Candice Torgerson's Reviews > Rules

Rules by Cynthia Lord
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's review
Jul 18, 11

A family with two children, a daughter named Catherine who is normal as normal can be and twelve years old, and a son whom is younger and autistic named David. School is out for summer and Catherine dreaded the thought of staying alone since her best friend named Melissa left to visit her father. The house next to Catherine’s became occupied by a girl the same age of Catherine named Kristi. Catherine becomes excited with the thought of becoming Kristi’s friend and spending summer time fun with her. A few problems arise since Catherine has the want to just be normal.
The first difference from Catherine’s life to most others is having an autistic brother. David goes to speech therapy where Catherine meets Jason a paraplegic boy in a wheel chair who cannot speak. Jason continuously carries a communication book that gets filled with cards from Catherine. These cards are what Jason taps to have a conversation with other individuals. The relationship between Catherine and Jason grow by the two meeting at therapy and having multiple conversations.
Catherine not only makes word cards with Jason she also makes rules for David. Catherine babysits David a lot since their mother is on the phone constantly with clients and their father is gone for work for long periods of time. Some of these rules for David include: “No toys in the fish tank”, “Sometimes people laugh when they like you. But sometimes they laugh to hurt you”, or “You can yell on a playground, but not during dinner.” Catherine begins to learn more about herself because through the story she also builds rules for herself such as; “Leaving out isn’t the same as lying”, “If you don’t want to do something, say, “Hmm. I’ll think about it” and maybe the asker will forget the whole bad idea.” or “When someone is upset, it’s not a good time to bring up your own problems”.
While at Jason’s birthday party, he asks Catherine to go to the community center summer dance. The same dance that Kristi wanted Catherine to go to and to bring Jason to. With making up excuses for not wanting to go to the dance, Jason finally realizes Catherine is embarrassed by him and that hurts his feelings. Catherine changes her mind and calls Jason’s house and explains to his mother that she will be at the dance waiting for Jason. Catherine doesn’t know if she will get to make up her friendship with Jason, then all of a sudden he makes it to the dance.
At that point in time, Catherine explains the complicated excuse she had to not telling Kristi about Jason. As Kristi walks up to the two, Catherine and Jason, she soon realizes that Jason has a disability. Catherine learns quickly to see the world through someone else’s emotions and she also learns a great deal of empathy for people’s feelings. Catherine learned a lot about herself in this one summer.

I so enjoyed this book. The plot was very easy and understandable. The vocabulary was easy and fast pace. The author did a great job at creating a life for a teenager with a not so normal brother. I loved loved loved this book.

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