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Breadcrumbs

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  10,913 ratings  ·  1,876 reviews

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 on

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Hardcover, 312 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Walden Pond Press
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Kira Definitely. It's a beautiful modern fairy-tale with a strong female character.

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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,913 ratings  ·  1,876 reviews


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Wendy Darling
If you gently shook a snow globe, you might find that the snowflakes come down on an enchanting story much like this one. Hazel’s best friend Jack has disappeared, and the quiet, scrappy fifth grader must overcome her fears—not to mention a mysterious witch and numerous other challenges—in order to save him.

This lovely story, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, unfolds slowly and beautifully. As an adult who still reads or rereads a lot of children’s books and an avid lover of fai
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karen
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
growing up is so damn hard.

when this book comes out, i guarantee it will win all the awards and land itself on all the school reading lists. this book couches some pretty devastating life lessons in an alternate realm of dangerous magical fantasy, but it does so without ever once being cutesy.

hazel and jack have been neighbors and best friends forever. hazel was adopted from india as a baby by white american parents who have since separated, jack is the son of a woman who has retreated into this
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Terri
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Am I the only one who didn't like this book? "Breadcrumbs" was on a mock awards list for the book club I am in. I had a really hard time getting through it. I always try to read a book through the lens of the intended reader. That generally, though not always, is someone the approximate age of the protagonist, in this case a fifth grader named Hazel. I am afraid that, though the story is at times exquisite in terms of writing, much of the language, the use of metaphor, and the proliferation of a ...more
Tatiana
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: Thomas Tomato
I am not a regular reader of children's books and certainly not their connoisseur. Literature aimed at elementary school students is not something I actively seek or even enjoy at my age. But sometimes there are children's books that touch me in a special way.

Breadcrumbs managed to bring out the memories of my childhood like no other book before. This modern day retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen is an homage to all the wonderful stories of my childhood and some that captured
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Small Review
May 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
Originally posted on Small Review

2.5 stars Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key

I'm back in my secret bunker

Why? Because I didn't really like Breadcrumbs. To say my expectations were high is an understatement. I love fairy tale retellings, the cover is beautiful, and a friend even mailed me her copy to read (after she loved it). People are even talking Newbery!

I have a lot to hide from.

I am the wrong reader for this book

Yes, Breadcrumbs is a fairy tale retelling, but it is also a conte
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Misty
I don't even know how to go about this review without gushing like an incoherent loon.
[Nope, as it turned out, all I had to do was sound really melodramatic and um...intense...Oh, boy.]  
I mean, really, I don't know that I have a single bad thing to say about this book.  I loved reading it for the beauty of the storytelling and for the way it made me feel, and I respected it for the same reasons as well as one very important one: Anne Ursu respects her audience.

It is very, very rare to find an
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Catie
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Catie by: Wendy Darling, Thomas, Tatiana
3 3/4 stars

This book is a perfect example of why I will never stop reading children’s literature. I think that children’s authors quite often succeed in translating the hard truths of living where adult authors fail. Maybe they have an advantage, because their truth doesn’t have to get tangled up in hindsight and experience and complexity. It’s fresh and new and in that way it’s also the most intense and painful truth that we experience.

Anne Ursu doesn’t shy away from the dark, either, and I rea
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✘Tabby✘
Dec 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-book, kindle
THE REVIEW

Why this book?

I haven't read many retellings of The Snow Queen

What I thought



This was a beautiful retelling of The Snow Queen . It was captivating and the writing is riveting. The people Hazel meets on her journey were fascinating. With that said I had a few problems. Hazel was way over dependent when it came to Jack. There also was no big climactic moment the witch just lets them go,like seriously that's it? Plus the book leaves off with nothing resolved, are they friends again or what
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Betsy
May 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen is, let’s admit it, the world’s greatest puberty metaphor. A boy and girl are friends. Something happens and he grows cold and distant. In the midst of his indifference he’s spirited away and must be won back. Okay, the metaphor kind of breaks down at the end there, but the separation of boy/girl best friends is very real. With that in mind author Anne Ursu has done the mildly impossible. She has updated the old tale to the 21st century, thrown ...more
Anna
Mar 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
No book is more challenging to read than one that promises so much and delivers so little. It makes you question those who loved it and your own interpretations and reactions. BREADCRUMBS is one such book. In four and a half years of nightly family read-alouds, this is the only book we (two adults, one 8-year-old boy) ever considered not finishing; the only one with so little enjoyment that we felt it wasn't worth our time. We did stick it out, but it was a frustrating and unrewarding struggle.

