Book: Ophie Out of Oz

Ophie Out of Oz
Kathleen O’Dell
Illustrator: Rosie Winstead
2004

This is a pretty typical girl school story. Ophelia Peeler has just moved to a new state and a new school, but that isn’t unusual because Ophie’s family moves around a lot. Usually Ophie is fine with that, but this time she’s not happy for a variety of reasons (misses her friend, hates the weather, etc.). Anyway, she meets her new classmates. The outcast, Brittany, instantly adopts her (much to her chagrin). The perfect popular girl, Merry, and her best friend/minion Rachel both instantly dislike Ophie for any number of reasons. The book chronicles Ophie’s attempts to get in good with the popular girls and to come into her own at her new school. The plot is pretty standard as far as girl school stories go.

The story is fairly entertaining and I did like Ophie, but the book isn’t terribly remarkable. The characters are pretty standard to this type of book (odd outcast girl who glues herself the hero, blond rich popular girl, slightly less pretty devoted minion of the popular girl, slightly quirky but likeable heroine, etc.), which was a little bit exasperating. The plot followed the usual outline for books of this type. All that said, however, the story is pretty entertaining. I liked Brittany and Tana (her little sister) as well as the games they play with Ophie. I liked the ambitions Ophie has regarding her singing and acting, they provided more solid motivation for her actions than most girl school stories do. In general I thought this was much better than much of the random girl books out there, but it wasn’t amazing.

The illustrations were pretty much just little graphics at the start of each chapter. Most of them are fairly simple and just have something to do with the chapter. They are well chosen and appropriate for each chapter. The style isn’t particularly original and is fairly common to books of this type (it also vaguely resembles the style of the Mattel My Scene promotional drawings). I do like the little pictures, though. Especially the cute ice skates and the letter and envelope. I like the illustrations, but (much like the text) they are not really anything remarkable.

This book is good and fairly entertaining, but nothing worth going out of your way for. If you want a good girl school book, try this one. Otherwise, it’s probably not your cup of tea.

Publisher’s Description
Kathleen O’Dell’s Website
Book Blog Post (First Impressions)
Book Blog Post (Unimportant Issues)
Book Blog Post (Stock Characters)
Book Blog Post (Final Impressions)
Buy it from Amazon

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