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Bigger than a Bread Box

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  3,622 ratings  ·  437 reviews
A magical breadbox that delivers whatever you wish for—as long as it fits inside? It's too good to be true! Twelve-year-old Rebecca is struggling with her parents' separation, as well as a sudden move to her Gran's house in another state. For a while, the magic bread box, discovered in the attic, makes life away from home a little easier. Then suddenly it starts to make th ...more
Hardcover, 223 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Autumn This books reading level is Accelerated Reader Level: 4.3.

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Jan 10, 2011 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Your parents can't solve all of your problems. Sometimes your parents cause all of your problems.

The same goes for magic!

This book (written by me, so I'm not exactly objective) attempts to weave together elements of a real childhood (mine) and amazing magic.

Because I still believe in both.

(Along with Baltimore, Springsteen, poetry, and seagulls. A few other things I believe in deeply)

I have always loved fantasy books. I dream that I could teach at Hogwarts and own a dragon. When I was young, I dreamed about what I would wish for if I was granted three wishes. I knew all the pitfalls in those be-careful-what-you-wish-for plots, and I knew I could do it right.

My daydreams were fanciful, but what I wished for most would never come true. It was just as implausible as my flying carpet, magic wardrobe, make me invisible fantasies-- I wished my parents weren't divorced and that we
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As much as I loved PENNY DREADFUL, I think this is my favorite Laurel Snyder book yet. Heartbreaking, hopeful, and full of magic, it's the story of a girl whose life changes when the lights go out and her parents have one last argument before her mother loads the kids into the car and drives out of the state. When they land at her grandmother's house in Georgia, Rebecca has to deal not only with her parents' separation but also the angst of a sudden move, switching schools, and then...a magical ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
This story features twelve year old Rebecca as she struggles with her parents’ separation, her sense of self, and a magical wish-granting breadbox. Whew. Author Laurel Snyder very nearly pulls it off, too. Rebecca is smart, nerdy, and has a touch of immaturity and selfishness that makes her seem so much more authentic than most YA main characters. However, when everything is said and done, all of the various themes didn't really tie together. Or perhaps they did? Let me back up...

Rebecca's paren
Cheryl Gatling
My husband picked this book up to read with our nine-year old daughter because we were fans of Laurel Snyder's Jewish-themed picture books (especially Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher). This book is not overtly Jewish (although the character of Rebecca Rose Shapiro is Jewish), but it is profoundly ethical. It is about stealing, about hurting and being hurt, about forgiveness, about identity, about who to be, and how to be. Rebecca's parents argue, and her mom leaves, taking Rebecca from B ...more
Oct 18, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I voiced this audio edition of my own recent novel, and it was an amazing experience. I cried while recording it. I wonder if you can tell where!
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is great, bigger than its plot, which means I'm going to find myself thinking about it often, and noticing different things on rereads. I don't know who to recommend it to, because it absolutely oozes pain. ("Oozes" isn't the right word, but I've spent enough time trying to think of the right word. "Wracked with" doesn't get across the feeling of pain coming out of the pages. But it's sharper than an ooze.) My parents never divorced, and I wonder if it might be too much for some of my ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I strongly enjoyed this book because the book has more meaning than what meets the eye. For example, in the book, after having to leave her father due to divorce, Rebecca finds a magical breadbox that can bring her whatever she wants whenever as long as it fits inside the box. Though, later in the book she realizes that the items provided is being taken from innocent strangers. I think this is foreshadowing her parent’s divorce. For example, there may have always been problems between her parent ...more

I was immediately drawn to this book for two reasons: the awesome cover art and the enticing premise. Both obviously appealed greatly to my inner child (who for once became enchanted by the possibility of whimsy, rather than the promise of something sinister). What can I say? My inner child bears a striking resemblance to this little dude:

