Ineptly named book is a fun retelling of The Snow Queen!
Breadcrumbs is essentially a retelling of The Snow Queen, and as such, is a fantasy adventure where the girl undertakes a fairly dangerous quest to rescue her best friend, the boy. However, Breadcrumbs (the book is badly named...there are no Hansel and Gretel references) is a modern day version of the story, and deals with issues that are more realistic. The first half of the book deals with Hazel's life. Her dad has left her, and she has trouble making her mom understand what is going on in her life. Since she is now living with just her mom, there is no money for her to continue going to the same school, and she has trouble fitting in at her new one. Her best friend, Jack, is a boy, and the other kids tease her. Hazel is a very creative girl and an avid reader, but none of her teachers appear to understand or appreciate her. Jack's mom has some problems...most likely depression. With her life as it stands, it is no wonder Hazel decides to rescue Jack when he gets kidnapped by the Snow Queen, even though Jack has changed and he knows their friendship will too. In the forest, there are scary red shoes that dance you to your death, good wolves, evil woodcutters, and more. Hazel is attacked by a woman, getting a nasty scar, when she takes a swan suit. This scene may be a bit disturbing to younger readers. Another adapted Snow Queen scene is tragic. There is a cottage in the woods maintained by an old couple who take in little girls, and, in desire to keep them forever, turn them into flowers. Overall, the story has a strong message of friendship. There are many Narnia references (one of the more obvious is when the Snow Queen takes Jack: she says "Would you like some Turkish delight?"), and those who have read Narnia will find the story more fun, and will take more out of it. Girls and boys should both enjoy the story, but boys may not enjoy reading about Hazel rescuing Jack as much as girls will.
What other families should know
Great role models