Laurel Snyder's BIGGER THAN A BREAD BOX (Random House 2011) is a skillful blend of realism and magic (magical realism) that centers on Rebecca, aged 12. Rebecca's parents are having issues and one morning Mom simply packs up suitcases and whisks Rebecca and her toddler brother off from Baltimore to Atlanta to stay with Rebecca's maternal grandmother. Rebecca is hurt, of course. She adores her father and did not have any hint that she was going to be separated from him. She did not even have a chance to say goodbye to her best friend. Full of resentment, Rebecca hides herself away in Gran's attic where she discovers a bread box, a magical bread box, that seems to grant her wishes. What Rebecca wishes for more than anything else, though, might just be ebyond the capabilities of the bread box. Rebecca wants something that will bring her parents back together. <534>
The magic of the bread box in no way detracts from the all-too-real situation in which Rebecca finds herself. Separating from a parent can leave a huge void in the life of a tween. Rebecca longs for something that might never be possible and acts in any way she thinks might further her cause. Snyder captures the petulance, the resentment, the anger, and the other emotions of a 12 year old perfectly.