MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
ISBN: 9780385753562
Publisher's Synopsis:
This is the story of unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard who 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.

 "In which Ophelia rescues a magical boy,
battles the Snow Queen,
and saves the world."
MrsK's Review:
Can you imagine...being at a museum and discovering a locked room... with a boy locked in it? Ophelia isn't necessarily brave. Although she is very curious. Now imagine being asked to save the world from the Snow Queen. Then consider that the Wintertide Clock is running out of time and soon everyone will gather for the chiming (which only happens every 300 years).
"On Christmas Eve, Battle: The Greatest Exhibition of Swords in the History of the World will begin
will coincide with the opening of the Wintertide Clock's chime doors.
We shall hear those chimes and understand this clock's true purpose."

Ophelia's quest will be difficult, after all a museum is a vast vault of unique items with many, many areas to discover:
"You must find the key to this door.
We need to find my sword....
and the One Other,
who will know how to wield."

With a map of the museum, a key hidden in her pocket, and just a few moments of time... Ophelia will find herself running through the hall of girls, in a room with ghosts, being chased by wolves, and ultimately dealing with Miss Kaminski (the museum curator). With a sister who is enthralled with Miss Kaminski's attention and every thing dazzling, a father who is engrossed in learning and preparing the collection of swords, and the voice of her mother encouraging her, Ophelia will begin unraveling the boy's (unnamed because it has been such a long time since he has heard it) mystery... identity... the sword... and the One Other. Only time will tell if Ophelia can be ready before the clock chimes.

This story is quite the adventure. The story line weaves in and out of the museum and the boy's retelling of how he came to be imprisoned in the museum. Ophelia has so many threads to unravel that at times you, the reader, will be trying to guide her as she fumbles through the quest. Ophelia is a delightful character. The boy is unsure about details, a bit clueless, but very patient and encouraging. The museum's curator is diabolical and extremely annoyed with Ophelia. Her father is present but way too consumed with his job. Her sister, well she will learn that beauty can be deceiving. Each room of discovery is detailed with authentic artifacts, extraordinary touches of clarity (perfected word choice) and page-turning action.

Such a splendid quest... you must hurry to open the covers of this quest... time is running out!
Marvelously fantastical... imagination gone wild!
Excellent for classroom and library shelves.
Meet the Author: 
Karen Foxlee  Karen Foxlee trained and worked as a nurse for most of her adult life and also graduated from university with a degree in creative writing. She is the author of The Midnight Dress and The Anatomy of Wings, which Markus Zusak called “so special that you want to carry it around for months after you’ve finished, just to stay near it.” Karen Foxlee lives in Gympie, Australia, with her daughter.
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