ABC and 123: Teacher Feature: Book Review

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Teacher Feature: Book Review

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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.


  1. This sounds like a great book with a good message. I'm going to get it for my 12 yr old and read it first.

  2. I like this book, I read it to my sister a couple of years ago as part of our book club.

  3. This sounds like a very good book. I worked with a couple of Autisic girls as school last month and can only imagine what it would be like on a daily basis. I'll have to check this one out.

  4. Is this the same author that wrote "Hoot"?? We really liked that book.