Laurel Snyder's Bigger Than A Bread Box combines realistic fiction with a hint of magic. Normally the mention of magic would make me look the other way when selecting a book, but this one intrigued me, and aside from a bit of magic really did read like realistic fiction.
Rebecca's mother has gone with her children to Atlanta to stay indefinitely with Rebecca's grandmother, leaving her father by himself in Baltimore - a part of a trial seperation between Rebecca's parents. Unhappy to be in Atlanta, Rebecca is amazed to discover that a red bread box she located in her grandmother's attic seems to grant her wishes. She merely asks, and then receives a cell phone, ipod, and other wonderful treasures. Even though her life is far from perfect, this bread box and its magic do provide a little glimmer of happiness in Rebecca's life. She is still hoping her mother will take her back home, all the while trying to make friends and fit in at her new school.
Things come to a climax as Rebecca must think about how the bread box and its magic have affected other people.
Snyder's novel gives a realistic glimpse of those tween years and trying to fit in. A wonderful story, it would also make a great read aloud.