A Ceiling of Stars (American Girl Fiction Series #1)

A Ceiling of Stars (American Girl Fiction Series #1)

5.0 2
by Ann Howard Creel

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When her mother abandons her, 12-year-old Vivien must face her sudden homelessness alone in a big city. Vivien tells her story through a series of heart-felt letters and journal entries-and reveals a touching sense of hope.


When her mother abandons her, 12-year-old Vivien must face her sudden homelessness alone in a big city. Vivien tells her story through a series of heart-felt letters and journal entries-and reveals a touching sense of hope.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carolyn Dennette Michaels
Creel has created a poignant and positive first person account of a twelve-year-old girl's successful struggle to find her mother, reconcile herself to her father's untimely death, while making herself a life on the streets of a large city. From June 20 to November 2, readers share Vivien's diary that includes letters to an aunt and grandmother. Without ignoring sadness and opportunistic cruelty, Creel makes clear the value of seeing life half full, and being hopeful. Her account details the kindness and mental illness of the street people, the caring competence of the social workers, and leaves no doubt that a successful outcome demands good sense, spirit, and the guidance of both these groups.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-This fast-paced, contemporary story is told through letters and journal entries. Vivien is 12 years old the summer she and her widowed, alcoholic mother set out from Ohio to Oregon. Near Denver, her mother leaves to find work and doesn't return to their campsite. The girl makes her way to the city and is befriended by some homeless people, who tell her that her mother has been seen drinking and dancing in various bars. Vivien stays in a teen shelter for several weeks, where she learns that her mother has been hospitalized because of her drinking. Soon after, the child runs away, frightened by a predatory taxi driver, and sleeps on the streets until she is arrested and agrees to live in a foster home. Unfortunately, while the format lends immediacy to the action, the absence of dialogue and Vivien's cursory descriptions result in flat characters who behave in stereotypical ways. Her father is said to be a "dreamer" and her mother, a "loser." Readers learn little of the circumstances of their plight. June Rae Wood's A Share of Freedom (Putnam, 1994) is alsoabout children enduring the ills of an alcoholic parent and has more fully realized characters.-Laura Scott, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
There's not much to recommend in this stilted and mawkish tale of homelessness and redemption. As her mother disappears into drunkenness, Vivien, 12, named by her father for the Lady of the Lake, clings to the Arthurian tales he told her before he died. Vivien makes friends among the homeless in Denver, and even finds a place to stay in Arch House, where runaway teens can be safe, but she finds the lure of the streets irresistible. The book is told in journal entries and through letters Vivien writes to relatives whose addresses she doesn't have. Creel romanticizes homelessness, inhabits her novel with simplistic good guys and bad guys—even a puppy. The result is neither persuasive nor satisfying. (Fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

American Girl Publishing
Publication date:
American Girl Fiction Series , #1
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.23(h) x 0.33(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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A Ceiling of Stars (American Girl Fiction Series #1) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I totally reccomend this book. I think it was full of real life situations! I think that anybody 4th grade and up would like this book. even parents! I enjoyed reading it through three days when i stayed in Chigago. Being in a big city when i read it gave me more of a basic outline of what the big city is like to live in alone, and what sort of people are there. I think almost anyone can enjoy this book! :) :) :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you read this book you can feel all the things that this poor little girl is feeling. The author does a great job of describing a picture in your head, of what is happening. If you are wondering what it would feel like to live on the streets this book can tell you what it might feel like. I like this book because, it just totally changed my perspective of people who live on the streets. The book has so much feeling. This book is definetly two thumbs up!