Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ophelia and the marvelous boy by Karen Foxlee

It took me a long time to read this book and then it  sat on my review pile for a long time too but last night I watched the movie Frozen which led me to think about the power of a story like The Snow Queen and hence this book.  Ophelia and the Marvelous boy is deeply entwined with the famous story of the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.

Before reading on take a minute to click this site and read the whole prologue to Ophelia and the marvelous boy.  It will give you a sense of the tone and astute readers will immediately see the connection with The Snow Queen.

Ophelia has come with her sister and father to a large city museum.  Her father has been appointed curator of  "Battle : the greatest exhibition of swords in the history of the world."  Malcolm is a sword expert but he is also easy distracted by his work which he conducts with meticulous care.  This means he has not noticed that his younger daughter Ophelia has become caught up in her own quest - to free The Marvelous Boy.  If you have read the prologue you will know he has been locked up.

"If you choose to help me, you must find the key to this door.  We need to find my sword, which is magical, and the One Other, who will know how to wield it.  On the Wintertide Clock there is a number in the little window at the very bottom of the face, ... that will tell us how much time we have."

They have just three days.  Over this time Ophelia will learn the full story of the Marvelous Boy and each day she will have to overcome her own terror and retrieve things for the boy beginning with the key to his room.

Here is a review in our Australian magazine Reading Time.  Here is an interview with the author. One more review worth reading from the School Library Journal.

If you pick out this book for a class novel study it might be interesting to compare it with The Tunnel by Anthony Browne.  You might also enjoy Temmi and the flying bears.  We also have Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu in our library along with many editions of The Snow Queen.

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