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25 November 2016

Anne Ursu's Breadcrumbs (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

We're quickly approaching the end of the year and, therefore, the end of my alphabet-centered challenges. Quite frankly, I don't think I'll succeed at finishing them both but I refuse to give up without a fight. I was scrolling through Amazon looking for Christmasy/Wintery reads by anyone with last names ending in U, X & Z ... and it suddenly hit me that I had been meaning to get my hands on Anne Ursu's Breadcrumbs the last time we went to the library. Of course, the library branch we were at didn't have it and it isn't one that's available in ebook (yet) through our system ... but it is on Scribd and they have a 30 day free trial deal.

Based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, it's a lovely spin on an old tale - enjoyable for the middle grade crowd (its "intended" audience) and adults who remember all too well. The main character, Hazel is 11 years old and in the fifth grade and the only thing about her life that really seems "right" is her best friend, Jack. She's different and awkward and more than a bit geeky and I saw my younger self in her so many times. Heck, I saw myself now in her so many times, too.

So many stories are sprinkled throughout this book -- new (Hazel's a big Harry Potter fan) and old (other Andersen story characters appear throughout the second half). I'm not sure if kids (or adults) not familiar with Andersen would get the same "oh oh oh" feelings that I got but, as I alluded to before, I'm different and awkward and more than a bit geeky. Even without the background knowledge of the originals, though, I think most lovers of magic and fairytales would still find this enjoyable.

Friday 56 (share from the 56th page or 56% mark) is hosted at Freda's Voice (today 56%) 
& Book Beginnings (share the first few sentences) is at Rose City Reader.

The winner of numerous awards and recipient of four starred reviews, Anne Ursu's Breadcrumbs is a stunning and heartbreaking story of growing up, wrapped in a modern-day fairy tale.
Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go in after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a stunningly original fairy tale of modern-day America, a dazzling ode to the power of fantasy, and a heartbreaking meditation on how growing up is as much a choice as it is something that happens to us.
In Breadcrumbs, Anne Ursu tells, in her one-of-a-kind voice, a story that brings together fifty years of children's literature in a tale as modern as it is timeless. Hazel's journey to come to terms with her evolving friendship with Jack will deeply resonate with young readers.


  1. Great excerpts. I have a copy of this one on my Kindle but haven't had a chance to read it yet. I'm reading The Elizabeth Papers by Jenetta James this week. Happy reading!

  2. Beginnings brought back some fond memories, though I am glad I no longer have to deal with the snow and ice.
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

  3. One of my students was reading this last grading period. He really enjoyed it. Great pick!

    -eli @ the (book) supplier
    My Friday 56/Book Beginnings

  4. Beautiful description of waking up to a snow-clad world. Sounds like a book that both children and adults would enjoy... me included!
    My Friday post features KEY LARGO BLUES.

  5. I've seen this cover around and have been curious about the story--it sounds so so good, and I'm a sucker for retellings! Thank you SO much for sharing, those excerpts are gorgeous!

    Happy book-ing to you in the near future! Here's my Friday 56 if you're interested in checking it out; no pressure or worries if you're not, though! Stay rockin', and happy Friday!

  6. This sounds really interesting. Thanks for mentioning this book. I'm going to add it to my Goodreads TBR.

  7. This one sounds wonderful... Thank you for sharing:)

  8. Definitely adding this one to my to-read list. It sounds really great. Thanks for posting it!

  9. Sounds lovely. Put me right there in the snow. :-)
    Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

  10. I've really liked this author in the past, so I think I'll have to try this one. :)

    Lauren @ Always Me