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Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  3,107 ratings  ·  738 reviews
A modern-day fairy tale set in a mysterious museum that is perfect for readers of Roald Dahl and Blue Balliett.

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
Hardcover, 233 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Alfred A. Knopf
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Have I read this book before? Surely not. It's impossible. The book's not even been published. And yet ... I feel as though I've done this before, read this before, but everything was better before.

I feel as though this is trying very hard to capture the quirkiness of Catherynne Valente's Fairyland series while tossing in other components of previously successful middle-grade novels. The hero or heroine must have a quirk (or more than one!): Ophelia has a long name, "Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whi
Colby Sharp

This would make a magical read aloud in a fourthish grade classroom.
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
This book is geared toward middle school aged kids. Guess what? I may be aging in reverse because I totally liked it.
The story starts in a museum. Ophelia, her sister Alice and her dad are there for the dad's job. He is an expert on old swords of all kinds. Ophelia just can't sit still and begins to wander the museum. She comes upon a door that is locked and can't help but look through the keyhole. She discovers a boy locked away. He tells her that he has been locked up by an Evil Snow Queen an
Monica Edinger
Poking around Netgalley I came across Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy and, intrigued by the description, began reading it and was quickly hooked. It is a lovely, moody contemporary reworking of Anderson’s “The Snow Queen” set in a museum, no less. I find books set in museum to be tricky things — sometimes the setting seems more important than the rest of it. Fortunately, in this case, it totally works. Our heroine, Ophelia, has arrived in the never-identified city with her older sister while their ...more
Tori (:
Check out YA Book Queens!

NOTE: I won this ARC in a giveaway, and Random House mailed it to my house in exchange for an honest review!

Honestly, I have been avoiding writing this review. I finished reading Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy today at lunch (yes, I read at school. I am well aware that that makes me a book nerd), and my friends were telling me to calm down because I was freaking out over the ending.

I haven't read any other reviews yet because I don't want someone else's thoughts and opini
Kate Forsyth
I really loved Karen’s mysterious and beautiful novel The Midnight Dress, and once I heard Karen speak about her new book Ophelia & the Marvellous Boy I knew at once that it sounded like my kind of book. I bought the gorgeous hard-back in London, and am glad that I did as the production is just exquisite.
The story revolves around eleven-year-old Ophelia who is smart and scientifically minded. She and her sister and father have moved to a city where it never stops snowing, as her father – who
Ms. Yingling
Ophelia and her sister Alice have come to live in a city where it is always cold and snowy so that their museum curator father can work on an exhibit of his specialty-- swords. He feels it is a good change of scenery for the girls, who are still suffering from the death of their mother. Ophelia spends a lot of time investigating the museum, even though another museum worker, Miss Kaminski, says it could be dangerous, because girls have gotten lost and never been found. Ophelia finds a locked roo ...more
Jan 18, 2014 Wanda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wendy
Recommended to Wanda by: NetGalley
Shelves: netgalley, 2014
23 DEC 2013 - I was invited via pre-approval from the publisher through NetGalley to review this book. I am deeply appreciative of this invitation and am looking forward to this fun read. I will read this one closer to the publication date if 28 JAN 2014. If I read it sooner, I will forget what I have read.

15 JAN 2013 --“And you might think a name is just a name, nothing but a word, but that is not the case. Your name is tacked to you. Where it has joined you, it has seeped into your skin and i
Cait Grace
This is a marvellous book. Okay, I admit! Pun totally intended. All the same, though, this is a fabulous and magical book. I ate it as fast as possible. (I'm a hungry reader like that.) And when I finished?

I'm very guilty of hyping myself up for books. Usually because I either a) love the author, b) love the cover, c) love the title/blurb or d) feel the need to get excited over something so I choose a book at random. But mostly it's a combo of a, b, and c. Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy has th
This is the most fun I've had reading a book in a long time.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is a charming and whimsical fantasy tale perfect for middle grade readers. I've seen a lot of comparisons to the movie Night at the Museum, and I'd say that's pretty accurate. Ophelia spent her adventure at a museum where all is not as it seems, and readers are taken along for a ride with a literal race against time.

