Sunday, January 8, 2012
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 loved this book. I love the way Anne Ursu writes. The main character is so real and genuine, and you feel like you are in the very real world of a fifth grade girl, then the magic blows in like a stong wind and you're in the middle of a fairy tale. What's really amazing is how seamlessly she takes you back and forth between the two.
There are some intense scenes and some pretty serious things going on for a middle grade novel, but I think kids can handle more than we sometimes think they can.
I would recommend this book to any one who enjoys a little fantasy and a great story.