B
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Eh?Eh!
Hey, Mike Reynolds, do you know Anne Ursu??? She teaches at Hamline!

A delight of a book. I can do no better than these reviews:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
Thank you, Tommy, for the recommendation!!



The more I read with a view to attempting to understand why I read and how I respond, the more I'm seeing that the books I can stick myself into are the ones that hit me with the most oomph. I was Hazel (but les
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Sarah
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
RTC
Meredith Holley
As a rule, even though I probably do it too much myself, I think comparing two books that are literally similar tends to do neither book any favors. So, unless you’re trying to crush something despicable in one of the books, pitting one against another doesn’t make that much sense to me. Thoughtless comparisons have ruined stories for me because sometimes something beautiful in a story is so easy to crush by association with something blunt in another. All of this preface is a warning because I ...more
m a r y l i z
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
NO THANKS.

The single greatest thing I liked about this book was finishing it. I WAS FREAKING CELEBRATING WHEN I READ THE LAST PAGE.

I'm sorry, but this is just . . . not my thing.

Lovely Things:

- The illustrations. Oh my gingersnaps, the illustrations in this book are SO BEAUTIFUL. The cover art and all the little illustration pages scattered throughout . . . they are darling.

- Um . . . it's wintery?? I'm trying to think of something else I liked, but I'm drawing a blank. I guess I just loved ho
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Kelly
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Hazel and Jack have always been best friends, bonding over their shared love of science fiction and fantasy. They play make-believe “superhero baseball” and hang out in a derelict house they call the Shrieking Shack. But now that they’re eleven, Hazel’s mom is pushing her to make some female friends, and Jack is more interested in hanging out with his male friends than with Hazel. Then the impossible happens: Jack is taken away by a mysterious witch, and Hazel is the only one who can rescue him. ...more
Kay
The Snow Queen is one of my favorite fairy tales. It's haunting and nostalgic, bleak yet hopeful. The villain isn't some wolf lurking in the forest, or an evil witch who casts curses on newborns; it's not even the Snow Queen herself. Rather, the villainy lies in our own heart, capable of being manipulated and mutated by how we perceive the world.

Using this tale, Anne Ursu crafts a lovely retelling from the perspective of a girl, right on the cusp of adolescence. Hazel is a fifth grader struggli
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Amanda Coppedge
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg, read-in-2011
This is a book for people who are in love with Story. I love that it's not about the mundane girl whose life is changed by a freewheeling, magical friend (though I do love those stories too!). It's about two magical, freewheeling friends and what happens when one of them loses his way. Hazel is such a lovable main character, so well captured. This book is fun and thoughtful and above all TRUE. It made me laugh and it brought me to tears and left me full of deep thoughts. I wish I had a time mach ...more
Joe
Nov 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Breadcrumbs begins with a promise: "It was the sort of snowfall that, if there were any magic to be had in the world, would make it come out. And magic did come out."

And unlike many books, it delivers on that promise.

Hazel and Jack are best friends, the kind who, despite their youth, have weathered bitter hardships. Jack's mother tumbles into the darkness of depression; Hazel's father abandons his family for a new life. But the two friends have used the strength of their mutual affection to buoy
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Samuel
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This book is more than a little otherworldly. It's as hypnotic as a blizzard, as ominous as a dream, as fragmented as reality.

The plot is an extended reinterpretation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," set partly in modern-day Minnesota, and partly in The Woods, one of the most unfriendly landscapes in children's fantasy. Fifth-grader Hazel Anderson's best friend Jack is missing, and she takes it upon herself to find and rescue him, even in the face of mounting evidence that he may n
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Rachael
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Eerie, literary, rich. Unsatisfying but still recommended. I listened to the audio a few years ago and felt that I was missing something, but it turns out that's a good way to read it at least for me, as I don't do audio much, and so there was the cachet of 'something special' associated with the experience. And of course I missed the pictures, which are nice but not critical (though it would have helped if I'd caught on more quickly that Hazel was of East Indian descent). In a way I missed almo ...more
Laurel
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Whew. Okay. Wow.

BEAUTIFULLY written. Really, perfect prose. No way I can give this less than 5 stars.

