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Rules

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  47,665 Ratings  ·  4,331 Reviews
Rules, Cynthia Lord’s Newbery and ALA Award-winning debut novel, is a tender look at the frustration, struggle, devotion, and hope experienced by families with autistic children. Catherine, a 12-year-old girl with big responsibilities, loves her autistic younger brother David and makes lists of rules she thinks will help him get by. But she often feels that her parents, fo ...more
Audio CD, Unabridged, 4 pages
Published 2006 by Recorded Books
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Grace I could be mistaken, but I don't think that this is directly about the boy in Wonder or his sister. As to it being like the POV of the boy's sister, I…moreI could be mistaken, but I don't think that this is directly about the boy in Wonder or his sister. As to it being like the POV of the boy's sister, I think that this might be a good book for you in that respect. :)(less)
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Swee'tea
Oct 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids who have relatives with autism
This is a quick read, I read it in about a week or so. It is a VERY good book! What I liked best about the book, is how Cynthia Lord(the author) really understands how it's like to live with people with autism. I know this because she came to my school, and I met her. I liked how the book was about a who has the same experiences that I do, having a sibling with autism. I don't just recommend only people with relatives with autism to read this, I recommend everyone reading it. I have shared it wi ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

You can always tell when you're reading a book that has a basis in truth. With RULES, author Cynthia Lord writes about what it's like to live with autism, and she should know, since she has an autistic child.

That ring of truth is there, in every word, when you read the story of twelve-year old Catherine and her autistic younger brother, David.David hates loud noises. If there's a cloud in the sky, he has to take his red umbrella with him. If his dad says he'll
...more
Rebecca
I've been trying to think of the best way to talk about this book. I read it in a night and then forced it upon my mother -who hardly ever makes the time to read- and she finished it in a night. Someday, when my sister is ready, I will have her read it too. This book was so sweet, and at moments, heart-wrenching. It's a simple story about a young girl who wants to be known for herself - not David's sister. Her eight-year-old brother has autism and because of his special needs, often takes the at ...more
Mike Mullin
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, I've owned this book for more than a year but never gotten around to reading it. When I saw it had been challenged, I figured I'd read it to try to understand why.

Here's why RULES got challenged: some people are effing crazy. This is a beautifully written, touching story about a family that happens to include an autistic kid. Catherine, the 12-year-old protagonist, is portrayed realistically, with a pitch-perfect kid's voice. She grows through the story, coming to better accept the differenc
...more
Nancy
Aug 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
"Rules", by Cynthia Lord, is told from the perspective of Catherine, the 12-year-old sister of David, an autistic 8-year-old. Catherine, at 12, is dealing with finding a place in a family that seems to be centered around coping with David's needs for comfort and development. Catherine's mom is divided between managing a home business (leaving Catherine to care for David) and providing David the care and developmental therapy he needs. Catherine's dad seems to be mostly coping with his own diffic ...more
Cyn (chinchilla hunter, shameless reader of trash, proud member of Not Reading Your TBR Club)
4.5* rounded up

It's difficult having a brother with autism, and sometimes 12-year-old Catherine wants out.

Oops I did it again
I let books mess with my heart
Got lost in the game
Oh baby baby


I love the characters in this story!
Victoria Croteau
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Victoria Croteau
28 September 2016
B3
Although the assignment due was to write a feminist book review, the book I read had really nothing to do with feminism at all. In Rules by Cynthia Lord, the main focus is on the main character, Catherine, and how she gets through simple day to day tasks with her autistic brother, David, by her side. In the beginning, Catherine explains how her brother does not understand a lot of things that may come naturally to most. For example, David’s father always tells
...more
Jim
Aug 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rules, by author Cynthia Lord, is a touching look at the life of a young girl, Catherine, who's coping with the conflicting emotions of living with her autistic brother, David. And I was coping with the conflicting emotions of annoyance and boredom of reading this book.

Catherine, a normal 12 year old girl, has a huge role and responsibility in the care-taking of her autistic brother, David. Catherine must balance the love and the responsibility she feels for David with the embarrassment and res
...more
Moe
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Moe by: My Extended ELA teacher
I love when teachers make you read books that you can't choose to read. I guess that its good for kids who don't read at all. But hate to break it to you, this book...

