It is no secret that humans are a product of their surroundings. Fictional or actual, children are susceptible to influence from all sides, their psyche constantly being moulded as new experiences perform rapid-fire assault. In the novels Breadcrumbs and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, authors Anne Ursu and J.K. Rowling have added enough depth to their characters that the reader experiences a brand new person, chock-full with these experiences. The incredible 3-dimensional view each author describes lends to each character’s ‘why’; why they go forward with their respective adventures, why they react the way they do, why they care. Every child sees themselves as the protagonist of their story, and heroes are universally admired. It is clear that possessing the traits of a hero is not enough, or there would be no heroes at all-- heroes, especially child heroes, need to possess something special to drive an adventure forward. Nothing makes a person or character more unique than their individual experiences. Although Hazel and Harry are both naturally predisposed towards selflessness and kindness, it is their respective histories of traumatic events fostering a distrust of the adult world that places them in roles requiring acts of heroism.
Hazel watches her life crumble around her because of events predating the start of her quest, resulting in her being more guarded, more impulsive, and having less self-worth. Hazel never knew her Indian birth parents-- a cultural