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Anne Ursu

Autor de Breadcrumbs

15+ Obras 4,016 Miembros 206 Reseñas 4 Preferidas

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Obras de Anne Ursu

Obras relacionadas

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Riding Shotgun: Women Write About Their Mothers (2008) — Contribuidor — 24 copias
Politically Inspired (2003) — Contribuidor — 21 copias


Conocimiento común

Nombre canónico
Ursu, Anne
Fecha de nacimiento
20th Century
Lugares de residencia
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Premios y honores
Minnesota New Voice Book Award (2003)



{stand alone; children's, fairytale retelling, magic, The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Anderson, fables, fairytales}(2011)

This was another book bullet for an author for me (LT members discussing other books of hers) but it might be one of those cases where I raised my expectations too high whereas if I had read it cold I'd have appreciated it more.

Hmm; I'm not quite sure what to think about this one. It was a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen and (though I haven't read it in quite a while) those elements were all there as I remembered them. The protagonists are Hazel (who is adopted and whose father has recently moved away from the family home) and her best friend Jack (whose mother seems to be suffering from depression), both in the fifth grade at their local elementary school. Both very real children who connect with each other as with no-one else because they both have wonderfully active imaginations (Hazel's parents came to get her in a rocket ship, for example) and no-one else seems to willing or able to live in the same worlds as they do.

I liked Hazel's mum; she's obviously in a difficult situation and also doing her best to understand and help Hazel. I suppose I'm at that point in my life that, though I can see the magic, I empathise with parents - but I felt that maybe I was therefore on the 'other side' from Hazel and Jack which made me feel vaguely guilty (scratchy?) while reading this story.

The story is told in the third person from Hazel's point of view. She doesn't feel as though she fits in, especially as she's recently had to transfer from a more permissive school, but Jack is her best friend and next door neighbour though he's not in the same class. They have adventures in imaginary lands together and at school he plays with her at every recess - until something gets in his eye and he changes. And then he disappears because he's been whisked away by the Snow Queen. Hazel, with her vivid imagination, is the only one who can see through the magic and rescue him but first she has to navigate through the woods (which are not the woods of her Minnesota town) to the Snow Queen's palace.
Hazel stepped into the woods gingerly, expecting to land in a thick cushion of snow. So she stumbled when her foot went all the way to solid ground. It was not winter in the woods—at least in these woods.
As she goes through the woods she encounters familiar (to us) folk tales and fairy tales but as she goes further they become twisted away from the ones that we're used to. (Maybe these were the 'breadcrumbs'? As Hazel noted, there weren't any others):
Hazel watched the face of the compass as the needle wavered slightly, as if afraid to make too firm a commitment. But it was pointing roughly the way she was heading. Hazel was going north. Her heart lifted a little. This might be a magic woods, but there was still a north here. It was a place, like any other. The compass would guide her to Jack, and then guide her home. Who needed breadcrumbs?
She had a compass. She had a direction. She had a path. She knew where north was. So Hazel stepped on the path and headed forward.
And that was the point at which I got confused. Was it supposed to be familiar or sunder expectations? And if the second, was it supposed to be scary? Given that it's a children's book, probably not - but I felt that I was missing something, maybe an allegory, and I couldn't work out what. I felt that the ending resolved some things (and it looks like Hazel is starting to make other friends) but left a lot of questions open.

(February 2024)
3-3.5 stars
… (más)
humouress | 75 reseñas más. | Mar 2, 2024 |
The book was charming and honestly one of the best middle grade fantasies I've read in a while! Marya Lupu has been ordered to Dragomir Academy for troubled young ladies. She is sure it's because she inadvertently messed up her brother's chances of becoming a sorcerer (really though, it was the goats fault!) so she resignedly goes. Her parents are glad to be rid of her but she will miss her brother and Madame Bandu down the street. Bandu taught her to read and write and told her the secrets that can be weaved in the tapestries. At Dragomir Academy she finds lots of other "troubled" girls like her, but she can't help but make a few friends and stumble upon a mystery or two. A fantastic feminist fantasy filled with girl power, friendships, and adventure. So much fun. I wish this were a series!… (más)
ecataldi | 13 reseñas más. | Feb 22, 2024 |
This book is about twin girls, Lark and Iris, who face challenges, solve a mystery, and discover their strengths. This book is good to read for anyone who enjoys stories, maybe more middle school.
rachel.noordam | 12 reseñas más. | Feb 21, 2024 |
There's something strange about Violet's new house. Violet's bedroom is in the attic, with weird sloping ceilings, a musty smell, and truly hideous wallpaper. Her stepdad promises to fix the room up, but he has other projects on his list first. And then Violet gets sick . . . and she doesn't get better. The symptoms from her illness stay with her. Sometimes she is too tired to walk up a flight of stairs. She can sleep and sleep and still feel tired. Her doctors think that she might be making it up for attention, or to get out of going to school. Lying in her bed, Violet starts to see . . . something . . . lurking behind the design in the wallpaper. Is that also all in her head?

Ursu takes her inspiration from the Charlotte Perkins Gillman story, "The Yellow Wallpaper," though it's not a direct retelling. I thought the different threads of this story all came together nicely, though the ending was maybe a smidgen rushed. There are a couple of creepy scenes that might frighten very gentle, horror-averse readers, but all in all it's more about Violet's friendship drama and medical struggles. Ursu's writing shines as always, and I'd recommend this to anyone intrigued by the premise.
… (más)
foggidawn | 8 reseñas más. | Feb 14, 2024 |



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