snow Queen's evil plans are unleashed, there's no time to lose.

Billed as a modern twist on the Snow Queen fairy tale, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is so much more. It's in the vein of a traditional fairy tale. Enter spooky/creepy elements and expected morals. Prepare for ghosts, dangerous mythical animals, and a conniving villain.

The point of view alternates between the Marvelous Boy and Ophelia. The Marvelous Boy recounts his quest and adventures from the time he was chosen by wizards to seek the One Other (the only one who can defeat the Snow Queen). Ophelia narrates the present day story as it occurs in London.

Ophelia, the Marvelous Boy, and the King are all bound by the fact they have lost or are separated from people they love. Ophelia's mother has died, the Marvelous Boy left his mother to go on a quest, and a boy King is orphaned. Each deals with their loss in a very different way.

Though Ophelia's family doesn't discuss her mother (Susan), Ophelia is still hears her mother's voice. Is Susan really talking to her, guiding her to bravery? Or is it all in Ophelia's mind? It's up to you to decide.

The ending left me wanting more...perhaps the Marvelous Boy has more stories to tell. I would love to see a book from his viewpoint. What does he encounter on his travels home? What does he find when he gets there?

4 of 5 Stars/ Recommended for girls who love realistic fiction as well as fairy tales. A strong first children's novel for Karen Foxlee! As a writer of adult literature, some of her concepts will be lost on younger readers. This book begs for rich discussions - morals, feelings, positive coping skills, courage, and conscience.

M's top adjectives for Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy -- surprising, interesting, amazing.

Study Guide via Random House

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