51bsImxUyGL._SL160_“She had expected magic to be very clean and powerful, but instead it was messy and uncomfortable and full of decisions.”

Another “Titular Girl“! Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee is essentially a re-telling of the Snow Queen fairytale (as was Breadcrumbs, previously highlighted here), but manages to be its own story as well. Ophelia, 11, has just lost her mother to illness, and is taken with her older sister and her distant father to a faraway city where it always snows, so her father can work on a special museum exhibition of swords (his specialty). One day while wandering the museum halls, Ophelia finds a boy locked in a secret room, who wants her to help save the world. He tells her he was sent there by wizards 300 years ago to help defeat the Snow Queen, who will soon (in three days’ time) cover the world in ice and snow.

She must perform a series of dangerous tasks – all set in the museum, which means it’s one of those GU stories entirely taking place within a single building – to find a magical sword, and the person who will wield it, and free the boy. The frosty museum curator is, of course, the adversary, the Snow Queen herself (although it takes Ophelia a ridiculously long time to realize this), and she has minions including horribly monsters called “misery birds.” Once Ophelia frees the boy, he becomes her companion, but gets re-captured pretty quickly. She also must rescue her sister, who falls prey to the wiles of the curator.

Once Ophelia finally finds the sword, at the last minute, she realizes the identity of the one she’s been looking for (no surprises here, especially since it’s a GU story), and faces off against the Snow Queen in a sword fight, defeating her before the world freezes forever.