There were so many things I adored about Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, but I will start w
Jenny / Wondrous Reads
Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy is one of the best middle grade books I've read for a long time. It's a modern day fairytale, a retelling of the Snow Queen, and is set in a museum in an unidentified country where there's lots of snow and ice cold weather. It reminded me of The Chronicles of Narnia, in part because of the snow-covered locations but mainly because of the magic that floated off the pages.

Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard is a fantastic character to carry this story. She's brave, cou
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
It has been three months, seven days and nine hours since Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard's mother died. Susan Worthington was a prolific horror writer who died young, and Ophelia, her older sister Alice and their father, Malcolm Whittard, are still grieving.

In an effort to help them recover and give them a chance of scenery, Ophelia's father accepts a last-minute posting to a museum in another country to finish setting up the greatest-ever exhibition of swords. Malcolm Whittard is, according
Given that Frozen is tearing up the box office, I suspect that many kids now have some interest in Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen." It's the perfect moment for Karen Foxlee's modern retelling OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY to come out. And this was a wonderful book to curl up with on a cold day.

The Marvelous Boy was chosen by wizards to bear a sword and deliver it to the person who can defeat the Snow Queen. Ophelia is a young girl grieving over her mother's death and feeling ignored b
A beautiful book that I would have adored as a child. There were a few pacing issues at the end, but this might have been my childish wish for the book to go on... "The trouble with magic was that it was messy and dangerous and filled with longing. There were too many moments that made your heart stop and ache and start again (p. 186)."

A magical book.
Jan 18, 2014 Jen added it
Wonderful middle grade! This book has all the things I would have adored as a middle grade reader -- a underconfident/underestimated yet plucky heroine, a creepy villainess, a fun and imaginative setting, suspense, intrigue, and a whole lot of heart.

I was a HUGE fan of Foxlee's The Midnight Dress. I loved her lyrical writing and imaginative story structure, and think she's a natural to write for a middle grade audience that, like Ophelia's mother, still believes that all things are possible.

Rob Slaven
As usual I received this book for free just so I'd review it. Also as usual I'll give my candid opinions below.

Since this is a child's book I don't judge by my usual criteria but explore two basic questions. The first is whether I would want my child to read it. To this I say most assuredly yes. It has a strong lesson to teach about following your own path, bravery and never giving up and being systematic in everything you do. As a fairly logical person I would like every chance to influence my
Sara Grochowski
Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard, her sister, Alice, and their father, the world's leading expert on swords, leave home for a foreign city where it always snows. Ophelia's father has been hired to curate a museum exhibit and, while exploring the museum, a confusing, drafty place full of curiosities, Ophelia discovers an abandoned room. Within the room is a small door. On the other side of the door, is a boy. As you might expect, this is no ordinary boy, but a Marvelous Boy, the prisoner of the ...more
Rebecca Honeycutt
Understated but lovely. Not your typical fantasy adventure full of breathless action and splashy magic, but rather a quieter tale, more consistent with the bittersweet tone of Anderson's original Snow Queen story. Lyrical writing, fantastic atmosphere, and a steady pace help, but it's really Ophelia's character growth that drives this story. It reminded me of Flora & Ulysses in that respect--a skeptical girl learning that it's okay to experience feelings...even sad feelings about irrevocable ...more
I loved this, which is surprising because most YA fiction is boring dreck that simply wastes your time. But somehow this book captured my imagination. It's a quick and easy read, for starters. It's also a very simple story, what could rightly be called a fairy tale. This created some trepidation within me to begin with, but pretty soon, as I got further and further into the book, I just found it engaging! Who knows why exactly. The story is basically a girl running around a British museum. I gue ...more
Andiamo a vedere insieme cos’ha da offrirci questo libro:

Una protagonista undicenne, Ophelia, da poco orfana di madre (uhm!)
Un padre tutto lavoro e una sorella adolescente un po’ sulle sue (uhm!)
Ambientazione: un museo incantato in cui gli animali prendono vita (uhm!)
Un bambino immortale chiuso in una stanza segreta, che tanto segreta non è (uhm!)
Un filone narrativo secondario ambientato in un mondo madieval-fantasy (uhm!)
Una cattiva, la Regina delle Nevi, che vuole congelare il mondo per sempre
Alexandra Daw
This is an enchanting tale of Ophelia; a girl who is braver than she thinks. Ophelia's mother, a writer of fantastic fiction, has just died of an unspecified terminal illness. Each family member deals with their grief privately and in their own way. Ophelia's father throws himself into his work. Her older sister Alice retreats into the world of her headphones. Ophelia tugs at her braids, keeps her asthma puffer close by and adopts a methodical approach to the challenges she faces.

