Every day, Ophelia counts exactly how many months, days, and hours have passed since her mother died. Her father is always busy and her sister distant, so Ophelia spends her time exploring the enormous, chilly museum where her father works--the rooms of dinosaur bones and menacing preserved animals, the corridors lined with portraits of melancholy-looking, lonely girls like herself. Until she discovers a room where a boy has been locked away by an evil queen. He needs her help to complete a quest he started hundreds of years ago, a quest to save the world. The trouble is, Ophelia is not sure she believes in hundred-year-old boys, or evil queens. Or especially in magic. This spooky fantasy adventure has one good part after another--ghost girls and sword fights and the hunt for keys that fit missing locks. It will teach you about how to be a friend, how to be brave, how to believe.— EMMY'S STAFF PICKS
“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.
About the Author
KAREN FOXLEE is the author of two young adult novels, The Anatomy of Wings and The Midnight Dress. She lives in Gympie, Australia, with her daughter.
About the Illustrator
YOKO TANAKA has illustrated children's books by Kate DiCamillo, Sara Pennypacker, R.L. LaFevers, Laura Godwin, and Keith McGowan.
The Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2014:
“A present-day fairy tale that practically sparkles with its own icy menace...[a] memorable and ultimately moving novel for young readers.”
The Christian Science Monitor, January 31, 2014:
"Foxlee's novel will be read and loved by youngsters who've grown up on fairy tales, graduated to Harry Potter, and appreciate gorgeous writing and complex storytelling. In this story of friendship and yes, even bravery, Ophelia shines as one of the first true heroines of the 2014 crop of fabulous middle-grade novels."
Starred Review, Kirkus, November 1, 2013:
"A well-wrought, poignant and original reworking of Andersen’s 'The Snow Queen.'"
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, November 11, 2013:
"Foxlee's writing is elegant and accessible, with a pervading melancholy... this story shines."
Starred Review, Booklist, December 15, 2013:
"This clever story-within-a-story reads easily yet offers deep lessons about trust, responsibility, and friendship.”
Starred Review, The Bulletin, February 1, 2014:
"Foxlee inventively weaves familiar folkloric elements—an evil snow queen, a magic sword, a quest, a chosen one—into her modern setting, all the while evoking a mood of dreamlike foreboding."
Starred Review, School Library Journal, March 1, 2014:
“The writing sparkles . . . Foxlee’s fresh and imaginative take on this classic tale will be snapped up by fantasy and adventure lovers alike.”
The Horn Book, January/February 2014:
"Foxlee’s deftness with characterization and setting...makes this a satisfying fantasy."