LENGTH: 242 pages
PUBLISHER: Knopf Books for Young Readers
SUMMARY: A luminous retelling of the Snow Queen, 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.
BRIDGE: Foxlee’s book would be a great pairing when studying traditional literature or fables. The story seems loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen and has elements of the Hero’s Journey as well. The book is not difficult to read and could be used as a whole-class text or in literature groups. It would be a great frame story to teach the elements of traditional literature and then let students break into groups to analyze more complex texts. This would also be a great text with which to study symbolism. The different story elements have definite symbolic significance with both obvious and more subtle symbols included. Teacher-directed analysis of the more obvious symbols could lead to small group analysis of the symbols that take a little more digging to unearth.
READERS: Fantasy fans and readers who enjoy the purity of childhood friendships will enjoy this book. This book will also appeal to readers who have a strong sense of right and wrong and want to see “good” win.
OTHER TEXTS: Readers who enjoy this book might also enjoy Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver, Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, or The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.