Monday, January 9, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday--Breadcrumbs (and a Giveaway!!!)

Yay--my first official MMGM of 2012!

*confetti toss*

I wanted to start the year off right, so I thought I'd feature a book I know several of the regular MMGMers have already gushed about, the amazing BREADCRUMBS, by Anne Ursu.


Here's how the publisher describes it:

A stunning modern-day fairy tale from acclaimed author Anne Ursu

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.


I first discovered this book months ago, when the publicist contacted me, offering an ARC. I happily accepted (we all know how much I love a good fairy tale re-telling) and couldn't wait to start reading. But then deadlines happened and my ARC got buried under other things I had to take care of first and the next thing I knew the year was almost over and I still hadn't had a chance to read. Meanwhile, BREADCRUMBS was popping up on list after list of "Best of 2011" and I finally decided that I didn't care about deadlines or TBR piles, I WAS READING THIS BOOK. So I stayed up late and got started--and I am SO glad I did.

It's hard to describe what makes this story so special. Maybe it's the beautiful simplicity of the prose, or the honest sincerity of the main character. Maybe it's that it touches on a theme I'm pretty sure all of us can relate to, that of belonging, and trying to fit into a world where we're just a little bit different. Maybe it's because it's about friendship and hurt feelings and struggling to keep going when the world starts to feel like a very cold, lonely place. Most likely it's all of those things, wrapped up in a story that feels familiar because it's one we've heard--and yet we've never heard it told quite this way before. 

I've heard people talk about "books with heart"--and BREADCRUMBS is bursting with it. It's one of those rare books where I was both happy and sad when it was over--happy because it ended just the way it should, but sad because I wanted to stay in the world longer, and now the story was done. It's the kind of book I would have LOVED growing up, would've read over and over and snuck out of bed at night if my parents tried to stop me in the middle of an important scene. But even now, it's the kind of book I want to read again, if for no other reason than to try and figure out just how she did what she did. And it's definitely a book I HIGHLY recommend to all of you.

Which is, of course, why I'm giving away a copy to one lucky commenter. To enter, make sure you leave a comment on this post by 11:59 pm PST on Saturday, January 14th. I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, January 15th. International entries welcome.

For more awesome middle-grade recommendations, check out the other MMGM's floating around the blogosphere today:



- The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week!


- Joanne Fritz is in love with THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN. Click HERE to see why.


- Barbara Watson has a special spotlight on the amazing Kate DiCamillo--with a SIGNED book giveaway! Click HERE for details.


- Pam Torres is swept up in A TINFOIL SKY. Click HERE to read her review.


- Ruth Donnelly continues to read and review potential Newbery candidates. Click HERE to see the ones she's featured.


- Akossiwa Ketoglo reminds us of the beauty of A WRINKLE IN TIME. Click HERE to see more.

- Karen Yingling has more fabulous non-fiction middle grade recommendations for you. Click HERE to see what they are.


- Jennifer Rumberger is gushing about THE YEAR THE SWALLOWS CAME EARLY. Click HERE to see what they were.


- Gabrielle Prendergast discusses some awesome "lower middle grade". Click HERE to learn more about it.


- Brooke Favero is caught up in THE BOOK OF ELSEWHERE. Click HERE to see why she thinks you should be too.


- Deb Marshall is gushing about A SINGLE SHARD. Click HERE to read her review.


- Andrea Mack joins the MMGM gang with a glowing review of TOMORROW GIRL. Click HERE to read all about it.


- Gina Carey joins the MMGM fun with her first feature--a spotlight on WAITING FOR NORMAL. Click HERE to welcome her to the group.



And if you want to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog. It's easier if you email me before Monday, that way your link will be included in the post from the moment it goes live. But if you decide to spontaneously join the fun, I do update the post at several points throughout the Monday. Just email me a link and I'll add you when I do!



**Note: Thanks to a boatload of spam--and my missing a bunch of important emails because of it--I'm now using a new email address. So make sure you update your records because I'm slowly phasing the other address out. New email is: SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. Hopefully now I won't miss some of your MMGMs, like I have been.**

Happy Monday!

61 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to reading this one!

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  2. I've heard great things about this. I hope I win. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  3. That sounds like a good book. You can count me in. :).

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  4. Interesting concept for a story. Sounds fun. Enter me! Thanks :)

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  5. Love the new badge!
    I hadn't heard of this one. #hangsheadinshame So it's a good thing you highlighted it, today. Thanks. Would love a copy.

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  6. Thanks for highlighting this book. I know my daughter enjoyed The Cronus Chronicles, so I will keep an eye out for this one.

    Keep getting better, Shannon!

    -- Amy

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  7. I would love to win this one~ it sounds delicious (get it? Breadcrumbs?...I really should have coffee before I start commenting on blogs)

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  8. I want this book for my daughter! I almost bought it the other day - I should have! Thanks for sharing.

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  9. I love me a good re-telling. Happy New Year!

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  10. I love fairy tale re-tellings too. I have also heard excellent things about this book. I would love to win a copy for me (and my media center). Thanks.

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  11. That sounds like a lovely book. Thanks for the review!

