From School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Hazel and Jack were friends, once upon a time. The games they played demonstrated rich imaginations and kindred spirits. Then Jack got a sliver of a magic mirror in his eye and his heart grew cold. Soon he was snatched away by an evil woman in a sleigh into a strange magical world where snow and cold abound-a place where his frozen emotions seem perfectly at home. Does Hazel have the heart to risk everything to find her friend and bring him back? In Anne Ursu's book (Walden Pond Press, 2011) we find a creepy, compelling homage to Hans Christian Andersen in a story based on "The Snow Queen." Vibrant threads from other Andersen stories are woven into the tale, creating a brilliant tapestry. There are also references to both classic and modern fantasy tales, showing that all are related. The underlying theme of friendship that is constant and true, sacrifice, and choosing reality over fantasy is beautifully written. Kirby Heyborne reads without background noises or musical embellishment, allowing the story to stand on its own so that listeners can enjoy its rich language and gentle messages.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
--This text refers to the
Audio CD edition.
“Devastatingly brilliant and beautiful...Ursu has sculpted a rich and poignant adventure that brings readers deep into the mysterious, magical, and sometimes frightening forests of childhood and change. Breadcrumbs is one of those rare novels that turned me on my head then sat on my heart and refused to budge.” (Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor-winning author of Savvy)
“This is a lyrical book, a lovely book, and a smart book; it dares us to see stories as spreading more widely, and running more deeply, than we had imagined.” (Gary Schmidt, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Wednesday Wars)
Like a fairy-tale heroine, Hazel traverses the woods without a breadcrumb trail to save a boy who may not want to be saved in this multi-layered, artfully crafted, transforming testament to the power of friendship. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
The creepy fantasyland that Hazel traverses uses bits from other Andersen tales to create a story that...is beautifully written and wholly original. It’s certainly the only children’s fantasy around where Minnesota Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer figures into the plot. (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
The evocative magical landscape, superbly developed characters (particularly dreamy, self-doubting, determined Hazel and lost Jack), and the piercing sadness of a faltering childhood friendship give this delicately written fantasy wide and lingering appeal. (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review))
2011 NPR Backseat Book Club (Featured Selection)
“Wonderfully distinct, delightfully told and destined for a long life on the shelf.” (The Wall Street Journal)