I'm really interested in books that do what this books does-- take "regular" kids into magic, at the very age when they'e questioning the idea/existence of magic. Books that bridge the MG/YA leap from "outside" worlds of adventure to "inside" worlds of emotion/identity. Divorce and mental illness are handled deftly, as is adoption. No hammering-over-the-head. While the fairytale retains an ethere
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I wanted to like this more than I did for a few reasons. I loved the author's Chronus Chronicles series, and I am absolutely crazy about the fairy tale, "The Snow Queen." Another wonderful aspect of this novel is that the main character, Hazel, is a young girl who is Indian in ethnicity (from the country), although adopted by a white, American couple. I think that Ursu has something powerful to say about being 'other' in a society that is primarily of a certain race/culture. How that can impact ...more
Kim
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, mmxii

Remember back when you were 10 and the most important thing was a) being a world renowned hula hooper and b) marrying Davy Jones? If so… email me, we must be twins separated by fate.

Remember when you would rush off with your friends after school, without proper outdoor attire, no helmet as you straddle your ten speed, no cell phone with a GPS chip so your parents always know where you are… the only caution being from Officer Friendly to not talk to strangers and avoid starting forest fires? Or
...more
Lightreads
Aug 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Finished the morning of my birthday (no felicitation necessary, this was mumblemumble months ago). A dreamy modern fairy tale for the pre-teen set about being the child of divorce and losing your best friend and being the very brave girl who follows him into another world to get him back.

Wonderful in many ways, and I commend it to many of you and to your kids. I loved all of this set in the ‘real” world, but the fairy tale portions were pitched exactly counter to my tastes. Idiosyncratic thing,
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Anzu The Great Destroyer
I judge books by their covers and I’m not ashamed of it. That doesn’t mean that I read a book just because it has a pretty cover. Far from it.

I judge covers according to their relevancy to the content inside the book. I think that covers should represent the books story in the best way possible. Covers that portray a certain scene from a book are my usually favorites. I’m mentioning this because the reason why I picked up Breadcrumbs is, surprise surprise, the cover. The story that the cover tel
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Evil Little Chocolate Chip
2.5 stars.

Um... didn't exactly like this. I don't remember a whole lot, actually, I was just fixing a few of my Goodreads shelves this morning and decided to lower my rating of Breadcrumbs. I got it from our library last year - 2016 - because I thought it looked cute, but... meh. Not a fan. The story was too dull for my liking, and the characters were pretty flat.

I did like the protagonist, mostly because I could relate to her; she was part Indian, if I remember correctly, and she always felt a
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AH
Initial Thoughts: At first I was cursing this book that waxed poetic about snow. Being from a place that had way too much snow this year, I had little patience for any book that talks about how wonderful snowflakes are, but I digress...This is a perfect book for grades 3-6 with a wonderful heroine who is very creative and imaginative, but slightly odd. Hazel notices that things have changed with her best friend Jack and that he doesn't really want to play with her. Then, he goes missing. Hazel b ...more
Kathryn
Just didn't do it for me. Read about half way and didn't have the heart to continue. Too dreary for my taste and the plot took a really long time to build, especially for MG. That said, Ursu did write some beautiful and touching passages.
Alison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book Review #1 1 1 Sep 20, 2017 05:15PM  
Hopeful Wanderers: Breadcrumbs 2 4 Jan 29, 2016 01:21PM  
Would you do what Hazel did for her friend? 1 8 Jan 08, 2015 02:17PM  
Fairy Tales Eclectic: Breadcrumbs 1 1 Jul 17, 2014 03:01PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu - starts 12 july 17 12 Jul 15, 2014 09:09PM  
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Anne Ursu is the author of several fantasies for young readers, including THE REAL BOY, which was longlisted for the National Book Award, and BREADCRUMBS, which was named as one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, Amazon, and School Library Journal. She is also the recipient of a McKnight Fellowship. She teaches at the Hamline University's Masters of Fine Arts in Writing for Childr ...more
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“Kids can handle a lot more than you think they can. It's when they get to be grown up that you have to start worrying.” 58 likes
“I believe that the world isn't always what we can see...I believe there are secrets in the woods. And I believe that goodness wins out...So, if someone's changed overnight - by witch curse or poison apple or were-turtle - you have to show them what's good. You show them love. That works a surprising amount of the time.” 28 likes
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