cover image Rules for Stealing Stars

Rules for Stealing Stars

Corey Ann Haydu. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-235271-2

Eleven-year-old Silly and her three older sisters have always tiptoed around their alcoholic mother and her unpredictable moods. Things are even worse this summer now that the family has moved into their mother’s childhood home in New Hampshire, and Silly’s sisters are acting especially distant. Soon, Silly comes to share in the secret her sisters have been keeping from her: the house’s closets can transport them to a magical realm. It also turns out that Silly can manipulate this magic in a way that none of her sisters can. Like the dancing princesses of fairy-tale legend, the girls discover new wonders and gain much-needed escapes from their day-to-day lives whenever they go inside. Each closet is different, and while some bring delight or contain memories, others hold darker secrets. The siblings’ relationships are complex and believable, and their pain at their fractured family life is raw and real. Haydu (Making Pretty) makes skilled use of her story’s fantastical overlay to create a haunting narrative about the ways family members can fail—but also support—each other. Ages 8–12. Agent: Victoria Marini, Gelfman Schneider. (Sept.)