Books, Summer Reading Book Adventures

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu {guest post from Hannah Rials}

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Book review from Hannah Rials

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu


The winner of numerous awards and recipient of four starred reviews, Anne Ursu’s Breadcrumbs is a stunning and heartbreaking story of growing up, wrapped in a modern-day fairy tale.

Hazel and Jack are best friends.
They do everything together, and have always been each other’s rocks through the hardest parts of their lives—Hazel’s dad leaving and Jack’s mom’s mental absence. They live in their own story worlds, thriving in the imaginary. It doesn’t matter that Hazel is adopted with dark Indian skin or that Jack sometimes feels invisible; they just fit together. Then one day, a mischievous piece of glass falls into Jack’s eye, and everything changes. He no longer acknowledges Hazel and mysteriously disappears to go visit his elderly aunt. But Hazel doesn’t buy it, and Jack’s friend Tyler proves her suspicions. Jack has willingly gone into a magical forest with the White Witch. Now to save her friend and remind him what he is made of, Hazel must journey into the wild forest where nothing makes sense and there are no rules. Dangers await every turn, and without Jack, Hazel’s not quite sure how to survive. She just wants her best friend back. She encounters fantastical horrors that make her reality seem like a fairy tale. She faces, witches, wizards, evil huntsman, and helpful wolves all to find Jack, who’s nearly been turned to ice by the unfeeling White Witch.
Will Hazel be able to remind Jack what he’s made of? That he’s not invisible like he believes? But is Jack the only person Hazel is saving on this journey? Follow Hazel through the dangers and excitement of the forest to save her best friend and find herself in a world where finding yourself is never easy.
Enchanting! That’s one word…deep is another. On the surface, Breadcrumbs is a story about Hazel saving her best friend: the princess saving the knight. Once you delve farther into the story, you discover that Hazel is not only saving Jack, but also finding herself, her place in the world. I love how Anne Ursu discreetly intersperses various fairytales into Hazel’s story but with a different twist. The kindly wood axe man is actually evil. Warlocks, which are supposed to be good, try to steal your greatest desires. The kindly helpful couple captures young, lost girls and turns them into flowers. And the wolves, known for their ferocity in Narnia and many other stories, are there to help Hazel along her way. You have to appreciate the irony and the deeper message this book sends. Hazel finding her place in the world despite what society dictates will hopefully give kids the courage to find themselves during a time when societal pressures make being an individual nearly impossible.

Grab your copy of Breadcrumbs here.

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Something to Do:

Make a snowflake: Craft from In My Own Style
Rice Krispie baseball snacks—Jack’s favorite!
Rice Krispy cut using a cookie cutter and dipped in white chocolate. Red icing used for the laces. I made these for my son's snack night for tball.
  1. Make rice krispy like you normally would, but this time, cut it out into circles.
  2. Set them apart.
  3. Ice the tops with white icing and let harden a few minutes.
  4. With either a red gel pen or just plain old red icing draw the stitches of the baseball.
  5. Let harden and serve at your leisure!


Hannha rials
Born in the hills of Louisiana and raised in the mountains of Tennessee, Hannah Rials is a seventeen year old aspiring author and editor. She’s been writing short stories since she was a little girl, but for the past several years, she has been writing, editing, and reediting a novel of her own that she hopes to publish in the near future.  Hannah has always loved reading and the world of books. With a librarian grandmother who can tell the most magical stories, how could she not fall in love with the written word. Her library collection and love for books grows every day. You can connect with Hannah on her author page on Facebook or on her blog.

2 thoughts on “Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu {guest post from Hannah Rials}

  1. Hannah, this was a great post, and the heat of summer is the perfect time to be thinking about cold snowflakes 🙂
    I have Anne Ursu’s book The Real Boy here, waiting to be read and I’ve heard this book is great, too! Thanks for reviewing it here 🙂

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