Thursday, July 21, 2011

Literary Love: Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu

I am totally on this bandwagon. If buzz is any indication, lots of booksellers and librarians will be scattering Breadcrumbs this fall, and with good reason.

Breadcrumbs is the story of Hazel and Jack, two fifth graders who get pulled into the world of "The Snow Queen." It's a fantasy, but with a first act rooted in realism, which I think will make it appealing to kids who are primarily fantasy fans as well as those who'd rather read about kids like them. Jack and Hazel are kids like them, or like many kids. Their sense of not belonging and their discomfort with the changes and losses that come with growing up bring them into the fairy tale world, and it makes complete emotional sense that both of them have a hard time resisting that world's pull.

There's extra payoff for The Kid Who's Read Everything. A review of or introduction to "The Snow Queen" is certainly helpful, but there are plenty of other references to recognize (and I don't know about you, but I love recognizing references). There's a whole lot of Narnia, some Harry Potter, some Alice, a Phantom Tollbooth nod... there's even a mention that Hazel is reading about a character who's reading A Wrinkle in Time--a When You Reach Me reference sandwich, to paraphrase myself from a Facebook conversation this morning.

A story full of snow. Doesn't that sound nice?


  1. Who knew that the Snow Queen tale would be trendy? I just finished reading Wendy Delsol's "Frost." And then Sarah Burton's fall/winter collection for Alexander McQueen was uber-Snow Queen-y:

    Snow Queens everywhere.

  2. oops here's the link to the actual slideshow:


  3. I know! The Snow Queen figures into this, too: (Yes, it's as awesome as it sounds.)

  4. I love because that fantasy story has many realistic things, I mean it's a way to join both perspectives and that's good in order to avoid the monotony.