Last fall, I had the pleasure of reading BREADCRUMBS, the newest book by children's author Anne Ursu. Asked to give a blurb, I read the story of Jack and Hazel in loose, letter-sized pages; a thick stack balanced on my lap, or on the pillows next to me in bed. As I read it late into the night, pages slipped to the floor as I finished them, as unheeded as falling leaves. The story had me entranced.
Once I finished Jack and Hazel's tale, it was torture knowing that the world would have to wait almost a year for the actual book to come out. But today's the day! And the book launches with multiple starred reviews. Hoorah!
Here's a brief description I found online:
Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go in after him.
For a longer review and description, click HERE to be directed to School Library Journal's feature. Or read below for some other reviews (my blurb is at the very bottom). Or, if you're like me, just dive in without reading all the reviews and enjoy the story completely fresh... that's what I always prefer to do.
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 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)
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)
“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
"Devastatingly brilliant and beautiful throughout, Anne Ursu’s BREADCRUMBS shines like a gem. Ursu has sculpted a rich and poignant adventure that brings her readers deep into the mysterious, magical, and sometimes frightening forests of childhood and change. This is storytelling graced with depth and filled with wonder. BREADCRUMBS is one of those rare novels that turned me on my head then sat on my heart and refused to budge." - Me, Ingrid Law
I hope you all enjoy BREADCRUMBS. Read deeply. There's good stuff here.