Friday, September 16, 2011

Fantastic Friday: Bigger Than a Bread Box

Bigger Than a Bread Box
by Laurel Snyder
Random House, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-86916-7
Grades 3-6
Reviewed from ARC received from publisher.

A magical breadbox that delivers whatever you wish for—as long as it fits inside? It's too good to be true! Twelve-year-old Rebecca is struggling with her parents' separation, as well as a sudden move to her Gran's house in another state. For a while, the magic bread box, discovered in the attic, makes life away from home a little easier. Then suddenly it starts to make things much, much more difficult, and Rebecca is forced to decide not just where, but who she really wants to be.
Rebecca is a sympathetic character.  I felt for her from page one.  I haven't experienced the things that she does in the story (certainly not a magic bread box, sigh), but some of her emotions are certainly common for most people. Her confusion and hurt, the anger, the feeling of instability, and her lack of control over her circumstances come shining through. While readers will find little of great excitement and danger here, there is much to ponder and discuss about the ways the characters behave.

The writing flows smoothly and allows the reader to focus on the story rather than the words.  The love the author clearly has for her settings comes shining through and she does a great job helping the reader imagine the settings of the book (Baltimore, MD, and Atlanta, GA).

The only problem I had with the book is a very slight one.  The ending is a bit strange and doesn't seem to quite line up with the rest of the story.  The ending was also a bit rushed and not completely realistic.  But really these are minor quibbles.  I enjoyed the book and students who like quieter more thought-provoking books will enjoy it as well.

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