Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category

Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 256
Themes: rape, shame, abandonment, twins, family, consent, #metoo, siblings, chosen family
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 26/Mar/2019
Bookmark and Share
After moving into a dank and drafty basement suite in West Edmonton with her truck- driving father, nasty stepmother and taciturn twin brother, Ash, seventeen-year-old Greta doesn't have high expectations for her last year of high school. When she blacks out at a party and is told the next day that she's had sex, she thinks things can't get any worse. She's wrong.

While Greta deals with the confusion and shame of that night, her stepmother and father choose that moment to disappear, abandoning Ash and Greta to the mercy of their peculiar landlord, Elgin, who lives upstairs. Even as Greta struggles to make sense of what happened to her, she finds herself enjoying her new and very eccentric family, who provide the shelter and support that has long been absent from her life. Much to Greta's surprise, she realizes there is still kindness in the world—and hope.

Natasha Deen, author of In the Key of Nira Ghani
"Subtle and nuanced, Trail of Crumbs takes readers on an unapologetic journey of family, trauma and the transformative power of kindness. Lisa J. Lawrence's storytelling devastates readers one moment, then lifts them up in another, leaving them thinking of Greta and Ash's story long after the last page has been read."
Kirkus Reviews
"Lawrence has an admirable relationship with the written word, and after many chapters of sharp edges and dark corners, readers will discover reason for hope."
"With realistic and appealing characters and a delicately constructed plot, this is a well-told story of strength, grace, and growth."
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"An easy read, with well-developed writing and plotting…While the story is not picturesque, it is raw and emotional, allowing the door to be opened for many different sensitive conversations. Highly Recommended."
Resource Links
"This is an exciting YA title…A taut page-turner…Strong characterization for both the main and secondary characters made this a treat to read. Even though this book was about a pretty heavy-duty topic, Lawrence actually made room for some humour and love of food. Highly recommended."
School Library Journal
"Fans of slow and serious emotional journeys of survival, like Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, Sara Zarr's Story of a Girl, or Ashley Herring Blake's Girl Made of Stars, will find Greta's story especially moving"
Milliebot Reads blog
"A painful, relevant and beautiful story…This is a very important book. It’s full of great characters, relevant experiences and messages that younger (and probably some older) readers need to hear."
Must Read Literature: K thru YA

“This book offers a grand slam of excellent writing, well-developed characters, a compelling plot and a universal theme.”

Canadian Children's Booknews
“Realistic and in-depth…Thus incredibly written story deals with several tough aspects of our modern life, while still managing to maintain and give hope to its readers…an excellent reminder that when difficult times come your way, you should never give up hope.”
Youth Services Book Reviews

“For fans of realistic fiction…as in Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak.”


CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection  | 2019 | Commended
SYCRA Snow Willow  | 2020 | Short-listed
JLG Gold Standard Selection  | 2019 | Commended

Resources for Teachers:

Orca Book Publishers produces a number of tools and resources to help teachers, librarians, reading specialists and other education professionals enrich the teaching and learning experience.

Please visit our Teacher Resources page to access and download materials.

Classroom Materials:

Free Teacher Guides

Digital Subscriptions

Resource Websites

Research and Support Materials:

Common Core

Reading Levels

You might also be interested in:

By (author): Lisa J. Lawrence