Wendy's Reviews > Rules

Rules by Cynthia Lord
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Dec 04, 11

bookshelves: young-adult

I was torn between giving the book three stars or four stars. I must be feeling generous tonight, because I decided to go with four.

Catherine has a younger brother diagnosed with Autism. She struggles with how embarrassing some of his behaviors can be when they are out in public, and how much his diagnoses affects her life. Like any twelve year old with a little brother, she is beyond frustrated with him and can be very inpatient. Yet, she also struggles with her desire to defend and help him and to be the best sister she possibly can be. When she meets Jason, a young paraplegic, her whole perspective starts to change.

I felt that this book did a fairly good job of portraying what life with a sibling with Autism would probably be like. The book hinted at various things that may bother someone with Autism, or certain behaviors/struggles they are more likely to have without becoming too clinical. The approach seems very age appropriate. What a great discussion starter on individual differences and those with disabilities.

I also want to note that this book is very conservative. Teaching at an ultra-conservative school, this is of great importance to me if I hope to share a book with my students. This book hints at having past boyfriends (or the possibility of future boyfriends), but there are no boyfriend/girlfriend romances that take place in the book. At one point, Catherine and Jason are alone in his room, but it is completely innocent. There is no hand-holding, kissing, drinking, or swearing. It's great to see that wholesome books are still being written and published!
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