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Publisher's Summary

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, focused on special care for David, forget that she exists, too.

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.

©2006 Cynthia Lord (P)2007 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

  • Newbery Honor Book, 2007

What listeners say about Rules

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  • Overall
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Honest story with a touching ending for ALL ages

What made the experience of listening to Rules the most enjoyable?

All of it - it was well written, beautifully narrated, and highly relatable.

What other book might you compare Rules to and why?

It is very unique - I can't think think of any comparable books.

Which scene was your favorite?

The running scene, the dance, and the ending were all awesome.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

No toys in the fishtank, and no apologies for existing; those are the rules.

Any additional comments?

I was the forgotten older sister of a brother with learning disabilities. I am a proud Mom of (2)Aspies (1)mild-moderatly autistic and (1)neurotypical kids (who are each fascinating), a prior Sign-Language interpreter, and a current Vocational Rehab provider (Like an OT but concentrating on work skills, rather than daily living skills).
This was a gratifying and reaffirming story. I could see myself, my parents, my brother, my kids, and my previous customers who use communication boards in these situations. The technical description of the use of the communication book were accurate. Even if the English word weren't given, I would have known which signs were being used from the descriptions. Many of the books/materials I used during my Deaf Studies / Interpreter Training classes in college fell far short of the descriptions in this book. Getting the technical details right is important to me - it lends credibility to the story. This book touched on so many of the 'unique' experiences in my life, and remained realistic. Attitudes that evolved over decades for me were reflected beautifully. The last line in the book will stay with me as I guide my own kids.
Don't hesitate, this book has a lot to show you; you will very likely be a better person after listening to it. Seriously. This should be required reading/listening in every school - from elementary school through college.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Necessary Read

I use this for a read-aloud each year to my Grade 8's. Such important messages in this book. Having taught special needs students before, this connects with me deeply to the point that I'm able to share my own experiences with kids like David and Jason. I find that I like to actually read it myself because I emphasize Jason's "touching" in his binder of words as an effect. The book is on my Mac for my struggling readers to enjoy during the year. You must read this - and get this - if you teach middle-schoolers.

7 people found this helpful

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Loved it. Very heart warming.

Listened to this book at the recommendation of my 10 year old daughter. Story pulled at hear strings on a couple of occasions. Well written and worth your time.

4 people found this helpful

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I wish all would understand this message

I got this book to help some children who were assigned this as their summer reading. What I got was more than I expected, insight and understanding. I have a friend with an autistic child and I have learned to work with him and accept his rules (before the book). In return I have felt the love and joy of a friendship with my young friend.

The book was written at a level that the children I was helping would understand. It was written very well and if the readers will allow it, the book will change their perspectives of others. It will allow them to be less judgmental and less concerned with what others think of them and their friendships. I applaud the author and her work and hope that many people will read and appreciate this work.

3 people found this helpful

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👍🏻listen with your kids

My kids and I listened to this while on a long road trip. It was such a fun listen. Highly encourage! Reminds everyone to be kind and instills compassion.

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Want to talk about disability with

your kids? especially adolescents and teens? This book presents many issues to think about but with humor and real feelings. The narrator was a little lispy, which made her sound very young but she was good otherwise.

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More than words.

Tugs at your soul, the whole way through. Tears and more tears, but wonderfully beautiful!

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got to follow the rules

I enjoyed the interaction even when I would feel the sister's sadness. David is autistic and why his sister struggles.

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review 01

I absolutely loved this book. I read it for hours and didn't want to stop.

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Rules

it was a very touching story and I really loved it a lot wish there was a series.