Monday, June 27, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade (Minnesota) Monday: Breadcrumbs

Many nights I stayed up too late speeding through my advance reading copy of Breadcrumbs (to be released by Walden Pond Press in September) because the book is that good. Written by Anne Ursu, Minnesotan and author of the Cronus Chronicles trilogy, this novel will delight, challenge, and entertain. Ms. Ursu's capture of the middle grade voice is true and marvelous, and she causes us all to ponder - What kind of friend am I? She also artfully weaves a middle grader's perspective on divorce, adoption, and minority ethnicity into the story without these becoming the story.

The premise: Hazel and Jack were best friends. But then he wouldn't talk to her. And Jack vanished into the forest, reportedly with a shimmering woman covered in ice. No one paid attention or seemed concerned, least of all his parents. So Hazel entered the forest to find him.

What keeps readers reading: A real world (which is extra fun for Minnesotans) and an imaginary one rolled into one believable place coupled with characters who encounter decisions and change. Woven with Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" in mind, Anne Ursu sculpts a tale all her own, rich with struggle and abounding in mysterious magic. Hazel must conquer her fears, reach beyond herself to help Jack, and care about the good of others rather than what might happen to herself. Breadcrumbs is the story of one brave girl, daring to do right, no matter the outcome.

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September 27th, 2011! Snag your copy of Anne Ursu's Breadcrumbs. And snuggle in. You'll get lost in its world. 
 

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing about this. It sounds like a great book and I hadn't heard if it.

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  2. Great premise!! Thanks for the intro to Breadcrumbs!

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  3. Can't wait to read this! Anne Ursu's adult novel Spilling Clarence is one of my all time favorite books.

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  4. I added the Cronus Chronicles to my tbr list while I wait for this awesome to hit the shelves. Thanks for a great review and also for recommending it. :)

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  5. I read rumor of BREADCRUMBS as a possible nominee for this year's Newbery. Be watching.....

    I'll remind everyone of its release in September!

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  6. Oh, this is just my kind of MG. Thanks, Barbara! I'll definitely be looking for it.

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  7. Ohhhh! And I didn't mention the illustrations (many of which weren't in the ARC) are beautiful! Those are by Erin McGuire. I will be purchasing a hardcover when they're released because I MUST have the book and artwork together as one.

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  8. Sounds wonderful! And illustrations to boot. What an intriguing premise, based on The Snow Queen (which was always one of my favorite fairy tales). Plus, the girl gets to be the hero. Nice!

    And it's always fun to try to guess which books will win the Newbery, but you never know.

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  9. I am so looking forward to this book! I can't wait to read how she does the Minnesota world. But it also just sounds awesome. Thanks for the review.

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  10. Joanne, this book is a JOY! I was going to read it to my kids, but my daughter wants to wait until all the illustrations are present.

    Tina, the MN part is fun, but you're right - the whole thing IS just awesome.

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Comments. Yay! They're almost as good as chocolate. Almost.