Ophelia's fath
Evelyn Ink
In a word: enchanting. This brilliantly told, magical modern day fairy tale had me from beginning to end. I instantly fell in love with Foxlee’s writing style and her quirky characters. I love fairy tales retold and this is a charming spin on a very old classic– The Snow Queen.

Ophelia’s curiosity, asthma, self-doubt, and scientific mind make her a quirky, hilarious, and endearing character. She doesn’t want to believe in magic, even when the evidence is all around her. She’s quite sure she is n
Sometimes I think I should give up all other genres and just read middle-grade fiction. This book reinforced that thought process. I love it when you can become absorbed in a magical fantasy to the point where all of your stresses and worries fade into the background.

I liked the interactions between the characters in this book, especially Ophelia and the boy, and the interesting descriptions of the relationship between Ophelia and her sister. These characters reminded me somewhat of those in C.
Abi Elphinstone
At last. A book that literally sings with magic: Karen Foxlee’s effortlessly beautiful Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy (for 8-12 years). Jenny Davies, bookseller and blogger extraordinaire, recommended the book to me and it is all kinds of wonderful…

The heroine of the book, Ophelia, is absolutely wonderful: asthmatic (simply adorable when she takes a puff of her inhaler to give her strength before each ordeal), fond of tugging down on her pig-tails when things get tricky and the kind of girl who
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

Set in a museum full of secrets, Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy is about the curious girl called Ophelia who one day stumbles upon a boy who is imprisoned in a room. He asks her to rescue him by performing three tasks, to find the key to the door, find his magical sword, and to find the One Other, his saviour who will know how to wield it against the Snow Queen.

The story is a retelling of the story The Snow Queen, which seems
I keep an eye out on NetGalley for books that may some day interest my kids, and I became curious about Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee when I saw it was one of the most requested books on the site. What I found was a fast-paced reimagining of the Snow Queen story that the intended audience will love, but doesn't quite reach the level of all-ages classic.

Ophelia is the sort of quirky girl that is the star of books like these - she has asthma, she pulls on her braids when nervous,
What happens when a young girl who only believes in what can be proven becomes part of a magical world where an evil snow queen entraps a young boy and she must try to set him free? Wandering the halls and rooms of a huge museum, Ophelia’s natural curiosity at finding a locked door and then peeking through the keyhole will set her off on a journey and an adventure she could never have imagined. Written to entice middle grade readers into the world of reading, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Kar ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Amount listened to: roughly 50%

I am disappoint because this is a retelling of the Snow Queen, and I was SO excited. By the way, it's kind of like The Snow Queen combined with The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, since it's happening in a museum. I actually like narration too, with a caveat.

My problem here is that I'm halfway through and I'm not really sure what's going on. The story has the whole middle grade thing where there's a goal and then a new goal and then a new goal, so rand
Ms. Library
I really, really liked this. this reminded me of Liesl and Po and Wildwood, in the best possible way. Definitely recommend it.
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Karen Foxlee is an Australian author who lives and writes in Queensland. Her young adult novels The Anatomy of Wings (UQP/Knopf/Atlantic) and The Midnight Dress (Knopf/UQP/Hot Key Books) have been published internationally to much acclaim. The Anatomy of Wings won the Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book 2008 (South Asia/Pacific), the Dobbie Award 2008, and a Parent’s Choice Gold Award in th ...more
More about Karen Foxlee...
The Midnight Dress The Anatomy of Wings Meeting Morrie / Clancy of the Undertow (RAF Volume 5: Issue 1) A Most Magical Girl One Book Many Brisbanes 4

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“She was running out of the room as fast as she could, with the sword raised before her. She called back to her father. "I'll be back soon. I've just got to save the world.” 6 likes
“And you might think a name is just a name, nothing but a word, but that is not the case. Your name is tacked to you. Where it has joined you, it has seeped into your skin and into your essence and into your soul. So when they plucked my name from me with their spell, it was as heavy as a rock in their hands but as invisible as the wind, and it wasn't just the memory of my name, but me myself. A tiny part of me that they took and stored away.” 4 likes
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