Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee: An Extremely Fun Read Perfect for Fans of Blue Balliett, Kate DiCamillo and Roald Dahl

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.

Descriptions taken from Goodreads.

OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY was quite surprising for me. When I first saw it, I expected it to be more along the lines of a children’s book feel-good fantasy, but it’s not. It’s an entertaining, fun, lovable MG mystery that really did feel like a mix of Roald Dahl and Blue Balliett to me–with a dash of Kate DiCamillo, which was a mixture that I found to be quite pleasant from the very beginning.

Right off the bat, I enjoyed Ophelia’s voice as a character. Though she abided only by science in the beginning, her growth as a character and as a person was astonishing and really nice for me to see. I loved watching her relationship with “the boy” grow and transform as they fought against the Snow Queen.

Overall, this book had a lot of great strengths. There wasn’t a whole lot that I didn’t like about it, and I genuinely loved this children’s–MG fantasy read. There were great themes edging along it, such as adventure, mystery, morals and action. Great read and I highly suggest for fans of Dahl, Balliett and DiCamillo. Extremely fun read, and adults and children alike will enjoy this lovely little book. Great re-imagining of THE SNOW QUEEN tale. 4 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 240

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