Sep 27, 2011

Tween Tuesday: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

5 delicious peanut butter cookies with peanut better frosting.

Cover Love:
Yes! I think this is just an amazing cover. The colors, the wolves, Hazel looking back over her shoulder. It just says so much!

Why I Wanted to Read This:
The buzz! Plus I have an amazing contact at Walden who is super excited about this book. Her enthusiasm carried over onto me. Here's the synopsis from Good Reads:

Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. They had been best friends since they were six, spending hot Minneapolis summers and cold Minneapolis winters together, dreaming of Hogwarts and Oz, superheroes and baseball. Now that they were eleven, it was weird for a boy and a girl to be best friends. But they couldn't help it - Hazel and Jack fit, in that way you only read about in books. And they didn't fit anywhere else.

And then, one day, it was over. Jack just stopped talking to Hazel. And while her mom tried to tell her that this sometimes happens to boys and girls at this age, Hazel had read enough stories to know that it's never that simple. And it turns out, she was right. Jack's heart had been frozen, and he was taken into the woods by a woman dressed in white to live in a palace made of ice. Now, it's up to Hazel to venture into the woods after him. Hazel finds, however, that these woods are nothing like what she's read about, and the Jack that Hazel went in to save isn't the same Jack that will emerge. Or even the same Hazel.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind.

I Kept Reading Because:
It was just so well written. You could just feel the care that the author put into this story.

What I Liked (& Didn't):

Hazel. The author was so gentle with how she wrote Hazel (not with the things that happened to her). I got the feeling that this character was very personal to the author.

I love all the "nods" the author gave to the books that inspired the elements of Breadcrumbs: A Wrinkle in Time, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, When You Reach Me, (I even thought of Stardust when I read the marketplace scene). It was awesome when the white witch gave her own nod to Narnia when she asked Jack if he wanted some Turkish delight.

Each chapter is mostly about Hazel. But every now and again we get a chapter about another character. These are well written and add a lot of intrigue to the story.

What a coming of age story! Hazel is going through so many changes: new school, life without her dad, making a new friend, enduring the tough time at school. For her to stand up and decide that she was going to save Jack is a major milestone for her. And she just goes without looking back!

There are two parts to this book: the first, setting up Hazel and Jack's world. There was not a lot of magic going on in Hazel's life. She loves books and daydreaming and play acting with Jck, but that's as far as it went. The second was the world in the woods which is wholly magical. It is amazing how well it works together!

Hazel's mother drove me nuts. I get that she was ready for her daughter to grow up, but to not have any understanding about what Hazel was going through, and to try and force another friendship on her just made me feel so mad! (Although, the other friendship was perfect for Hazel).

To Sum Up: I can't wait to get a copy of this for my library and to booktalk it to my students! I know plenty of reader who will love this fairy tale.

Book requested and received from Kellie and WaldenPond Press.


  1. This one's on my wish list. I'm so happy to hear it's awesome! :-)

  2. I just finished this one Jana and I loved it as well. I got the feeling that Hazel's mom was simply having a hard time adjusting to her husband leaving and getting remarried. She redeemed herself by leaving the ballet shoes.

  3. That could be Michelle. And I know that she had to be written kind of "hard" to help move the story along. I have been harsh on moms in books lately!

  4. Question: Is this a book a boy would dig? :)