Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu
23 Feb 2013
Hazel and Jack are best friends. Then, suddenly, Jack becomes someone different—someone who does not talk to Hazel, and no longer knows the value of stories and imagination. Everyone says it's normal for boys and girls to stop being friends at their age—her mother is surprised it didn't happen sooner. But Hazel knows that when people change so completely overnight, there must be something more to the story—an evil witch, a magic mirror, time travel, or a spell. And Hazel is right.
Like many fairy tales, this is a story about growing up. Hazel and Jack both have changes to struggle through, and must learn what things in their lives they can rely on, and what is more like ice cracking under their feet. It is also about imagination, and friendship, and stories themselves. It's really lovely, and sometimes painful. The second part of the story, after Hazel enters the woods, could be much longer. As it is it's a bit unbalanced.
Good for: Relying heavily on references to other children's literature, this book will make literary kids feel like part of a secret, special club—and maybe give them ideas of more books to read.