This truly is a delightful romp of a story that shows wonderful imagination and great sensitivity. Rebecca is a sympathetic protagonist, at a point in her lif
Ms. Yingling
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Rebecca loves her life in Baltimore even though she realizes that her parents are fighting a lot now that her father is between jobs. After her father forgets her mother’s birthday, her mother packs Rebecca and her brother Lew up and moves them in with their grandmother in Atlanta. Hiding in the attic after she realizes that her mother means for this to be a long term visit, Rebecca finds a collection of breadboxes. One of them is not dusty like the others, and after wishing that she had somethi ...more
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every person on earth
Recommended to Jismeily by: goodreads
Shelves: has-a-quiz
So far what's happening is that Rebecca went to Atlanta because Rebecca's mom and dad got in a fight. Rebecca went in Gran's attic to find a phone but she stayed in the attic then she got board and wished she brought a book then she looked around the attic and found a book but the book was not their before. Then Gran found Rebecca in the attic and turned on the light they had a chat then Gran left. Rebecca noticed the bread box and brought it down stairs. Rebecca started to cry and wished there ...more
Rebecca Shapiro is 12, lives in Baltimore with her parents and younger brother Lew (2), and is working on her math homework when the lights blink off and her family comes apart. Within days, her mother has packed the car and driven herself and both kids to her mother's house in Atlanta, while she figures out her life. This sudden uprooting is disastrous for Rebecca, who is angry at her mother and at her own helplessness.

The only good thing--or so it seems at first--is a breadbox, one of many, f
Our pick for the 2011 Newbery Award.

Reviewed by my friend Paula and her daughter:

ESP: So it’s a book about a magic bread box? Is that how you would describe it?
Not just about a magic bread box. It’s about school drama, family, and how unfair it is when adults make decisions for you that you don’t like.

ESP: How did the book make you feel when you were reading it?
I was excited and on edge! I couldn’t guess what was going to happen at all. She (Laurel Snyder) did a great job with the entire story.
Apr 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Like PENNY DREADFUL before it, BIGGER THAN A BREADBOX has the charming old-fashioned feeling of middle-grade stories from the 60s, but with a contemporary bend. Rebecca's parents' sudden separation forces her to move to Gran's house, where she discovers a magical breadbox that seems to produce anything she wishes for from thin air. But as is always with wishes, something is amiss. This simple magic-realist story is really about a girl trying her best to deal with some of the toughest parts of gr ...more
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Be careful what you wish for definitely holds true for Rebecca, main character of Bigger Than A Bread Box by Laurel Snyder. Rebecca is uprooted from her Baltimore townhouse by her mother who decides to separate from her dad and live in Atlanta with Grandma. Rebecca doesn’t have an easy go of it as a new kid until she finds a magical bread box in the attic.

Read the rest of my review here
Rachel Seigel
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There are so many things to love about this book. Rebecca is a likeable and realistic heroine, and I really enjoyed the fact that the book always stays centred on her story. She has a lot going on, but it's really up to her to figure out how to make things right. There are no fairy godmothers, and wishes don't just fix everything that's going wrong. This is a perfect book for a little girl, and would be a perfect choice for a mother-daughter book club.
Colby Sharp
I like Laurel Snyder's magic the best. The magic in this book reminded me a lot of her book Any Which Wall. She makes magic seem possible. I love how her characters have to figure out the magic-understand its rules and limitations.

This book is great on so many levels. I need to say more, but must take some time to process this amazing read. Can't think of a better book to end my summer with.

Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Very real and very magical all at the same time. Definitely a book I will read to my class.
Laura Harrison
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this one. Great unique, fun story.
Mary Ann
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The holidays can add a stress to anyone's life, but particularly for families coping with divorce. Change is hard for anyone, but particularly for children. I was particularly struck by Laurel Snyder's newest book, Bigger than a Bread Box, by how change can wrench a child from all her certainties. This is a wonderful book for kids who love realistic fiction, with a hint of fantasy.

Rebecca's life was suddenly torn apart when her parents reached a breaking point. One moment, their life in Baltimor
Alison Stegert
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that should be in every school library. So many kids will relate to the protagonist, 12 year old Rebecca, whose parents are in the middle of a separation. Laurel Snyder nails the voices of her characters, and elegantly conveys the sorrow, anger, and helplessness felt in the middle of a family breakdown.

I think it is perfect for school libraries because it is NOT didactic. There's no moralising, no patronising or promising, no prettying up (or judgment) of Rebecca's fe
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it
When I approached Bigger than a Breadbox, I was hoping for a fun magical realism book, full of escapism. Instead, I got more realism than magic and it was an unpleasant reality as well.

