Sunday, November 20, 2011

Breadcrumbs by Anna Ursu

Title:  Breadcrumbs
Author:  Anna Ursu
Publisher:  HarperCollins
Pub. Date:  September 27, 2011
Pages:  313
Genre:  Faery Tale Remake: The Snow Queen

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 only read about in books. And they didn't fit anywhere else.

And then, one day, it was over. Jack just stopped talking to Hazel. And while her mom tried to tell her that this sometimes happens to boys and girls at this age, Hazel had read enough stories to know that it's never that simple. And it turns out, she was right. Jack's heart had been frozen, and he was taken into the woods by a woman dressed in white to live in a palace made of ice. Now, it's up to Hazel to venture into the woods after him. Hazel finds, however, that these woods are nothing like what she's read about, and the Jack that Hazel went in to save isn't the same Jack that will emerge. Or even the same Hazel.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu is just an amazing story that tells of a deep and true friendship, magical beings and a magical world! Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, Ms Ursu delights with a remake that is at once all hers yet still takes me back to Hot Chocolate, my favorite quilt and my mother’s sweet voice reading The Snow Queen to myself and my siblings.

Two friends with an unbreakable bond – that is until Magic intervenes . This is what happens to Hazel and Jack. When Jack gets hit with an icy snowball to the chest and the Ice Queen claims him to be hers for eternity, she doesn’t realize she’s dealing with Hazel, too, who loves Jack more than anything and will do anything-to get him back.

I love the way Ms. Ursu wrote the narrative! It was primarily Hazel’s POV and Hazel is the kind of girl that you look up to and she’s only in fifth grade! She is heroic, stands up for what’s right no matter what the setting is-a classroom or the playground- or the repercussions from peers or teachers for that matter. Despite what others say to her about being ‘weird’ or other comments she knows in her heart that she’s just different and this is reinforced by her mother who tells her that being different is special and unique.

The entire book is written so beautifully that each paragraph is actually a joy to read. Ms. Ursu has a lyrical voice that made Breadcrumbs even more of a joy to read.


Thank you to ATWT and the publisher for allowing me to view this ARC in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Oh this sounds like a cute read. I love the cover too and need to find out who the illustrator is!

  2. I love fairytales so much, this sounds like such an amazing story even though it's a bit younger than I normally read. Hazel sounds like the kind of character I can root for:) Thanks for the review Kristi!

  3. This review gave me the chills! Mostly because I love seeing such fierceness in young characters like Hazel. The writing sounds amazing, and I'm glad the book turned out to be just as stunning as the original tale.

  4. Kristi-
    Glad you're feeling up to reviewing! I absolutely loved this novel. I thought the writing was beautiful and though I read the ARC I bought the hardback and the pictures, though black and white are amazing. It's just a beautiful book all around. It's one I'll treasure until I'm an old granny with a shawl around my shoulders and white hair, rocking by the fire!


  5. The Snow Queen was one of my favorite fairy tales, and one of the first stories I ever read myself, so I'll definitely have to check out this retelling of it, and perhaps it's a book my kids would enjoy as well.