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Review: Bigger than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder

Bigger than a Bread Box
By Laurel Snyder

Random House

ISBN: 9780375869167
Grades 5-7
In Stores

Find it at:
Schuler Books | WorldCat

Wishing isn’t just for kids, it’s part of human nature. When you think about it, it’s amazing how often wishes come up in everyday life. Blowing out birthday candles, throwing a penny in a fountain, shooting stars – need I remind you that we have a wish system built around breaking a chicken bone in half? Everyone has hoped for a little bit of magic to intercede in their lives at one time or another. In Bigger than a Bread Box, Laurel Snyder creates a memorable cast of characters, a layered family drama, and plops a wish-granting box down in the middle of it. Hard to resist.

Things are not so smooth in the life of 12-year-old Rebecca. Her parents are on the verge of divorce, Rebecca’s mother has taken her and baby brother Lew to live with their grandma in Atlanta. Everything changes when Rebecca discovers a wish-granting bread box in the attic. Suddenly she is able to be one of the cool kids at her new school. Nice clothes? No problem. iPod? Easy. But when Rebecca discovers how those wishes are granted (and in a very public way), she becomes a social outcast, forced to examine herself and her place in the world.

The first-person narration is refreshingly honest. Rebecca is brought to life with a clear voice that readers will buy into.

This is a well-crafted novel that nicely combines the all-too-relatable tragedy of divorce and mean-spirited social cliques with a fantasy element that will hook kids. Very well done.

Review copy from publisher

Watch the Bigger than a Bread Box book trailer:

(Thanks to Watch. Connect. Read. for the link)

Read an interview with Laurel Snyder at From the Mixed Up Files.

Read a sample of Bigger than a Bread Box:

Also reviewed by Pink Me,  Points West, The Word Hoarder, A Patchwork of Books, Sonderbooks, DogEar, slatebreakers, Stacked, Ms. Houghton’s Class, Literate Lives, Largehearted Boy.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. I would love to hear this review on Brain Burps.

    • Alas, it won’t pop up there – we try to keep things original to the podcast. I appreciate the BB Pod love!