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Thursday, March 13, 2014

(MMGM) Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee {Review & Giveaway}

I'm so excited to share my review of an AHHH-mazing middle-grade book today: Karen Foxlee's Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy! Read on to find out why I love this book, then enter to win a copy (you can also win a copy here)...

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
by Karen Foxlee
Random House 

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 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.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

Karen Foxlee’s Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is indeed marvelous! I was SO excited to start this middle-grade fantasy and was blown away by its scope of imagination, gorgeous, dazzling storytelling, and unforgettable heroine! I truly loved every moment of reading this book.

Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard has traveled with her father and sister to a town where it is always snowing. Ophelia’s father, a master of all things swords, has been put in charge of a most important sword exhibition at a very unusual museum. On her first day exploring the museum, science loving, logical thinking Ophelia finds a boy locked away in a forgotten room. Despite her disbelief in anything otherworldly and her self-described lack of bravery, Ophelia sets out on a perilous journey to rescue the Marvelous Boy. A journey full of magic, danger, mighty beasts, scary obstacles, and the wicked Snow Queen. As Ophelia embarks on her daring rescue, and learns more about the Boy’s mysterious story, she adds fantastic pages to her own life story!

Enchanting. Enthralling. Exciting. Magical. Gorgeous. Impossible to put down...Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is all of these things and so much more! Foxlee has captured my heart and imagination with her sparkling storytelling and fresh take on a classic fairytale. From the moment I opened Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy and saw the inside cover illustrations detailing the unusual floors and exhibits of the museum setting, I just knew I was holding something special. Foxlee has crafted a modern fairytale that feels both beautifully classic and whimsically offbeat. With lovely, lyrical writing; sharp wit; and breathtaking imagination, Foxlee creates a pitch-perfect, memorable middle-grade voice. It’s the kind of voice and writing that you want to get lost in and are immensely sad to leave when the book is over. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is a story spun with the best kind of magic: the magic of words!

This world Foxlee has built is a vivid, layered, and impressive one. Both the main story (Ophelia’s story) and the story within the story (the Marvelous Boy’s story) are intricately and seamlessly woven together. The immense museum of oddities, artifacts, jewels, paintings, taxidermy animals, lost treasures, and all things strange, fascinating, and unusual makes for a delightfully shiver inducing setting. I loved traversing the quirky exhibit halls with Ophelia and seeing them through her eyes. This museum setting gives off a very Night at the Museum meets From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler vibe. A vibe full of tingly anticipation because you just know there are surprises around every corner!

`Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard is a true and unforgettable heroine! I loved everything about this brave, smart, compassionate, curious girl. She’s a character young readers can relate to and will want to root for. Ophelia’s cracked, yet unbreakable bond and relationships with her big sister, Alice, and her father, in the wake of her beloved mother’s death, are palpable and beautifully rendered. The Marvelous Boy is a charmingly endearing character, while Foxlee’s Snow Queen is a beguiling and captivating villain.

With a thrilling and fantastical ending, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy concludes in the most poignant and lovely way.

my Final Thoughts: I LOVED this book! Foxlee thrilled, enchanted, surprised, and moved me with her stunning story, wanna-get-lost-in setting, and unique characters. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy will captivate even the chilliest and snowiest of hearts!


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 the U.S. The Midnight Dress was selected as an ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults title in 2014. Foxlee’s first middle grade novel Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy (Knopf / Hot Key Books) was published in January 2014 and to date has received several starred reviews. 

Karen Foxlee was born in Mount Isa, Queensland in 1971. She has worked most of her adult life as a registered nurse, has a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in creative writing, and lives in Gympie, Australia.

Win a hard copy of 
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy!
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-US only
-ends 3/31
-must be 13+
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
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Carl Scott said...

This sounds great, similar to The Snow Queen but with themes like the Harry Potter series. Thanks for the introduction.

Unknown said...

(This is Darith L)

I love great adventures, and this looks good!

Unknown said...

I love great adventures, particularly those involving great peril, fraught with danger and monsters. This sounds like just the book for me. I've heard wonderful things about this story and I've really wanted to read it.

Unknown said...

I'm looking forward to reading this!

Michael G-G said...

This is one whose cover just called to me from the bookstore shelves. Cannot wait to read!

Unknown said...

I believe that myself and my granddaughter will enjoy reading this book Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, by Karen Foxlee where we could follow the adventures of Ophelia and how she rescues the marvelous boy that she finds at her fathers sword exhibit at the museum, Think it will be a fun trip.

Jillyn said...

I'm such a sucker for museum settings. There's something so cool but creepy about them,

Michelle @ In Libris Veritas said...

Ever since Mixed Up Files I've been in love with MG set in museums, add that on top of the fairytale feel and I just have to have it!

Stitchin in the Sip said...

Something about things long forgotten in this book...the boy interests me. Finding something or someone neat. My students would really enjoy Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy.

Orchid said...

Your review just reminded me that I NEED to read this book (move it up on my TBR).