Review Blog

Feb 20 2014

Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy by Karen Foxlee

cover image

Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2014. ISBN 9780385753548.
Highly recommended for readers from 8-12 and classes from Year 4-6. Themes: Resilience, Fairy tales - retelling, Grief, Magic, Adventure. Karen Foxlee's novel for readers aged from 8-12 is a rich, imaginative retelling of Andersen's The Snow Queen. The Marvellous Boy is a ten year old child who has been frozen in time by wizards, who take his name and make him eternally young. After being the much-loved friend of the King for years, he is locked away in a bare room by the wicked new Queen. The whole land is frozen under her evil magical spell and time is desperately running out to save the boy's life.
A rescuer is needed and she arrives three days before Christmas. Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard is a curious eleven year old girl who thinks scientifically, doesn't believe in magic and is struggling to cope with the loss of her mother. When her father takes a job organising a collection of old swords in the palace museum Ophelia sets out to explore the strange and exotic rooms filled with dinosaurs, dresses, teapots, lost spoons, relics and paintings. Meanwhile the Queen takes her older sister Alice and is preparing her for an unfortunate fate.
Ophelia has an inner strength. Although outwardly messy, reliant on her asthma's inhaler, uncaring about her dishevelled appearance, she questions everything she is told. At first she doesn't believe the boy's story and is unwilling to save him; when belief and circumstances change she begins the race against time to find the hidden sword and free the boy.
Each chapter begins with a trope that tells of the exciting adventures ahead. Karen Foxlee's lyrical style of writing, depth of descriptive imagery and relatable main character make this a wonderful story for a class novel, for sharing at home or for readers who love fantasy and adventure. Personally it was a book I loved reading and will promote at school.
Rhyllis Bignell

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018
National Book Award winners 2017
Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2017
YABBA Awards 2017
Teens' top 10
2017 Man Booker Prize
Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature 2017 winners
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2017
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates