Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Are Rules Meant to Be Broken?

“Looking closer can make something beautiful.” ~ Cynthia Lord, Rules

Keep your clothes on even if they get wetNo toys in the fish tank. Catherine’s life involves lots of rules, which she's created in order to help her brother, David, navigate through life. David is autistic, and the rules help him know what to do in certain situations. Not everyone understands David, and sometimes Catherine wishes he would be like any other brother. But, he's not. David needs to go to the video store at the precise time you've told him, not one minute later or he'll start screaming and crying. Catherine loves her brother, but she spends a lot of time watching him, and it isn’t always easy. She used to look forward to visiting David’s OT’s office (occupational therapist), because her and her mom would spend time together at the beach, but now his therapist needs her mom to be close by. While at OT Catherine meets Jason, a boy in a wheelchair who uses a communication book to let others know what he's thinking. She asks if she can make some words for his book. Most of Jason’s words are black words on white cards, but since Catherine is an artist she makes words with pictures. She spends a lot of time thinking of words that she would want, like “stinks a big one” or “whatever”.  Catherine starts to look forward to seeing Jason at OT and, even though he can’t talk, they have a lot of fun together. During the same summer a new girl moves in next door, and she's twelve just like Catherine. Having a best friend next door has been a dream of Catherine’s for forever. Will the new girl become her best friend? Will Jason and Catherine ever see each other outside of OT? Will David ever learn the rules? Will Catherine get the attention from her parents that she wants? Get out and read this book so you can find out the lesson that Catherine needs to learn!

I read Rules by Cynthia Lord and was immediately captivated by the voice of Catherine. She has a lot on her plate being in charge of her brother, and I think the rules she made for him make sense. Catherine is someone I would want to be friends with because we have a lot in common. I would love to live next door to someone who wants to use flashlights to send secret codes at night, and swimming is one of my favorite summer activities. It was helpful to see what life was like for Catherine and the challenges she faces on a daily basis. This story will open your eyes to what it's like to walk in someone else’s shoes. I recommend this book to kids in fourth grade and up. Boys and girls will enjoy it, and they will see the world through kinder eyes once they start reading. The rules made me laugh, and I often found myself nodding along with them. I like that Catherine is a thinker and that she really stops and notices the world around her. I had so many lines that I loved because they were such beautiful thoughts. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Has anyone else read Rules? Or have you read another book by Cynthia Lord? We would love to hear your thoughts. 

Happy Reading! ~L

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31 comments:

  1. That's a lot to ask of a 12-year-old. And yet she still wants to help Jason, which is nice.

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    1. L. Diane Wolfe- Catherine does have a lot on her plate. She has a big heart and is willing to see beneath the layer we show people. :) ~L

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  2. I have not read her work yet but I think I would like to!

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    1. Patty- I think you would like to, too! :) ~L

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  3. I have not read any of her books, but your review really makes me want to pick this one up. Thanks for telling me about it.

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    1. Rosi- I hope you get to read Rules. The voice is excellent and the story will speak to you. :) ~L

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  4. Haven't read this one, but that's a stinkin funny cover. I'm betting I'd love it.

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    1. My comment to you is at the bottom, Crystal. It wouldn't let me comment here. ~L

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  5. Oh this sounds fun and I like that it imparts positive messages to younger readers. I will put this on my kids pinboard!

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    1. Sorry I couldn't comment here, Heidi. It is at the bottom. ~L

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  6. This sounds like a really good read and Catherine seems like a very likeable and well developed character. I love books that have sibling relationships! Great review!

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    1. Thanks, Giselle. I like books with sibling relationships, too. Catherine is a great MC. :) ~L

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  7. Sounds very entertaining and well written. Yay for good books.

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    1. M. Pax- It is a great read! I love good books too! :) ~L

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    1. So glad to hear that you read and enjoyed Rules, Erik! :) ~L

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  9. I haven't read this one, but I love the sound of it!

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    1. Meradeth- It is fantastic! :) ~L

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  10. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for sharing about it!

    Nas

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    1. Nas- It was a treat of a book. :) ~L

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  11. My very thought, lol. Sounds like a great read and a great example for kids.

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    1. Cate- It is a wonderful book for kids and the lesson is one that doesn't hit you over the head, but settles over you through the course of the book. :) ~L

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  12. Sounds like a book really worth reading. I love the story premise: having to deal with a brother with autism, drawing pictures to brighten a boy's black-and-white literary life, and meeting a new friend. Off putting this book on my to-read list and hoping like crazy that my library has a copy of it!

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    1. Claudine- Rules is definitely a book worth reading. The story is so well told and you will love the parts when Catherine talks about drawing and how it helps her to see the world. I hope your library has a copy! :) ~L

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  13. I like it when the voice grabs me right away. This cover is familiar. I either have the book or it's on my wish list.

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    1. Medeia- I love when the voice grabs me right away, too. I hope you already have Rules, but if not- I hope you get to read it soon. :) ~L

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  14. One of my favorite books! I liked Catherine's growth in this book. I feel like a lot of kids can learn from her.

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    1. Adriana- Yeah! So glad to hear you loved it, too. I enjoyed Catherine so much and it was great to see her grow throughout the book. A book that is excellent for kids. :) ~L

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  15. Crystal- The cover drew me in, too. I was curious to know what the cover had to do with the story. It makes a lot of sense. :) ~L

    Heidi- Definitely put this one on your kids pinboard (I love that idea). :) ~L

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  16. What an interesting book. Sounds like a good read for children

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    1. Donna- It really is a great read. I learned so much! :) ~L

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