Twelve year old Catherine is embarrassed by her autistic brother’s behavior so she sets rules for him to follow; rules like “No toys in the fish tank” and “a boy can take off his shirt to swim, but not his shorts”. In this heartfelt story of Catherine she shares her ups and downs of her family life and life as a tween.
When a Kristi moves next door Catherine would like to be friends with her, but she is unsure and scared how Kristi will react to David’s “embarrassing behaviors”. Catherine also meets Jason, a paraplegic and once again finds herself embarrassed to be seen with him. Only later does she realize that acceptance is the only rule that everyone needs to follow.
Cynthia Lord crafts a magnificent story of a young girl longing for acceptance in a world that we can all use some understanding of the differences around us.
Hi, Jessica the librarian here. Since a lot of people have questions about this book, I’m going to try to help readers understand some of the different issues. If you need more help, leave us a message in the comments field.
1. Setting: Setting usually involves two pieces, time and place. The time is pretty easy to identify; ask yourself if the story takes place in historical times or current times. And then ask yourself what time of year it is. (You can figure this out by clues such as the weather– is it warm or cold?– and whether or not the kids are in school.)
As for place, the author does mention the state a few times, but even if you forget that detail, you can still describe the setting. Is it out in the country or in the city? Is it near mountains or the ocean or a lake, or a hospital or a school or places to shop?
2. Characters: There are lots of different ways to describe characters. Some characters are young or old, friendly or mean, frustrating or easy-going, insecure or confident, patient or impatient…
3. Themes: What do you think the author is trying to say? Why did Cynthia Lord write Rules? Is she trying to teach us something or give us a message? Did you learn anything from the book? Did the book reaffirm something you already knew?
Here’s a hint: This particular book has lots of different themes. Here’s just one (you’ll recognize it as one of The Rules): “Looking closer can make something beautiful.”
Check the WRL catalog for Rules