Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
I've heard great things about Breadcrumbs and there's something about the cover that I really like. This story was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen. One of the things I loved about Breadcrumbs is one doesn't have to be familiar with Snow Queen to lose themselves in this story. It's simply very well done and lives up to the early praise. Hazel and Jack her best friend because he's the only one who gets her. In the fifth grade at a time when boys and girls no longer hang out Hazel and Jack are still good friends. Then one day out of nowhere Jack is mean to Hazel. Soon after Jack's parents tell everyone he's went to live with an elderly aunt no ones heard of. After hearing a story about Jack's where abouts no one else but a dreamer like Hazel would, she sets out to rescue the boy that was once her best friend. Hazel enters the forset filled with wolves in search of woman made of ice who has Jack. I could feel the danger as soon as Hazel entered the forest.
"The air was a tangible thing, rushing into Hazel's lungs as she breathed, touching her skin like a curious ghost. It carried with it the smell of old leaves and wide open sky. She was in the wood at the end of the world, or perhaps at the beginning. She looked behind her, to remind herself of the place she came from but it was gone. The wood stretched out in every direction. It was as if she had sprouted there. She had stepped into the woods in the park and landed in an entirely different place. She knew this might happen. She'd been to Narina , Wonderland, Hogwarts, Dictionopolis. She had tessered, fallen through the rabbit hole, crossed the ice bridge into the unknown world beyond. Hazel knew this world. And it should have made it easier. It did not."
This is one of those stories that one knows will be good after the first page. One of the things I truly appreicated is that the author reconginzes that the small moments are as in important as the big one. There was a lot of care put into this very enjoyable story. There are a few beautiful illustrations sprinkle throughout the story.