There are a few books you should read RIGHT NOW. One such book is Bigger than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder.
I’m don’t usually dedicate entire blog posts to book reviews because there are plenty of other kid’s lit bloggers who do an excellent job without my meddling, and because I mostly prefer to write about how to use rad books in the classroom. But here’s my GoodReads review:
I opened this book with trepidation. Ever since our friend-of-a-friend introduction, I’d had great respect for Laurel as a person. I fretted about reading her books, though. What if they weren’t quite as awesome as Laurel herself? What would I say? Would it change the way I viewed her? Is it really fair to let an author’s work impact my perception of them as a human being? What about the reviews I’d already been reading? They were GREAT. If I didn’t like the book, would that mean I was missing some sort of sensitivity chip? I pondered this and other lines of thinking much more than I should have.
Good news! Crisis averted! The book is EXCELLENT. The narrative is extremely clean — by which I mean, side stories are awesome and all, but it was refreshing to read an extremely well-written chapter book that only had one main plot line. The characters are real — developed, but not in a tedious, overly wordy way, and the ending was wonderful. I really can’t wait to read more of Laurel’s novels.
I wonder how much of Laurel’s writing style is impacted by her experience as a poet? The clarity and power of her descriptions and imagery definitely seemed to have the concentration of a piece of verse (but again, nothing overly flowery).
I loved that Rebecca didn’t make a big hullabaloo over the magic initially. That response seemed really authentic to me — I imagine that a middle schooler would be pleasantly surprised to find wishes being granted, but definitely more excited rather than dumbstruck.
I’ve donated my copy of Bigger than a Bread Box to the Wildwood library, so if you’re a Federal Way person reading this, you should head down there and pester Ryan and Elisabeth to read it.
P.S. Thanks to the talented and wonderful Jamie G for introducing me to Ms. Snyder. :)