by Anne Ursu

312 pages with an intriguing twist to an Anderson’s fairy tale – It will make you wonder… where is your place?  How do your fit?

For all Hazel knows maybe the changes began with a perfect snowfall of brilliant snowflakes – the morning of the snowball. Or perhaps they began when a magic mirror broke, hurling shards of glass to earth and changing all those they touched. Hazel didn’t know when, how or why the changes started, but she knows her best friend, Jack, changed suddenly.  He was mean. So now the only person who helped her fit in, doesn’t anymore.  She is alone, confused and sad. Now stories are all she has.

She doesn’t fit in at home. She supposed to try harder to stay in reality and not pretend so much.  She doesn’t fit at school.  She supposed to learn the facts and know the rules.  And now she doesn’t fit with Jack either – and he was the one who shared her stories and helped her know all the rules.  What will she do?

And then he’s gone.  Vanished.  Tyler, the one at school who calls her “Crazy Hazy” tells her he saw Jack go off in a sleigh with a snow lady.  Hazel knows immediatly it is the witch from a story, her story. How can that be?   Hazel decides to follow the white witch into the woods.  She knows stories.  She knows she has to.   It’s the only thing Hazel can do because she must find Jack and bring him home or like in all the stories, the magic will trap him forever.

This is a fun book of friendship, stories, enchantment and adventure.  There are connections to lots of different books and stories.  What can happen when story and reality collide – sometimes it’s wonderful, but not always.  Have fun following the breadcrumbs into the woods.  I hope the birds don’t eat them before you are ready to return.