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Monday, December 29, 2014

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

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.

My daughter's name is Ophelia, so when a family friend pointed out that she found a book with her name in the title I looked it up. I was pretty happy when I realized it was middle grade fiction, as my daughter is five, and looked really cute. I had read another book by this author a few months back called The Midnight Dress which was YA and really good, so I had high hopes for this book.

It took a while to finish the book since I was reading a chapter a day out loud with a little girl who has red curls and is forever in motion, this being our first chapter book to read together. The book was delightful.

The writing style is creative and whimsical the characters colorful and the plot interesting. The best part was that it all took place in a no named city where the Snow Queen has made it forever snow....

No one but the Marvelous Boy, whose name was taken by the wizards, knows that the Snow Queen is ruling the land with plans to destroy everything once the Wintertide Clock Chimes. He is locked in a room when Ophelia discovers him. It takes a while for him to convince Ophelia to help him because she is very scientific and doesn't believe in magic, plus her mother just died and she has asthma so she is a little timid and angry at first.

The whole back drop for this story is the most ridiculous museum that was just hilarious, rooms full of broken tea cups, paintings of sad girls, recreations of London Streets, wolves and elephants and snow leopard frozen in time, dinosaur bones, glamorous gowns and shoes Mainly just junk the Snow Queen collected for 300 years and put on display, including a wedding mosaic tiled floor and a mural of a sea monster.

This was a fun wonderful book that I enjoyed, possibly more than my daughter. I not only recommend it for children but for the adult who likes a simply and joyful fairy tale type read in the style of Roald Dahl.