Closets Full of Stars

Rules for Stealing Stars, by Corey Ann Haydu, (Katherine Tegen Books, HarperCollins), 336 pages, release date 29 September, 2015

Rules for Stealing Stars straddles the worlds of fantasy and reality. Silly (short for Priscilla) and her family have permanently moved into what used to be their summer home. The primary motivation for this move is the condition of Silly’s mother: volatile at the best of times, a heavy drinker, she now moves between rage, despair, and catatonia. Silly, her three sisters, and their father all wrestle with this burden in their own ways. That’s the reality.

The fantasy comes as the girls learn that their closets in the former summer home are gateways to alternate worlds, some terrifying, some comforting. As their mother’s condition worsens, the sisters find themselves spending more and more of their time in the closet worlds, trying to escape the family’s daily struggle.

The publisher describes this as a novel for readers in grades 3 through 7, but it deserves a wider readership. Its length allows for a deep immersion in the life of Silly’s family, and the different challenges each girl deals with will resonate with adults, as well as the grade-to-middle school crowd.

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