Common Sense Media says

Newbery honoree about life with an autistic sib.

Users say

(out of 73 reviews)
age 9+
Review this title!
Kid, 12 years old March 10, 2010

BAD! WHATS THE BIG DEAL!

i honestly don't get what is the big deal over this book i mean it's so boring. All it has is a boring story with a list of rules. Don't waste your money!!!!!!
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byKelly_P August 20, 2009
Realistic look at life with a disabled sibling. The main character vacillates between being mortified by her brother's behavior and being fiercely protective of him. She learns valuable lessons about friendship from an unexpected friend.
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Parent of a 4 and 10 year old Written byLizziesays April 9, 2008

Great read for kids (and parents!)

My daughter chose this from her summer reading list before 5th grade. Because we have friends with autistic kids, I read this book so I could talk with my daughter about autism. This is a fantastic book. Very sweet, funny, touching story -- beautifully written. Nothing objectionable. A great launching pad for discussion with your child about kids who are different, or have learning, social, or physical issues.
Kid, 11 years old December 7, 2011

What will Catherine do?!

I think that Cynthia Lord did a really good job making such a big deal into a loose, easy going, fun novel. It can make you laugh at times and sometimes frown. I really felt hate for Catherine, and that's good! Catherine always wanted a friend, and she gets what she wants! Her friend is pretty, and she can't help to feel compared. Her little brother has autism, and she finds that embarrassing. There's Jason, Ryan, and her mom and dad! Catherine wants to make friends with her neighbor, but is her neighbor nice, or using her? Does jason have a sweet crush on her? What will Ryan do next!? Catherine wants attention, what will she ever do?!
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Kid, 11 years old January 14, 2011

GREAT BOOK!

I just finished this AMAZING book and i absolutely LOVED it! I could even kind of relate to Catherine. It sends out great messages and there was not ONE time in the book where I was bored! If I had to be concerned about ANYTHING I would say there is the tiniest bit of romance (a 12 yr old girl goes to a dance with a 14 yr old boy and there is some EXTREMELY mild flirting) Anyone under 10 could read it but I think kids from 10-14 would understand Catherine and her feelings more.
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Kid, 12 years old January 25, 2012

Awesome!!Book. Not.Stinks a big one!!!

Awesome book! It tells about a girl who has to deal with her brother who has autism. Trying to fit in with her new normal neighbor is hard with her brother around ruining everything. Being good friends with a boy from Catherine's brothers OT ( Occupational Therapy) might be much better then friends with her next door neighbor who is friends with a big jerk at her school.
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Kid, 11 years old October 21, 2011

Hi!

I think that it is a very nice and interesting book that I would love to read again. However, I can't find the climax in the book that is the only problem!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :P :D XD
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Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written bylitmom123 March 1, 2011

Excellent book

Rules is a story of a girl's need to find "normal." This girl, Catherine, struggles constantly with her wanting to be accepted and viewed as anyone else and with her love for her autistic brother. She sets up extensive 'rules', for both him and herself, so she can try to make him more 'normal' to everyone around them. In the end, with the help of the friendship of Jason (a boy in a wheelchair) she learns that maybe what others think isn't THAT important after all. This is a fantastic book for children to learn that others who seem different are just people too. And that what the popular kids think really isn't that important. There is also insight into what it's like to live with an autistic sibling. Great writing by Cynthia Lord.
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Kid, 11 years old May 6, 2010
i read it with my class and every body in my class loved it so read & enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Teen, 14 years old Written byMy Autistic Brother March 24, 2010

My little brother ( :

I Love this book! It really touches me. Because I am an older sister(14) Of an Autistic Brother. Who is 7 years old. All the stuff David does Reminds me of my brother. Well except for the talking part.
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Teen, 14 years old Written byemmers2000 January 21, 2012

BEST Book Ever!!!

I love this book. I have a brother with Autism so it was nice to know that im not alone.
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Kid, 11 years old February 17, 2011

perfect for tweens

is a pretty good book I like how Catherine the main character always tried to stick up for David her brother with autism even when she was sort of frustrated and she was really nice to Jason a boy who goes to her brothers occupational therapy “OCT” who is not able to talk and he has a communication book . Catherine likes to draw and during “OCT” Miss Morehouse Jason’s mom catches Catherine drawing a picture of Jason and than she asks Catherine to draw a picture for some of the communication book. It sends a great message and I would think tweens would like it.
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Kid, 11 years old October 11, 2009

Unpositive messages for 9 year olds

i think that it has some misleading "rules" for younger children. EX: leaving out isnt the same as lying....
Teen, 13 years old Written byjoshhklee November 20, 2008

A touching yet thrilling story about a girl with a brother who always get in trouble.

This book is about a girl named Catherine who wishes she had a normal brother. Her brother David, has autism. So he does not understand life as other people do. She has a friend who has just moved to her next door. But a friend who is dating her worst enemy. A boy who is in a wheelchair and can't speak who has a crush on her. And an overworked father who she thinks does not care a single bit about.
Educator and Parent Written byCommonSenseChristian May 3, 2015

Some Rules are Good...And Some are Meant to Be Broken

Thirteen-year-old Catherine loves her eight-year-old brother David, but she doesn't love his autism. David's behavior frequently embarrasses Catherine and keeps her from socializing. So she comes up with a lot of rules for David to follow when they're together (a peach is not a fuzzy apple, no toys in the fish tank, hug Mom, not the video store clerk, and keep your pants on in public). Catherine thinks she's doing David and the neurotypical people around him a favor. Yet when she meets Jason, a boy who's lost his abilities to walk and speak because of an accident, Catherine learns valuable lessons about disability and normalcy. For example, she sees that Jason's picture board is severely limiting his communication, helps him add to it, and wonders how David must feel when he can't communicate what he wants or needs. Catherine's growth as a character is great, but many parents and teachers may be turned off at David's portrayal. To wit, this character is autistic and little else. He is punished for exhibiting echolalia and other "autistic behavior" that is natural for him. Jason too is seen as disabled and not much else, which is not a good message for readers. It definitely bears discussion that people with disabilities are people first--and the rules they live by should be no more different from ours than absolutely necessary.
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Parent of a 14 year old Written bystars.1234 February 23, 2010
i love this boo k is the bet i have ever read so far and this shows a lot and means alot
Teen, 13 years old Written bymayy17 January 3, 2010

perfect for children of all ages

one of the best books ive read in a while.
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Kid, 11 years old January 2, 2010

perfect for older kids

i think that this is a good book i read it twice
What other families should know
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Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byKdrewk May 5, 2016

Great book!

This was a short but sweet read! This book was only 200 pages long and I finished it in a day and a half, but it was so heartwarming, and every page had importance in the book! There were not many filler scenes, each page went right to the point which I really enjoy in books, you don't get bored as easily XD. Catherine, at first, was really scared to show and tell people about her autistic brother, David, and her paraplegic friend, Jason. She was afraid of what her new neighbour, Kristi, would think of her and that she would diss her because she hung out with them. Despite this, Catherine was a very sweet friend to Jason, and I feel like they really understood each other well. She looked beyond Jason's disabilities and saw the real him, which can sometimes be hard for people to do, even if they don't admit it. I loved David as well. He was so cute, and Catherine was a very helpful and protective sister to him! She always tried her very best to be as patient as she could be towards him, and for the most part, it worked! For lovers of Wonder, Out of my Mind, and Counting by 7's (reviews of those books to come), this book is a winner!
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