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  12. This book sounds great, thanks for the giveaway!

    Amanda

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  13. I would love, love, love to have this! I've checked several times at my library, and they don't have a copy.

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  14. I totally want this book for my daughter (and for me to read too :D ). Thanks so much!

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  15. I'd love to play please.

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  16. That sounds adorable. Adding to my TBR list right now. Thanks!

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  17. Sounds wonderful. I hope I win!

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  18. Always love your suggestions and this one sounds good too.

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  19. I just checked out BREADCRUMBS from our public library. It's a great read.

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  20. Wow, this sounds like such an amazing read! One I would definitely have read over and over as a kid (especially since I love fairy tale retellings). Can't wait to read it! Thanks for the review!

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  21. I have been DYING to read this one! Everyone says such good things. I know I'm missing out! :-)

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  22. Oh, thank you for this giveaway! :D Such a pretty cover, and seems like an amazing book. <3 Would love to win it :)
    Love, Carina

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  23. thank you for the review. this one has been on my wishlist for awhile now. i love the cover and have heard such great things. thanks!
    twee66 at gmail dot com

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  24. Another great roundup, as usual! Thanks for the great giveaway! :)

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  25. Thanks for the great giveaway. I really want to read this book. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

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  26. I've heard so much about this book that now I must have a copy.
    Thanks for hosting the giveaway...Carl

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  27. I'd love to win this: to get in the Christmas spirit I saw The Snow Queen ballet and watched the 1985 animated film. Would love to read a new twist on the queen.

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  28. Okay, you got me! I'm putting this on my TBR list! :)

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  29. I definitely want to read this one.

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  30. I've definitely had this on my wishlist for months. Sounds like a fantastic read!

    Vivien
    @deadtossedwaves
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  31. Hoping to add this one to my classroom library!
    Thanks for the chance!

    mlnero at comcast dot com

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  32. This sounds fabulous. I saw the cover on Goodreads and thought I might like it. now I can't wait to read! :)

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  33. I LOVED this book (and am hoping to see it on the Newbery list)!! I was lucky enough to receive an ARC--and then purchased a hardcover when it came out too for the illustrations--so you don't need to enter me in the giveaway. I've met Anne several times too, she lives in Minneapolis, and she is a DELIGHT!

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  34. I keep hearing such gushing reviews of this book. Maybe I'll have to try it again. Couldn't get through it the first time!

    Don't enter me because I already have a copy. But thanks.

    New email duly noted.

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  35. You've turned me onto being a MMGM reader and I would love to win a copy of "Breadcrumbs". Naturally I'll blog about it.
    Thanks for this opportunity.
    Clar

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  36. I haven't read this but I plan to review it in February. I'd love to win my own copy. This sounds so wonderful. BTW I love your new bloggy changes. It's exciting to watch your journey and get a piece of your energy!

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  37. The book sounds good. I hope to read it soon.

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  38. Would love to be entered for this one! I've heard some good things, and plus it has a pretty cover too :D Thanks for the chance to win!

    tapestrybookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

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  39. Haven't heard anything about this middle grade book, but your reveiw sounds great. I was that kid that snuck books under my bed or in my desk during science class.... Sounds like a winner.

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  40. this year I plan to read more Middle grade (thanks to you!) and will definitely like this one! YAY!

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  41. i haven't read this one yet. YAY mmgm!!

    -GC

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  42. This is the first time I've heard of this book. THANKS for the heads up!


    taffy(dot)lovell@gmail.com

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  43. Glad you found such a heartwarming book!

    Findjessyhere@gmail.com

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  44. Sounds like a good one - thanks for the tip! :)

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  45. I've been wanting to read this book for forever! Thanks for the review and giveaway!

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  46. I've read all the wonderful reviews, too, and would love to win a copy!

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  47. BREADCRUMBS looks like a wonderful read thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  48. I've had this on my wish list for quite some time. It looks like something my daughter and I would both enjoy. Thank you for the chance to finally get my hands on it :)

    jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

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  49. I've heard lots of good things about this book. Great cover. Thanks for doing this giveaway.

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  50. What an amazing book! Thanks for having a giveaway! *crosses fingers*

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  51. I haven't heard of this before, but I love fairy tale retellings, and this looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Gabi: teddycavygal at yahoo dot com

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  52. I have heard so many people rave about Breadcrumbs. It looks like such a great book!

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  53. I've never heard of this one, but I'm such a sucker for fairy tales that I know I'll love it! Thanks for the chance! wilsondev@gmail.com

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  54. My students would love this book in our library (as would I!)

    Here's hoping :)

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  55. I've meet Anne Ursu a few times and she is the nicest lady! Please enter me!

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  56. This one has been on my TBR list for awhile - I hear nothing but fantastic raves about it!
    booksake(at)yahoo(dot)com
    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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  57. I just love the middle grade love on your blog :) Entering me would be fabulous, this looks great! Thanks, Shannon!

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  58. I loved her Cronus Chronicles series. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

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Yay-I love comments! Thank you so much! (But please remember to keep your comments spoiler-free. Also, I try to keep this a happy, positive place. Friendly debate is fine, but always be kind to each other). <3