Here are a few highlights about the book from a conversation between Ms. Ursu and NPR as posted on the NPR Backseat Book Club’s website (http://www.npr.org/2011/12/20/144016956/breadcrumbs-young-readers-follow-a-wintry-tale).
Author Anne Ursu grew up in Minnesota, where she loved playing in the snow as a child, and Ursu told NPR's Michele Norris that Breadcrumbs was inspired in large part by her own "snow coated" memories of growing up in Minnesota:
"When you're a kid and you look out the window and it's snowing and that seems so magical and the world just becomes something else, something other. Everything is quiet, and it feels like it's almost your kingdom to go out and conquer."
Navigating the wintery world of Breadcrumbs are best friends Hazel and Jack, fifth-graders in a working-class Minneapolis neighborhood. Adopted as a baby from India, Hazel feels like an outsider, especially after her parents split up and she's forced to attend a new school. Meanwhile, Jack is facing his own family challenges, and the two friends begin to drift apart.
Their all-too-familiar problems are given a supernatural twist when Jack disappears, supposedly lured into the forest by a woman in white. It's up to Hazel to brave the wintry woods and find her friend.
Hazel gains indispensable wisdom, and better yet, she learns how to access — and generate — an everyday magic. As Ursu says, as Hazel abandons her belief in "childlike" happy endings for understanding the real world, she learns that "magic might not come and save the day but magic can be created with memories, with a friendship ... that is the real happy ending."
Breadcrumbs pays homage to the fairy tales Ursu loved as a child.
The book is based on Hans Christian Andersen's fable The Snow Queen, which features a woman in white who inspired Jadis the White Witch from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
For a transcript of the whole interview, please go to: http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=144016956
We are excited to talk about Breadcrumbs with you, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts, opinions, comments, and insights at our upcoming Purple Onion Book Club March meeting!
Please join us as we follow the trail of Hazel and Jack and others in this magical and mystical Minnesota based tale mirroring many of the elements of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, “The Snow Queen" at 6:15pm, Monday, March 9 at Gingko Coffeehouse!
All of our Purple Onion Book Club discussions are active and interactive, progressing organically and allowing everyone a chance to chime in as much or as little as they like.
No need to RSVP and no worries about age restrictions or fees. The Purple Onion Book Club is open to all ages and is entirely free!
We hope to see you there and then!
PS Stay tuned to this blog for a recap of the fun later this week, and for more information about our upcoming books and meetings too!