Rules for Stealing Stars

Written by: Corey-Ann Haydu

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 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.

Summary from the jacket flap provided by Harper Collins Children.

This book was very imaginative! The experiences that the characters go through in the trying world of addiction jump off the page and give a trueness to the struggles these families go through. It is both powerful and heartbreaking. This book definitely has the ability to take a world that is so often hidden and make it more understandable to anyone who might have a friend in this situation.

Discussion/Project Ideas:
1. In the story, the dad loves his family very much. Unfortunately, his behavior only enables the problems to continue which ends up hurting the family even more. People of all ages can be enablers to those they care about when things get tough, but in the end, not facing the issue that is affecting your lives isn’t the answer. Make a plan that you think the dad could have tried to better help his family. If you have a situation in your own life where someone is enabling someone to do something he/she shouldn’t, you could write about ideas you have for that instead.

2. The sisters talk a lot about memories they have of previous summers. What memories do you have in your life that you hope you will always hold on to? What makes them so special?

3. The loss of a sibling is devastating. How has it been dealt with in this story?

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