Sucked.

If they're trying to get kids to read, you just made it sure they won't read another word except "pizza" or "video games".I can not believe I am wasting my precious time on this book. Go and read it. See what I mean. Out of all the fabulous books like Harry Potter or Hunger Games they had to pick a book about a girl who can'
...more
Ashley Cook
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ashley Cook
McLaughlin
Women’s Lit Honors
September 28, 2016

As if trying to figure out who you are is not hard enough at the age of twelve, main character Catherine, is trying to create who her brother is. Protagonist of “Rules” by Cynthia Lord, struggles with anxiety and the fear of what others may think about her because of her autistic brother, David. As a way to shield the realities behind this struggle, Catherine creates rules for her brother to memorize and follow. The authors purpose is to
...more
Moira
Nov 25, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-lit
Well, this was a nice book - a story about a girl trying to come to grips with her autistic brother (and her parents who do everything for him and nothing for her) and her friendship with a boy with cerebral palsy. It kept my interest. But it seemed artifical - I mean, she is driven crazy by the brother, but she chooses to befriend the boy who is even more challenged? And the voice is that of a girl MUCH younger than the main character is supposed to be. Further, nothing is all that resolved, ex ...more
Ashley Cook
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ashley Cook
McLaughlin
Women’s Lit Honors
September 28, 2016

As if trying to figure out who you are is not hard enough at the age of twelve, main character Catherine, is trying to create who her brother is. Protagonist of “Rules” by Cynthia Lord, struggles with anxiety and the fear of what others may think about her because of her autistic brother, David. As a way to shield the realities behind this struggle, Catherine creates rules for her brother to memorize and follow. The authors purpose is to
...more
AnnaBnana
I thought this book was really incredible. I read it in one sitting. I was glad that Lord didn't shy away Catherine's difficult and conflicted feeling about having an autistic brother. I thought the relationship she built between Catherine and Jason was natural and touching.

I think Catherine is also a really relate-able character on a more general level. I haven't experienced any of what went on in Catherine's family life, but her propensity for daydreaming and getting her hopes up about a frie
...more
Ben
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. I like how in all of Cynthia Lord's books, there is a saying before every chapter.
I liked how the main character had a brother with autism because I had never really read a book like that before. I recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic fiction or just a good, quick and funny read.
Shayne Bauer
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really heartfelt story that helps readers understand the strain that autism puts on an entire family. I enjoyed the array of characters and how they deal with the disability. There are those who are understanding, frustrated, confused, sympathetic, and downright mean--which is so authentic!

I attended Cynthia Lord's author session at the Dublin Literacy Conference this year where she spoke about writing this book. It went through twelve revisions! I was anxious to read the book, as it
...more
Courtney
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autism
If I could be objective, I would probably give this book a higher rating. My son with Autism read this book with his 5th grade class. One would normally identify with the main character of this book, 12-year-old Catherine who's younger brother, David, has Autism. I can't help but wonder, though, if my son identified with David (being that my son is a younger brother with Autism). It makes me cringe to think this as Catherine is clearly embarrassed by David. At one point, she even compares him to ...more
Karen
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finally got my hands on RULES by Cynthia Lord, and I read it in one sitting. The narrator, Catherine, genuinely seems twelve. Her mannerisms and thoughts ring true, especially her artistic view on life and her lists of rules to help both herself and her autistic brother David. Catherine has more than shallow run-of-the-mill problems to deal with, and yet she's easy to identify with. In less capable hands, the story could have come across saccharine or depressing. Lord pulls it off in a way tha ...more
Lee
Such delight! This touching, funny story -- a quick, compelling read for a sunny afternoon -- is both respectful and adorably irreverent. Catherine is the voice of a wise, practical observer whose perspective has been sharpened by life with her autistic brother and her disabled friend.

