By Cynthia Lord,

Book cover of Rules

Book description

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…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Rules as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

12-year-old Catherine’s feelings toward her younger, autistic brother are complicated. She’s protective of him and also appears to be embarrassed by his behaviour. All she wants is a “normal” life. When she becomes friends with a paraplegic boy she’s forced to think about what “normal” really means. This book is hopeful, humourous, thoughtful, and explores what it means to interact with someone who is neurodivergent. The author is the mother of a child with autism and the complex relationships and friendships in the book felt real and captured the mixed-up emotions of middle-graders. 

From Sara's list on neurodivergent characters.

It’s rare for a writer to be able to tackle a serious subject in a way that makes you laugh. Yet, that’s just what Cynthia Lord does in Rules, the story of Catherine and her eight-year-old brother, David, who has autism. Catherine devises rules for David to help family life go more smoothly. These include “Don’t sand in front of the TV when other people are watching it” and “A boy takes off his shirt to swim but not his shorts.” I love the honesty of this book, which shares Catherine’s frustrations while also demonstrating her love for David…

From Kathryn's list on bothersome brothers and sisters.

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