*I received a free copy of Rules for Stealing Stars from Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *|
Silly is used to feeling left out. Her three older sisters think she’s too little for most things—especially when it comes to dealing with their mother’s unpredictable moods and outbursts. But for Silly, that’s normal. She hardly remembers a time when Mom wasn’t drinking.
This summer, Silly is more alone than ever, and it feels like everyone around her is keeping secrets. Mom is sick all the time, Dad acts like everything’s fine when clearly it isn’t, and Silly’s sisters keep whispering and sneaking away to their rooms together, returning with signs that something mysterious is afoot, and giggling about jokes that Silly doesn’t understand.
When Silly is brought into her sisters’ world, the truth is more exciting than she ever imagined. The sisters have discovered a magical place that gives them what they truly need: an escape from the complications of their home life. But there are dark truths there, too. Silly hopes the magic will be the secret to saving their family, but she’s soon forced to wonder if it just might tear them apart.
Rules for Stealing Stars is a poetic story about four young sisters, and how they, and their family, deal with the difficulties life sometimes throw our way. Beautifully written, with a lot of imagery and a fairy-tale like feel, it was a solid story that left me satisfied.
My Rules for Stealing Stars review:
Rules for Stealing Stars follows Priscilla – Silly – and her sisters during a summer. This summer, their mother is not doing so well, and the four sisters need every distraction they can find, especially because their father is not always fully present, even when he is physically with them. Silly is feeling left out, especially because she is the youngest, and her older sisters all disappear into the twins’ room without her. Trying to cope on her own doesn’t work, and so she tries her best to be included with her sisters, especially because they seem to be having some great adventures without her.
While there are some undertones of fairy tales and paranormal activity when it come to the sisters’ closets, Rules for Stealing Stars is much more about how siblings sometimes have no choice but to take good care of each other, especially when their parents get too caught up in their own problems and troubles to make sure the children have everything they need, both physically and emotionally. And once her older sisters include her, Silly feels more secure and loved – but at the same time, she feels like she is also better equipped for taking care of herself.
Between fantasy and reality, Rules for Stealing Stars nevertheless touches on an important theme – about how important it is for children to have stable adults in their lives, adults they can count on to catch them if they fall, and who can take good care of them when they can’t manage on their own. And as the sisters learn to include each other, their sisterly love grows stronger, and this, in turn make each of them stronger on her own as well.
Written in first person point of view, present tense, the story unfolds as Silly lives it – and because she herself blurs the lines between her imagination and the reality that surrounds her, the story has a certain poetic and mysterious feel to it that mesmerized me from start to finish.
Some of my favorite Rules for Stealing Stars quotes:
Last year Eleanor said we could all have regular-shaped pancakes now, but Dad made a big speech about whimsy and never being too old for it. Then we talked about the “Myth of Peter Pan” and staying youthful and playful forever or something. Dad’s a professor specializing in fairy tales and stuff, or ti was all pretty typical.
“I think we’re don, right?” Eleanor says, giving Astrid a look that isn’t hard for anyone to decipher. She is declaring Sunday morning over, and special twin time beginning. I’m not ready to let the morning go, though.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: