Drop Shadow


By Anne Ursu


Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. They had been best friends since they were six, spending hot Minneapolis summers and cold Minneapolis winters together, dreaming of Hogwarts and Oz, superheroes and baseball. Now that they were eleven, it was weird for a boy and a girl to be best friends. But they couldn’t help it – Hazel and Jack fit, in that way you only read about in books. And they didn’t fit anywhere else.

And then, one day, it was over. Jack just stopped talking to Hazel. And while her mom tried to tell her that this sometimes happens to boys and girls at this age, Hazel had read enough stories to know that it’s never that simple. And it turns out, she was right. Jack’s heart had been  frozen, and he was taken into the woods by a woman dressed in white to live in a palace made of ice. Now, it’s up to Hazel to venture into the woods after him.

Anne Ursu, acclaimed author of the Cronus Chronicles, has written a stunningly original fairy tale of modern-day America. Inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Snow Queen,” Breadcrumbs is in turn a remarkable middle-grade adventure, a dazzling ode to the power of fantasy, and a heartbreaking meditation on how growing up is as much a choice as it is something that happens to us.

Anne Ursu

Anne Ursu is the author of three middle-grade novels that comprise the Cronus Chronicles trilogy: The Shadow Thieves, The Siren Song, and The Immortal Fire. Her novel The Real Boy was published by Walden Pond Press in 2013. Her novel The Lost Girl was published by Walden Pond Press in 2019. She is also a professor of writing for children at Hamline University and a lifelong Minnesota Twins fan. Anne lives in Minneapolis with her family.

Multi-layered, artfully crafted, transforming testament to the power of friendship.

- Kirkus Reviews

Beautifully written and wholly original.

- Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

Ursu’s multilayered, dreamlike story stands out from the rest of the fantasy/quest pack.

- School Library Journal

December 2011 Pick

- NPR Back Seat Book Club

Best Middle Grade Books of 2011

- Amazon.com

Best Book of 2011

- School Library Journal

Best Children’s Book of 2011

- Publisher's Weekly

Blue Ribbon Book

- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

2012 Notable Children’s Books in English Language Arts

- National Council of Teachers of English


Published by Walden Pond Press an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers