Parents' Guide to

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

By Sally Engelfried, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Timid girl becomes hero in brisk "Snow Queen" update.

Book Karen Foxlee Fantasy 2014
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 11+

A "Snow Queen" Fairytale with a Dark Feel and Strong Main Character

I really liked the character of Ophelia who worked on herself to be brave. She, her sister, and their father are still reeling from the recent death of the mother. There are scary parts throughout the book and a somber tone. I would have liked the "Marvelous Boy" to be more marvelous because, in my opinion, he was just bland in characterization.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 7+

Beautifully Written Book with a Good Message

I just finished reading this to my daughters, ages 7 and 10. The thing that struck me the most was how strong the writing is. I think hearing good writing is as important for my girls as hearing meaningful stories, and there isn't enough of it out there. This book's language is clean and smart, and not overindulgent with the adjectives like far too many of the books we've read recently. That doesn't mean it doesn't have great description though. In fact, there is something quite Dickensian about the character development.The story itself is entertaining and thoughtful, with perhaps a bit of lag here and there. There is a passage toward the end that made me tear up while reading--enough that my children noticed. There is just enough complexity and predictability to make the plot exciting. It particularly engaged my younger daughter (6 when we started, 7 when we finished). It is a good length for this age group, and doesn't try to overreach. I really recommend this.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Despite her own lack of faith in her bravery, Ophelia is immensely likable, and readers of OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY will have no trouble believing in her even when she doubts herself. Her quest moves along at a brisk pace, the tension increased by the huge clock counting down the hours before the end of the world. Although the Marvelous Boy's fairy tale-like origin story is less exciting than Ophelia's, it adds the necessary magical element that helps Ophelia learn to follow her heart and live with her loss.

Book Details

  • Author: Karen Foxlee
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Fairy Tales
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Publication date: January 28, 2014
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 240
  • Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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