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Rules by Cynthia Lord
This Newberry Honor Book was reviewed by Annie H. (6th Grade Teacher)
Twelve-year-old Catherine is striving to be like any other normal kid her age….and she almost succeeds, if it weren’t for David. David is her kid brother who has autism. Catherine has spent many years being an advocate for her brother, teaching him appropriate social cues and behavior. She comes up with simple “rules” to help David remember small pieces of information at a time. Over the years, David has memorized a few of the rules and has no problem sharing them with the people who cross his path.
Catherine attends therapy with David, waiting in the lobby during his sessions. It is there, in the lobby, that Catherine meets and befriends Jason. Jason becomes her special friend and makes Catherine really think about how she treats people. She has a new neighbor, Kristi, and Catherine wants so badly to appear as “normal” so that Kristi will want to be her friend.
Through her time spent with David, Jason and Kristi, Catherine questions whether it is better to be popular and accepted or is it more important to have actual friendships? Follow Catherine on her journey of self-discovery as she tries to answer the question: “What is normal?”
Think About It:
Can you think of an example from your own life that reflects each of the following "rules"?
~Not everything worth keeping has to be useful.
~If you can only choose one, pick carefully.
~At someone else's house, you have to follow their rules.
~Solving one problem can create another.
~Looking closer can make something beautiful.