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Young Adult Fiction Sexual Abuse

Trail of Crumbs

by (author) Lisa J. Lawrence

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2019
Sexual Abuse, Coming of Age, Alternative Family
Recommended Age
12 to 18
Recommended Grade
8 to 12
Recommended Reading age
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2019
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2019
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


After moving into a dank and drafty basement suite in West Edmonton with her truck-driving father, nasty stepmother, and Ash, her taciturn twin brother, 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.

About the author

Lisa J. Lawrence grew up in small towns in British Columbia and Alberta. She could often be found in the library during summer vacations or hammering away at an old typewriter. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a BA in Romance Languages, an MA in Italian Studies and a BED in Secondary Education. Since then she has taught preschool, post-secondary Italian, and Spanish as a second language. She enjoys the visual and performing arts, the Rocky Mountains and haunting the local library. Lisa lives in Edmonton, Alberta, with her husband and three children.

Lisa J. Lawrence's profile page


  • Nominated, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Awards - Snow Willow
  • Commended, Junior Library Guild (JLG) Gold Standard Selection
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection

Editorial Reviews

“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.”

Canadian Children's Booknews

"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."

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

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

Must Read Literature: K thru YA

"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"

School Library Journal

"With realistic and appealing characters and a delicately constructed plot, this is a well-told story of strength, grace, and growth."


"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."

Kirkus Reviews

"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."

Resource Links

"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."

Milliebot Reads blog

"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."

Natasha Deen, author of <i>In the Key of Nira Ghani</i>

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

Youth Services Book Reviews

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