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. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's “The Snow Queen,” Breadcrumbs is a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind.
Awards and Honors
Amazon.com Book of the Year
Indie Next pick
Junior Library Guild selection
Publishers Weekly Book of the Year
School Library Journal Book of the Year
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 for the Center of Children's Books, starred review
“The creepy fantasyland that Hazel traverses uses bits from other Andersen tales to create a story that, though melancholy, is beautifully written and wholly original.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Although this is a fantasy, its grounding in psychological realism and focus on Hazel’s feelings makes it a fine choice for readers who prefer realistic fiction. Ursu's multilayerd, dreamlike story stands out from the fantasy/quest pack/”
—School Library Journal starred review
“A strange, amazing, sad, thoughtful, one-of-a-kind original. You will find no other book out there quite like this one, no matter how hard you try.” —Elizabeth Bird, Fuse #8 (read the full review)
“Devastatingly beautiful and brilliant throughout, Anne Ursu's Breadcrumbs shines like a gem. Ursu has sculpted a rich and poignant adventure that brings 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.” —Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor-winning author of Savvy
“In Breadcrumbs, Anne Ursu leaves a trail for us to follow into the dark woods of the school playground and the enchanted forest, as Hazel goes in search of her dearest friend, Jack, who has been enchanted and is growing away from her. The crumbs that lead us are stories that point the way toward understanding and acceptance of loss and sorrow and change, and that shout to us of hope and friendship and love. As the wolves that inhabit both worlds watch carefully, Hazel uses these stories to come into herself and to lay her own trail of breadcrumbs for others. This is a lyrical book, a lovely book and a smart book; it dares us to see the stories as spreading more widely, and running more deeply, than we had hoped.” —Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Wednesday Wars