There is nothing here which is inappropriate for any reader of any age; and there is much here that is valuable for everyone, whether or not they know or are related to people who have autism or any other physical
...more
Jaqui
I read this for a book club book and it was about a girl whose brother had autism and he was very embarrasing. (at least to her) it taught me some lessons about honestly and much more!
C.J. Milbrandt
Catherine is thrilled to learn that the house next door has been sold to a family with a girl her age. She daydreams about a new best friend. Meanwhile, she makes a new friend in the waiting room at the office where her little brother (who is autistic) goes for occupational therapy. Jason can't talk, but Catherine steadily adds words to his vocabulary.

Rules and rubber ducks and running. Wheelchairs and words. Standing out and being invisible. Frustration and true friends.

Loved this. Wholeheart
...more
Kristi
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the human face this book gives Autism. I also like how it is told from a family member's perspective so we understand what it is like to live in a household with someone impacted by Autism.
Jelseanne
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about Catherine who just wants a normal life which is impossible for her brother, David who has autism. She makes rules to teach him in order to stop his embarrassing behavior, but in summer, when Catherine meets Jason and Kristi, it's her own behavior that's turning everything upside-down. I like this book because the plot of the story is similar to Wonder. It also reminds me of the rules that I had to follow at school. So, I recommend this book to the ones who either follow rules ...more
A.
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure I would like this book at first because it is an "issues" book. I thought it would be about a girl who learns to accept her brother's disabilities, and while this is true, it was more a learning-to-fit-in-and-be-comfortable-with-yourself book. I'm still making it sound cheesy, but it really wasn't. Rather, it was hilarious and well-written. The main character, a twelve-year-old girl named Catherine, is highly relatable, and draws you in from the first chapter by telling you all abo ...more
Mina
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-reading
The fourth book I read this summer was rules by Cynthia lord, I personally found this book well written interesting with authenticity to it. This book was about a girl Catherine and her younger brother David who is autistic. Catharine is much like any ordinary girl and all she desires for is for David to wake up one day and for is autism to disappear, but Catharine knows that wish will never come true. Through out portions of the book Catharine feel that her world revolves around David, she has ...more
Susan  Dunn
I've been meaning to read this ever since my coworker Kristi booktalked it years ago. Then I got to hear the author speak at ALA last summer (she has an autistic son) so that made me want to read it even more. I'm so glad I finally did. This is a good one for anyone interested in autism. 12-year-old Catherine's younger brother David is autistic. This means that he gets a lot more attention from their parents than she does, and also that Catherine shoulders a lot more responsibility than many kid ...more
Cherie
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to help my grandson with his Battle of the Books assignment. We can discuss the characters and the important points of the story together now.

I enjoyed the characters in the story and the RULES very much. I hope my grandson cares about Carherine and her little brother, David, as much as I do now. I have never met a person like Jason before but I am pleased that this story has given me an insight into what someone without words faces every day. I learned that just because someon
...more
Daisy Johnson
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was absolutely inspiring. I thought Catherine so brave for handling her brother's autism with more understanding and grace than I believe the average 12 year old would have. She shows a combination of kindness and frustration because she is torn between instilling her younger autistic brother with rules for life and being a normal pre-teen. I believe her relationship with Jason teaches her one of the most important lessons in life. That lesson is that some people don't know how to deal ...more
Analisa
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far this book has been interesting- in a good way. It gives real life situations that the characters have to solve and really makes you want to keep reading. The book is about Catherine and her little brother, David, who has autism. This means he needs help with lots of things, which is why Catherine has made him RULES that he is supposed to follow. All of her adventures to try to protect him have been very exciting- and a little bit funny, too. I would definitely recommend reading this book.
Kate
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading RULES for the second time, and I loved the characters even more this time around. This is a funny, touching book about a girl coming to terms with her brother's disability and what it means to their family life. It's a fantastic book for the classroom, with lots of opportunities for extension activities and discussion (and in the September Scholastic Book Order for $3.95).
Katie
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this! David reminded me of my best friend's little brother in a way. He is hyper and has autism, but he's so joyful and sweet.
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“Some people think they know who you are, when really they don't.” 54 likes
“Not everything worth keeping has to be useful.” 38 likes
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