|Bigger Than a Bread Box|
by Laurel Snyder
"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. Laurel Snyder's most thought-provoking book yet."
This was a mildly enjoyable book for me. I didn't really feel the magic that I was expecting to, and it never really pulled me in, but I did like it. I liked the characters and the settings and thought the author did a fantastic job of making you feel like you were in Baltimore and Atlanta. I guess my main problem with it was that it felt too much like realistic fiction to have magic involved. I kept waiting to hear that the bread box was symbolic and that Rebecca really was stealing everything because of the mess her parents made of her life. And the ending was a little strange and felt at the same time too open-ended and too neatly tied-up. I'm not sure how that is possible, but that is how I felt while reading it. However, there are probably many middle school students who can totally relate to the character of Rebecca. She stays real through the whole book even though she makes some bad decisions. And I appreciated the love she showed to her little brother. However, at one point she has an argument with her mother and tells her mom how selfish she is and how everything is about her mom and she didn't think about anyone else when making certain decisions, but I felt like Rebecca shared in that selfishness and was poor me-ing through most of the book.
All in all, I liked this book and will recommend it to my middle schoolers.
Areas of concern:
Parents fighting and them mom taking children and leaving.
12 year old puts herself in a very dangerous situation.
A lot of lying.
Booklist - Grades 6-8
School Library Journal - Grades 4-6