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Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen…
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Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy (edition 2014)

by Karen Foxlee (Author), Jayne Entwistle (Narrator)

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4835637,669 (4.06)39
Ophelia, a timid eleven-year-old girl grieving her mother, suspends her disbelief in things non-scientific when a boy locked in the museum where her father is working asks her to help him complete an age-old mission.
Member:aethercowboy
Title:Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
Authors:Karen Foxlee (Author)
Other authors:Jayne Entwistle (Narrator)
Info:Listening Library (2014)
Collections:GT3, Read but unowned, Have read, Audiobook, 2021
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy

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Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is a perfect example of how to write a modern Middle-Grade fairy tale. Ophelia isn't sure of herself and doesn't feel that she's anyone special, yet she finds herself with the task of saving a boy from the Snow Queen. Oh, and by the way, Ophelia, could you save the world in the process? I loved every moment! Every event made sense, whether it was fantastical or not, and no character, not even Ophelia, was suddenly capable of doing anything they weren't already equipped to accomplish. At the same time, the world of the story is full of magic, despite Ophelia's belief that there is no such thing.

The Snow Queen is truly scary and wholly evil. While she is not exactly the same as the White Witch in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, my thoughts turned to her the more I found out about the Snow Queen. What I liked even more than that childhood favorite was the lack of religious allegory. It also doesn't head in the opposite direction as did the "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Philip Pullman. The only point I found, besides being a beautiful story for its own sake, was that ordinary people can sometimes do seemingly extraordinary things, even if they have asthma and aren't good at running.

I can safely recommend Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, especially if you're a fan of Middle-Grade Fantasy, or you love the "Narnia" series. ( )
  FortifiedByBooks | Jan 5, 2021 |
00015737
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
Foxlee's retelling of The Snow Queen definitely had The Brothers Grimm vibe. In many places, the story was positively creepy, so I'm not sure whether the story would alarm or engross younger kids as a 'read-to-at-bedtime' narrative. Despite some niggles, the suspense had a fairly compelling effect and I did indeed gallop through the book.

While the setting was really inventive (a mysteriously charmed museum), the action seemed rushed and then stalled out by turns. At these points, the story wasn't moving forward, which gave the novel a choppy rhythm. Just as we anticipate Ophelia finding out some interesting quirks and solving little mysteries, the reader is snatched away to the pedestrian life of small kid with a busy father.

Later on, in the final chapters, there is the predictable sword-fight episode. Except that Ophelia's father seems to dominate this action and the magical sword that The Marvellous Boy supplied to our heroine hardly takes on the Queen. The novel evokes suspense and excitement in equal measure, but in wrapping up the plot, it appeared as if the author was struggling to bring the story to a conclusion. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Nov 3, 2019 |
Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard spends her Christmas holiday with her older sister at the huge and labyrinthine museum where their father is curating an exhibit on swords of the world. In her wanderings she finds a boy locked in a room, who asks her to help him escape and find his own, magical sword, which he must give to the One Other in order to defeat the Snow Queen. Ophelia doesn't at all believe in such nonsense, being a scientifically inclined young woman, but little by little, as she helps the boy, she opens her heart to the possibilities of magic, the struggle between good and evil, and her own potential for bravery. I *love* this book. I listened to the audio version a couple of years ago and knew that Charlie would love it, too. (And reader, he did.) It turns out that it's also a really fun book to read aloud to others. Highly recommended. ( )
  scaifea | May 23, 2019 |
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, this book has good bones. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is filled with all the things I love in a good Middle Grade novel. A quirky, young heroine, a tale filled with magic, and a setting that is just too good to pass up. Who wouldn't want to wander a giant museum full of oddities? Still, this book just didn't have that magic I was looking for. I'll do my best to explain.

I do have to give credit where credit is due, and admit that Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard is a charming protagonist. I have an affinity for characters like her. Quirky, small, underdog type characters who fight against the odds to accomplish the impossible. What's not to love? I remember being a young reader and wanting, more than anything, to be just like the girls I read about in my fantasy books. Even now, reading this as an adult, I see what I'd love about Ophelia as well.

Sadly, I didn't feel like the story written around her was worthy of our little Ophelia. While everything I wanted to see was there, it just felt off. This story has talk of wizards, giant owls, and even ghosts, but none of it had that spark that made me want to read like mad. There were parts that felt like they should have been exciting. Pieces of this story that were written to show Ophelia standing tall against things she should be afraid of. None of it felt real though. It felt a bit flat I think. I missed the magic.

I do see a lot of good in this book. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy seems like an excellent read for a parent to share with a younger child. I kept picturing this being read to me as a bed time story, and it seemed to fit the bill. So three stars it is. While it wasn't my favorite read of the year so far, I'm much to smitten with Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard to give her anything less. ( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
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For my sister, Sonia
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In the end the Queen was nothing like she was in the stories the Marvelous Boy had been told, first as a child beside the hearth and later by the wizards.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Ophelia, a timid eleven-year-old girl grieving her mother, suspends her disbelief in things non-scientific when a boy locked in the museum where her father is working asks her to help him complete an age-old mission.

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