Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rules for Stealing Stars

Rules for Stealing Stars
By Corey Ann Haydu
Katherine Tegen Books, 2015. Fiction. 336p.

Eleven-year-old Priscilla, known as “Silly,” is the youngest of four sisters and resents always being treated like the baby. After moving to a new town, their mother’s alcohol problem only gets worse, and their father continues to hide himself in his work. But Silly’s sisters have found a wonderful secret to help them cope, and eventually Silly convinces them that she is old enough to share it: the girls’ bedroom closets are magic portals that allow them to create any world they can imagine. They catch stars with their hands, play on beaches made of glitter, and climb giant flowers. The closets seem to give them exactly the escape they need. But as the summer wears on, the closets become more and more sinister, and Silly worries that she is losing her sisters.

This middle-grade book has some mature themes and dark images. The writing is poetic and the descriptions of the magic closets are beautiful and vivid. The portrait of a dysfunctional family is very realistically and poignantly portrayed, as is the sibling relationship between the sisters, with all its subtle loyalties, betrayals, competition, and love. Good for tweens, teens, and adults who like haunting tear-jerkers with glimmers of hope and magic.

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