The book is told in first person perspective of a teenage girl, Rebecca, whose parents are undergoing a painful separation. Her mother tears her from her Baltimore home and brings her to Atlanta to live with her grandmother for awhile. Rebecca experiences what is normal when someone gets uprooted from her home: lo
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
For me I found the book to be a curious read. I kept having the feeling that the story really wanted to be a realistic story about divorice. Unfortunantely there was the magical element of the bread box that jammed itself into the story. The divorice and the magical bread box seemed to be at odds with each other and caused the story to fall flat. It was okey story and there was nothing objectable to it. It just didn't have any sparkle for me. A younger more forgiving reader might find more in th ...more
Wowza, what a book. I remember on twitter months ago Laurel Snyder tweeting about this book. About a 12 year old girl, Rebecca, whose parents have separated. How she's fled to Atlanta with her mom, baby brother, to stay at her grandmother's house while her mom sorts it all out. I remember Laurel mentioning Baltimore, seagulls, and Bruce Springsteen. I remember thinking, this book would be good for my students, but I didn't realize how good.

Fifth grade tends to be an age where parents split up. I
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book "Bigger Than a Bread Box" is phenomenal. It is about a young girl named Rebecca, and told from a first person perspective. In the book Rebecca finds a magic breadbox after routing threw her grandma's dusty attic. Her parents had just gotten a divorce and now her, her mom, and her younger brother were living up in Atlanta with their Grandma. A magic breadbox is anything and everything a girl would want after going through that, especially because it grants her every wish and desire. Now ...more
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
One Wednesday morning Rebecca wakes up, walks down the stairs and sees her mother, packing. Her father is watching, sad and silent, and then Rebecca, her baby brother Lew, and her mother get in the car and leave. They drive all the way to Atlanta, to live with Gran, and Rebecca's doesn't talk to her mother the entire trip. Atlanta's not awful, but Rebecca's sad and shocked and angry; and then Rebecca finds the bread box. It's just a tin box, red with roses painted on it, but when Rebecca ...more
Tara Hall
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the best kind of middle grade book. It draws you in with a lovable main character and intriguing magic, and then sucker punches you with emotional intensity and important life lessons. The magic of the bread box is extremely understated. I might not even call it magic for the most part. And the truth behind its tricks makes up the core of the story. Around that core are heartfelt, honest discussions of how divorce can affect kids and families, as well a painful portrayal of bullying.

Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
I can't think of the last time I was so tense reading a book, as I was reading the first half of Bigger than a Bread Box. I could barely sit still. So much foreboding, so much foreshadowing, that I just knew something big was going to go down. And when it did, when I saw it coming, I had to skim the chapter just to get a handle on it, before I went back and read it properly. Then I could breathe again for the second half until WHAM suddenly a huge surprise sprung up that I completely hadn't been ...more
Susan  Dunn
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Rebecca's parents are fighting. Again. But this time, her mom packs the car and takes Rebecca and her little brother to Atlanta to stay with their maternal grandmother. Rebecca misses her dad terrible, and doesn't like her new school at all. Seeing an opportunity to reinvent herself, she tries to do this, but it doesn't work out as well as she'd hoped. Meanwhile, in Gran's attic, Rebecca finds a mysterious box that appears to grant wishes. But how can a wish fix her parents' marriage?

A great por
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
A moving, thoughtful book about a child's reaction to her parents' separation and her subsequent struggle to find her own identity and place in the world. With the help of a magical bread box that grants wishes, that is, but in this case the box is far from the easy cure it seems. Snyder does an excellent job of using this unexpected touch of magic to complicate and add layers to her heroine's situation rather than providing a mere escape from it, and the outcome is more realistic than the fanta ...more
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Laurel Snyder is the author of six children's novels, "Orphan Island," "Seven Stories Up," "Bigger than a Bread Box," "Penny Dreadful," "Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains OR The Search for a Suitable Princess" and "Any Which Wall" (Random House) as well as many picture books, including "Charlie & Mouse," "The Forever Garden," "Swan, the life and dance of Anna Pavlova," and "Baxter, the Pig Who Wa ...more

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