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Rules by Cynthia Lord

Rules (2006)

by Cynthia Lord

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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?
  dneirick | May 7, 2019 |
Catherine lives her day to day life caring for her brother who has autism. She tries to keep him out of trouble by giving him rules. Catherine even goes to all of her brother's therapy sessions, where she meets some new people including a boy named Jason. Jason is in a wheelchair. Catherine and Jason form a meaningful connection. ( )
  mckinzietangen | Feb 7, 2019 |
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked this book because the “chapters” are titled with a new rule, and the rule usually went with what the chapter was about. For example, there was a chapter titled “Sometimes people laugh when the like you. But sometimes they laugh to hurt you.” In this chapter, Ryan makes fun of David. David doesn’t understand and thinks that Ryan is actually being his friend, but Catherine knows that Ryan is laughing to hurt him. She’s trying to teach David this rule because this isn’t the first time that Ryan has messed with David. Another example is when the chapter was titled “Solving one problem can create another.” In this chapter, Catherine finds an excuse not to go to the dance, but then she creates another problem, going to Jason’s birthday party. Another reason I liked this book was because of the writing. I liked how when Jason was using his communication book, the letters were bolded and in a different font. It made it easier for me to know that it was Jason talking. I also thought this book was funny, Catherine was very sarcastic, and it reminded me of myself. One part that made me laugh was when Catherine says “Trouble comes quick with David, and ‘should’ doesn’t have anything to do with it. David should remember to flush the toilet too, but that doesn’t mean it happens.” Cathering says this because her mom told her that everything should be fine while she was babysitting David. The last reason I liked and didn’t like this book is because my little cousin is autistic. My little cousin is only 3, so I liked this book because it was interesting to learn about the type of behavior I might have to deal with as he gets older. It was also interesting to see how frustrated Catherine was with David, but I really didn’t love the how impatient Catherine was with David. Catherine’s embarrassment really made me think about my attitude towards my cousin as he gets older. Catherine learned over the chapters and I also learned over the chapters how not to act towards my cousin. I didn’t like Catherine at first, but she became a better person, I think she would be great if she didn’t care so much about what other people thought. Another reason I didn’t like this book was because it didn’t include illustrations. I think some small illustrations would’ve enhanced this book. For example, I would’ve liked to have seen pictures with the rules. For example, I would’ve liked to have seen pictures with the rules, “No toys in the fish tank,” or “No dancing unless I’m alone in my room or it’s pitch black dark.” I think small illustrations would’ve made the book more engaging. Catherine always drew in her sketchbook and made cards for Jason, it would’ve been nice to have an image of what they looked like. I also didn’t like this book because Catherine was telling the story the whole time. I think it would’ve been nice to hear different perspectives. For example, if Catherine told her side of the story, then Jason told his side of the story, and so forth. Bringing all of this together, I think the main message of the story is that you should think about others’ points of view. I say this because I think Catherine thinks about only herself a lot throughout the story. She hurts a lot of people’s feelings and then apologizes. Catherine needed to think about how she was treating David, how she was treating Kristi by lying to her, how she was treating Jason, and her parents. Catherine isn’t the only one struggling and she needed to realize that. ( )
  CarliWeaver | Oct 9, 2018 |
Catherine's brother is autistic and having a life with new friends is not easy. An engaging story which would be ideal for older children or teenagers with an autistic sibling.
  ThePinesLibrary | Aug 1, 2018 |
Catherine's little brother is autistic. She has to have rules for him since he doesn't act like he's supposed to. Rules like Pantless brothers are not my problem or No toys in the fish tank hence the cover. As you can see there is a rubber ducky in the fish tank. There are other things that get in there because of David and Catherine makes up what they are saying there. Catherine has Rules of her own too. She has to constantly make sure her brother doesn't embarrass himself well more like her. She sometimes wishes he was normal and that he could stick up for her.

See there is this boy named Ryan who likes to tease David and David doesn't know that he's making fun of him. I don't know how his mother doesn't know he is like that but whatever. Kristi is her new next door neighbor. She so badly wants her to be her best friend and play at the pond or use Morse code with flashlights. She discovers that she isn't the ideal friend especially since she likes to hang out with Ryan but she does show some morals I guess you'd say. She teaches something to Catherine that you wouldn't have expected from her.

On to JASON. I HEART JASON! He is so sweet. She meets him at OT which is therapy. Physically not emotionally. Jason is in a wheel chair and only can communicate with flash card type things. He has some real boring ones so she asks if she could make ones for him or it might have been the other way around I can't remember. Anyways Jason is the sweetest guy. I knew that he was crushing on her and if SHE BROKE HIS HEART SO HELP ME...!!! Sorry. She learns some things about herself and the way she feels about David from him as well as Kristi. It was a fantastic book and you should definitely go out now and read it! You'll love it! (:
( )
  AdrianaGarcia | Jul 10, 2018 |
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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.
First words
"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.
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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Book description
Frustrated with a life that revolves around the needs of her autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a "normal" existence but instead finds her world further complicated and enriched by friendship with a young paraplegic.

Curriculum Connection: 6th Grade Reading Standard: 2. Reading for All Purposes

1. Understanding the meaning within different types of literature depends on properly analyzing literary components

b.  Use Craft and Structure to:  
iii. Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text. (CCSS: RL.6.6)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0439443830, Paperback)

This 2007 Newbery Honor Book is a humorous and heartwarming debut about feeling different and finding acceptance. Now in After Words paperback!

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 head off David's embarrassing behaviors.
But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising, new sort-of friend, 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?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:18 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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 a young paraplegic.

» see all 4 descriptions

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