Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Girl connects with brother who has autism in moving tale.

Rules Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 13 parent reviews

age 10+

Sweet and kindhearted

My daughter liked this book because the main character has a brother who is differently abled, and when she attends therapy with him, she meets another boy who is differently abled. Throughout the book the reader can sense how empathetic the main character is toward her brother and new friend, and she demonstrated a lot kindness and compassion. It lacked a little excitement, but overall it was a decent book.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 7+

A Realistic Portrayal of Autism

Rules is a good book about autism. You will want to find out what happens, and while the book is overly sentimental, it's still not a bad book.

This title has:

Educational value

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (13):
Kids say (65):

This clear-eyed, unsentimental look at a real family issue has the ring of authenticity. Written by the mother of a child with autism, Rules has two things that raise it above the usual run of "problem" novels. One is Catherine's relationship with Jason, a paraplegic boy who taps on picture cards to communicate. Catherine begins creating illustrated word cards for his book; choosing words and pictures becomes a way for her to look at her own life, to assess and then respond and express her thoughts and feelings. The other is the poignant way David sometimes communicates -- through memorized sections of Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad books. Their mother disapproves, wanting David to use his own words instead of quoting someone else's. But David chooses pieces that are metaphorically and expressively appropriate, and when he and Catherine engage in one of their delicate Frog-and-Toad dialogues, it's lovely enough to bring a lump to your throat.

Book Details

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