30 August 2011

Tween Tuesday: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen focusing on MG literature. Do you read and review MG books? Hop on over and join the fun!

Release Date: 27 September 2011
Publisher: Walden Pond (HarperCollins)
Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Pre-Order It! Amazon | B&N

Goodreads description:

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.
My Thoughts...

If you love modern retellings of classic fairy tales, then Breadcrumbs is a must read book! (Even if, like me, you aren't all that familiar with The Snow Queen) Well, really, even if you don't adore fairy tale retellings, there's a darn good chance that you should still most definitely read this book! It is an imaginative, fun read that will capture the minds and hearts of many a reader--MG age or otherwise!

Hazel and Jack live very much in their own fantasy world of dragons, hidden worlds in closets, and magic snow palaces where you can hide forever.  Their active imaginations complement each other in a way that weaves together complex stories and fantasies that they live out in their time together.  When Jack suddenly turns away from their imaginative times together, Hazel is distraught (as any young girl who loses her best friend suddenly would be) and convinced that something has happened to him.  Her journey to find who she is without Jack and then her journey to recover her best friend is eye-opening and fascinating to follow.

Ms. Ursu truly had me hooked on this book from the very beginning.  The descriptive writing is beautiful and incredibly evocative.  The opening description of snow and its effect on the world was fabulous and really set the scene right away--you can imagine being there, sense your surroundings. There are references that Ursu weaves in that make me smile, such as references to the His Dark Materials trilogy, Narnia, and Hogwarts, and add an element of nostalgia to the story for some readers.  The fantasy and magical elements seem a tad clunky at the beginning as Ursu pulls the worlds together but eventually weave together seamlessly as the story progresses. As Hazel journeys through the woods, I couldn't help but be reminded of the musical Into the Woods, where a number of classic stories weave together.

I would easily recommend this book to young readers who enjoy fantasy and adventure.  As I said before, it is a fun, imaginative read that encourages readers to keep pretending.

1 comment:

Jana said...

I can't wait to read this one!

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