Hilary's Reviews > Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
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Nov 25, 11

bookshelves: adventure, fairy-tale-retellings, fantasy, grades-5-6
Read in November, 2011

3.5 stars
Hazel has always been best friends with Jack. Now that they're in fifth grade her mother is urging her to try to make some new friends, and Jack is sometimes torn between spending his time with her and spending his time with other boys in their grade. The two have a disagreement and right after the disagreement Jack suddenly falls to the ground in what seems to be excruciating pain. Hazel doesn't know it, but Jack has gotten a shard of glass from an enchanted mirror in his eye, and it travels to his heart. After that moment Jack is distant with her and shortly thereafter disappears into the woods. Hazel takes off to try to save him and finds herself in an enchanted land where nothing is as it seems.
Breadcrumbs is divided into two parts - the part that takes place in the real world, and the part that takes place in the fantasy world. The first part seems to take up most of the book, although as far as page count goes, is roughly the same length as the second part. Too much time is spent on the first part, setting up the relationship of Hazel and Jack, and as a result the second part with the rich fantasy world seems hasty and rushed. Avid readers will enjoy the literary illusion that encompasses the whole book, from the loose interpretation of The Snow Queen that is the bulk of the book, to the mini glimpses of Hans Christen Anderson fairy tales such as The Little Match Stick Girl, to the musings of the main character comparing her life and what is happening to her to different tales she has read (or seen - I didn't miss that Star Wars reference!). Bottom line, good for kids who enjoy fairy tale retellings and have an active imagination of their own.
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