For my four hours of reading this week I chose the Newbery award winning book Rules by Cynthia Lord. It’s not one of my favorite books out there but it was a good book. The main character is a girl named Catherine who has an autistic younger brother David. Catherine watches over David constantly because she doesn’t want him to get hurt. With all this time spent helping David and babysitting she doesn’t have time to be a kid.

Catherine’s biggest fear is that people will notice how different their family is. She hates that people look at David wrong and sometimes don’t even look at David at all. She writes rules down for David so he can remember simple everyday things. In the meantime she is trying to make friendships with two people trying to make things seem as normal as possible.

It’s almost a sad book, most people don’t realize how hard it is on the siblings of autistic children. Like Catherine they sometimes feel left out and unimportant due to all the time spent with the other child and all the responsibility put on them.

It is a great read and very simple to read. It’s rather longish for a children’s book with about two hundred pages. It’s very easy to get into and easy to understand. It would be perfect for elementary students looking for long chapter books, trying to improve their reading.




  1. I think it is a real eye-opener to those people who haven’t experienced autism first-hand. I used to babysit a girl who was severely autistic, and sometimes it was really frustrating to me that she couldn’t tell me what she needed. But, some people don’t understand, so this book can be helpful to them.


  2. This book seems very sad! I think it would definitely be a good one for young adult/teenagers to read! I think it could help a class work on being accepting of others and their differences. Would you recommend reading it?


  3. I just finished this book today and I have to agree with you; not my favorite, but good. It’s great that the topic of disabilities is addressed in a children’s book. We really do need more diversity in books for kids out there. I didn’t always like Catherine as a character though, so I wasn’t completely sold. I realize perfect characters aren’t good, but her’s just didn’t quite click with me.


  4. I really like books that spark up conversations. This may be a book we could all use for our students to see how hurtful words can be and that everyone is just as important as the next person.


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