Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs

Audiobook CD - 2011
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"Hazel and Jack are best friends until an accident with a magical mirror and a run-in with a villainous queen find Hazel on her own, entering an enchanted wood in the hopes of saving Jack's life" -- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: [New York] : Listening Library, 2011
ISBN: 9780449014004
Branch Call Number: J FIC Ursu
Characteristics: 7 sound discs (7 hours, 47 minutes) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Heyborne, Kirby
Audience: 3-6

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goddessbeth
Jun 23, 2015

As a rabid fan of the fairytale The Snow Queen, Breadcrumbs has been on my TBR list since Fairytale Fortnight 2014. And I am so, so glad I finally got around to reading it!

Breadcrumbs is probably marketed to the middle grade or YA genre, because the narrator is 12-year-old Hazel, and it deals with friendship. But believe me when I say, this is an adult book as much as a kid's book- not because it deals with adult themes, but because it's so very poignant for anyone who has been through childhood. We grow up and go on, but this reminder about childhood belief, best friendship, and self-identity is bittersweet (from an adult perspective).

The story itself is very much The Snow Queen, set in contemporary times but with magical realism. It references an amazingly large amount of other fairytales, without losing the thread of the story at all. And I don't just mean somebody shows up with magical shoes- Hazel sees that dark underbelly of fairytales, and she gets it (without rationalizing it) and comes to her own conclusions.

I loved the utter focus on friendship (and, consequently, Hazel discovering her own strengths, even though she doesn't yet realize it, and growing away from her dreamy youth into the reality of a pre-teen). There is no romance in this book: it's friendship. And that made me so sad, because it reminded me keenly about that age, and having a male best friend, and the social pressures that tore us apart (that tear all kid friendships apart, to a point). You don't get a happily-ever-after, either. You get a conclusion, and a bit of hope, but the story pulls zero punches about the sad reality that you can't make things the way they used to be...you can only make them different than how they are now.

If you couldn't tell already, I loved everything about this story. I highly recommend it, especially to fans of respectfully-told, poignant growing up stories; fairytales and fairytale retellings; honest remembrances of childhood; strong female protagonists; anyone that enjoys YA in general.

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