By Karen Foxlee
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 224 pages
Award-winning author Karen Foxlee has crafted a world of wonder in Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy that is both fresh for its imaginative story and familiar for its grasp on the fantastic fairy tale. The middle grade novel will sweep skilled readers away in an unforgettable adventure about finding courage and overcoming the odds.
“She had expected magic to be very clean and powerful, but instead it was messy and uncomfortable and full of decisions. It made her legs tremble.”
Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard and her sister Alice must create a new life for themselves when their widowed father takes a job in a new city where snow dominates everything. Within the walls of the museum where her father works, Ophelia stumbles upon a secret room that leads to an unexpected encounter with a young boy held captive by Her Majesty the Snow Queen.
Ophelia doesn’t believe in magic. She does not believe in fantasy or anything else not backed by science. Yet she can’t ignore what she herself experiences in this otherworldly place she comes across by accident. Karen Foxlee pens an incredible adventure that challenges readers to think beyond the obvious, fight to find courage within, and embrace even the unlikeliest of friendships.
Reviewed by Lori A. May