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Rules (2006)

de Cynthia Lord

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4,4185191,993 (4.26)93
Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic.
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“When someone is upset, it’s not a good time to bring up your own problems.”
― Cynthia Lord, Rules


I try to express only my most honest opinion in a spoiler free way. If you feel anything in my review is a spoiler and is not already hidden in spoiler brackets please let me know. Thank you.
This is a book about a girl named Catherine, who's brother is autistic. She wants to live a normal life and make friends with the girl who just moved in next door. She ends up also making friends with Jason. He is confined to a wheel chair and cannot talk, but used a book and word cards to communicate with others. She faces a lot of the same issues I would think that most girls would face in her situation.
This book was surprisingly good. I choose it because I was looking for a book with a fish on the cover. I listened to the audio version and the narrator I thought did a spectacular job. I liked this book so much in fact that I bought a copy and I am going to give it to my 12 year old neice who also loves to read. I think this story has a great message for everyone. Not just those with loved ones with similar problems, or just for children, but soooo many people need to hear this I think. If you refer back to my quote that I used. I think that also holds a message that many need to hear.
How I choose my rating:
1* Did not finish, or hated it but forced myself to finish.
2** Didn't really like it. Didn't hate it but not sure why I finished it other then for some closure.
3*** I liked it. I had some issues with it, but as a whole it was good. I probably won't reread again ever, but there is a chance I might finish the series. (If part of one) But if not it's not a huge loss.
4**** I really liked this book. Maybe not a work of genius, but highly entertaining. I might reread this again, and I will finish the series. (If part of one) I would recommend to those I know hold interest in this books content.
5***** I loved this book. I found little to no issues with it at all. I will definitely be rereading this and probably more than once. I will finish the series and reread it multiple times. (If part of one) I will recommend this book to EVERYONE!!!!
( )
  starslight86 | Jul 20, 2021 |
Newbery Honor Award RGG: Told from the point of view of a sister with an autistic brother. She makes friends with a disabled boy and learns to overcome her embarrassment of their friendship as well as to be more accepting of her brother.
  rgruberexcel | Jun 29, 2021 |
This Newbery Honor Book is a heartfelt and witty story about feeling different and finding acceptance--beyond the rules.

Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules-from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public"-in order to stop his embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a paraplegic boy, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?
  stwombly | Apr 25, 2021 |
Middle. This story follows Catherine, a very normal girl, who has a very unnormal life. During the book, she struggles to accept her brother and simultaneously handle the responsibility she must take on as a part of her family. While this book is wonderful in many ways, it still gives some members of the ASD community pause, and may not be perfect for a classroom read.
  sarahcasimes | Apr 20, 2021 |
This would be a wonderful book for intermediate students. It tells the story of a girl named Catherine, whose brother David has autism. Catherine is trying to figure out how she wants her identity to look to the outside world, while she struggles with her acceptance of her brother's way of being, and with her attempts to build a friendship with her new neighbor Kristi. David regularly attends occupational therapy at the local clinic, and Catherine goes with him, eventually developing a close friendship with a boy named Jason, who is handicapped and can not speak. Catherine helps him experience different aspects of life, and the book ends with her putting aside the shame she feels about being friends with Jason and having David as her brother, and she finally comes to fully accept both of them for who they are, realizing that the way they are is more than enough. This book is helpful because it is very inclusive toward people with disabilities, and sets up a modern family life that many people could relate to. I would use this book during a book study in order for students to gain another perspective and to open their minds and hearts toward different lifestyles and disabilities.
  ledambrockman | Apr 18, 2021 |
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My deepest appreciation to:
Everyone at Scholastic Press, especially Marijka Kostiw, Kristina Albertson, Tracey Mack, and Leslie Budnick.

Tracey Adams, my wonderful agent.

The members of my critique groups, each of whom possess that rare combination of Charlotte the spider: a true friend and a good writer.

My retreat-mates who put me on the right track: Franny Billingsley, Toni Buzzeo, Sarah Lamstein, Dana Walrath, Mary Atkinson, Carol Peacock, and Jackie Davies.
With special thanks to Amy Butler Greenfield, Nancy Werlin, Amanda Jenkins, Denise Johns, Melissa Wyatt, Lisa Firke, Lisa Harkrader, Laura Weiss, Mary Pearson, Amy McAuley, and Kristina Cliff-Evans.

And to my parents, Earl and Elaine Lord, who gave me wings but always left the porch light on to show the way home.
To John, Julia, and Gregory
I love you more than words.
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"Come on, David." I let go of his sleeve, afraid I'll rip it. When he was little, I could pull my brother behind me if he didn't want to do something, but now David's eight and too strong to be pulled.
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I add another rule to David's list: Sometimes people laugh when they like you. But sometimes they laugh to hurt you.
"I wish everyone had the same chances," I say. "Because it stinks a big one that they don't."
Sometimes I wish someone would invent a pill so David'd wake up one morning without autism, like someone waking up from a long coma, and he'd say, "Jeez, Catherine, where have I been?"
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Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic.

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