Cover image for Ophelia and the marvelous boy
Ophelia and the marvelous boy
Foxlee, Karen, 1971- , author.
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Listening Library, [2014]
Physical Description:
5 audio discs (6 1/2 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
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.
General Note:
Compact discs.

Duration: 6:30:00.
Reading Level:
Added Author:

Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Boston Free Library J FICTION CD Juvenile Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
Central Library J FICTION CD Juvenile Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
Audubon Library J FICTION CD Juvenile Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

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"Magic is "messy and dangerous and filled with longing," we learn in this brave tale of grief, villainy and redemption that borrows from the story of the Snow Queen. Set in a vast, chilly museum, the tale brings together a valiant girl, a charmed boy, a magical sword and a clock ticking down to the end of the world."-- The Wall Street Journal

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.

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

From the Hardcover edition.

Author Notes

Karen Foxlee was born in Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia on February 3, 1971. Before becoming an author, she worked as a registered nurse. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from the University of the Sunshine Coast. Her first novel, The Anatomy of Wings, was published in 2007. It won the Emerging Author Award at the 2006 Queensland Premier's Literary Award, The Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book South East Asia Pacific Region, and The Dobbie Award. Her other works include The Midnight Dress. Her title Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy made the finalist list for the Aurealis Awards in 2014. This title also made the Readings Children's Book Prize 2015 shortlist. She wrote the middle-grade novel, A Most Magical Girl, which won the 2017 Readings Children's Book Prize.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Ophelia is a grieving 11-year-old who only believes in things that science can explain. Following her beloved mother's death, her father takes a job at an enormous museum in a city where it constantly snows. There Ophelia discovers the imprisoned Marvelous Boy, who discloses to her that in three days the Snow Queen will discharge her wretchedness upon mankind. He further reveals that he must save the world before that happens and that only Ophelia can help him. As the boy tells his story, Ophelia accepts the challenges required to release him from his three-hundred-year captivity. She faces magical snow leopards, child ghosts, a Spanish conquistador, and a monstrous misery bird none of which, like the boy, can be scientifically explained. Nevertheless, Ophelia learns there are truths she never dreamed of and that courage is less about bravery than about the decision to help people in need. Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, this clever story-within-a-story reads easily yet offers deep lessons about trust, responsibility, and friendship.--Fredriksen, Jeanne Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this appropriately frosty take on The Snow Queen, Foxlee (The Midnight Dress) introduces 11-year-old Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard, who's asthmatic, pragmatic, curious, and braver than she realizes. Ophelia's family, shattered after her mother's death, is visiting an unnamed snowy city so her father can curate an exhibition of swords. Exploring the strange, icy, and nearly empty museum, Ophelia discovers the long-imprisoned Marvelous Boy, who recruits her to help him save the world from the Snow Queen; she also turns up a cluster of deadly "misery birds" and a roomful of the ghosts of numerous girls. Foxlee's writing is elegant and accessible, with a pervading melancholy; this is as much a story of loss as it is an adventure. Certain elements, such as the identity of the Snow Queen, aren't really surprises, but it's in Foxlee's evocation of the museum's unsettling dangers, as well as Ophelia's eventual willingness to reconcile what she knows in her mind with what she feels in her heart, that this story shines. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Catherine Drayton, Inkwell Management. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-This inventive and engaging fantasy, based on the story of the Snow Queen, will be a welcome addition to middle grade collections. Solidly scientific-minded Ophelia, whose mother has recently died, moves with her older sister and father to a snowy and wintry city, where her father is busy working on a museum exhibition of historical swords. Wandering through the museum, Ophelia discovers a boy who has been locked in a room for years, and who needs her help. Much to her own surprise Ophelia takes greater and greater risks in order to win his freedom, and, in the process, forges a strong connection with the memory and spirit of her mother. It is Ophelia's sister who plays the role of Kay, bewitched by the gifts given to her by the evil Miss Kaminski, the head of the museum. Foxlee's characters come alive immediately. While Ophelia is contemporary in her ordinariness, her courage and determination to save the people she cares about harkens back to archetypal fairy tale heroes and heroines. Foxlee skillfully reveals the story of the boy as the plot unfolds. The setting is carefully and at times spookily drawn, as Ophelia faces terrifying dangers in deserted museum corridors. The writing sparkles and the pleasing restraint of the style is happily reflected in the short length of the book. Foxlee's fresh and imaginative take on this classic tale will be snapped up by fantasy and adventure lovers alike.-Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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