Every year is filled with many great stories, and one of my favorites for 2014 was Rules by Cynthia Lord. The characters in this book stayed with me throughout the year, and I'm still thinking about them! ~ L
“Looking closer can make something beautiful.”
~ Cynthia Lord, Rules
Keep your clothes on even if they get wet. No 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
Happy Reading! ~L