Customer Reviews for

Rules

Average Rating 4.5
( 174 )
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(104)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" 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 yo...
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 be home at five o'clock, David starts going crazy at five-oh-one. He likes to rewind his movie of Thomas the Tank Engine to his favorite part, over and over and over again. His favorite place to visit is the video store, where he'll even lay on the floor to read the back of the movie box a stranger is holding in his hand. And he knows all the words to Arnold Lobel's FROG AND TOAD.

For Catherine, though, it's a much different story. She hates the way people stare at her brother, or even worse, refuse to look at him at all. She's jealous of the time David gets to spend, one-on-one, with their pharmacist father. She hates David's rules, the strict adherence to which he is obsessed with them, and yet she makes new rules for him every time she thinks of something else he needs to know.

Catherine copes by drawing, and one day she decides to draw the boy in the wheelchair who is in the waiting room with her at Occupational Therapy. David goes there once a week to work with a therapist, and so does the boy who doesn't speak but instead uses a book of word cards to communicate. When Catherine offers to make Jason, the boy in the wheelchair, some new cards with pictures, an unlikely friendship is born. Catherine is also excited about Kristi, her new next-door neighbor, but soon finds out that friendship is a complicated matter.

How do you protect a brother that often annoys you? How can you be friends with the beautiful girl next door and yet be ashamed to admit your friend Jason doesn't talk and is in a wheelchair? How do you make your father understand that you matter, too? How do you tell your mother that even though David needs his own words, Frog and Toad is a special communication between a brother and sister that love each other? RULES isn't just a book about autism, but rather a look into the complexities of a family relationship. An excellent read for anyone who has ever had to deal with someone who is just a little bit different than everyone else.

posted by TeensReadToo on November 14, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

GREAT READ!

I enjoyed "Rules" very much, it was very hard to put down. This is a book for boys and girls ages 8-13. Catherine, a 12yr old girl is trying to get a normal life. That is very hard with David, her brother who has autism. All the attention in the house goes right to him...
I enjoyed "Rules" very much, it was very hard to put down. This is a book for boys and girls ages 8-13. Catherine, a 12yr old girl is trying to get a normal life. That is very hard with David, her brother who has autism. All the attention in the house goes right to him. Catherine is always giving him rules to follow such as "NO TOYS IN THE FISH TANK!" When Catherine meets Jason, a boy at one of David's classes who cant speak and is in a wheelchair,they get along very well. One day, her neighbor asks if Jason and she would like to go to a dance. Catherine is very embarrased to be with Jason other than in Davids classes. What happens next? Read the book to find out.

posted by 575299 on February 25, 2009

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  • Posted March 29, 2011

    Great Book To Read

    This book is about a girl named Catherine. Her brother, David, is autistic and she doesn't like that he gets special treatment. Catherine feels her life isn't ever normal with David always ruining everything somehow so Catherine makes rules for him. Over the summer a girl named Kristi moves in next door to Catherine. They become friends but Catherine stops telling Kristi the full truth about a boy named Jason at the clinic her brother goes to. Jason is in a wheelchair and can't talk so he points to word cards to communicate. Catherine works hard making more word cards for Jason and starts to get feelings for him. When Kristi asks Catherine to the dance the community center is holding and tells her she should bring Jason, Catherine comes up with many excuses why she can't go. In the end she ends up going hoping Jason will show up after they had some issues at his birthday party. I thought this book was really good and had a great theme. This is a great book to read and it is pretty short. You should really check it out!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    This is a great book

    Loved it very enjoyable

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Rules was much loved!

    My daughter looked at this book in the store (she is almost 10 years old) and turned her nose up but I put it in the basket because I liked the subject matter and because I wanted to read it myself! We wound up starting it together and then she read it on her own. She is now writing a report for school about it. She also recommended it to her friend and they are discussing the book as her friend reads which is a first. Very exciting to see my daughter so enraptured!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    I loved it

    I have an autistic cousin and was able to make some interesting connections

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Pretty good book

    This was a pretty good book. I read this in 6th grade for a novel and many of the 6th graders thought it was pretty boring because it did not have very much action in it and suspense. I kind of liked the book but it was not an eye catcher. This book is aobut a girl named Cathrine that has a brother named David and he has autism. It is very hard for her when a girl next door moves in and she meets Jason, a boy at Davids therapy place, she has to decide if she wants to be friends with her next door neighbor or Jason. She has a pretty tough life and it was kind of sad in some parts, but over all it was a pretty good book. I would recommend it to kids the age of 10-12.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2013

    Read this book in sixth grade. Though I am a junior now, I do ac

    Read this book in sixth grade. Though I am a junior now, I do acknowledge the impact it had on my eleven year old life. I remember being able to relate to it and loving the story.
    I wouldn't read it if you are out of middle school, but that's perhaps a given since it is 8 - 12 and thus that is the age range I will judge it by. 
    This book tells a great story and really got me into reading, so give it to your children! They will love it! 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2012

    Surprisingly Great Read

    I read this book as a required reading assignment for my son's summer reading. How surprised I was when I actually related to the story!

    Sometimes you can stand in the middle of a room and still not be seen. This story did a great job of telling just how that feels. It also touched on the subject of how every one of us wants to be accepted by someone. It seems to underscore our personal worth.

    I loved the detail and the author's interview at the end. I would recommend this book for sure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Really liked this teaches acceptance to those with disabilities

    Really liked this
    teaches acceptance to those with disabilities

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I am a 6th Grade Lemon in Glendale, AZ

    "Rules" by Cynthia Lord The main character of this book is a girl named Catherine. She is in sixth grade and is eleven. She has an autistic brother, named David. She always feels jealous because he gets most of the "things" in the house. David is a main character too. Because of David's autism he has to go to a clinic every week. Catherine goes along and each time there is a boy named Jason there. Catherine loves to draw so she drew Jason. She started to draw but Jason's mom saw and asked why she was drawing him so she never got to finish. But then they became friends and Jason asked her to make him some word cards because he is mute. Then Catherine started taking about a dance and Jason really wanted to go, so he asked Catherine. But she refuses and says she is a really bad dancer. So Jason takes that in offense and ignores her. But then Catherine decided to go to the dance. Will Jason show up?? The setting in this story is in modern time Maine. I really enjoyed reading this book because it shows the real meaning of friendship. I recommend this to any girl. I connected to this book in a text to self and a text to text. I was visiting a friend and she wanted to play a game but I didn't so she got mad and I decided to play anyway. And in a book there was two boys and one wanted to play baseball and the other wanted to play football so one chose baseball to make the other happy.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2014

    I read RULES and gave it a 14/16. The beginning was ok, but it d

    I read RULES and gave it a 14/16. The beginning was ok, but it didn't make me want to read more of the book. I did anyway and I am so glad that I did because the action was a vast power of excellence. It made me read more of the book. I think that the title went with the story very well. The characters I could relate to also very well. You should read this book, you will not regret it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2009

    The Hard Life.

    Rules Was written by Cynthia Lord. The genre of this book is a realistic fiction. This book is great. It shows emotion and understanding between people. This story is easy to get into and hard to put down. The time period is modern time. The setting of this book is a lot of places, mainly around where Catherine and Krisi live and Also at David's favorite video store. The major conflict in the book is Catherine dealing with her brother, David's autism and disabilities. Catherine knows that David loves rules, so she provides many for him to follow to make her life easier. She also grows a little jealous that David gets what he wants because of his autism.
    Catherine deals with her brother by providing rules for him to follow so that he won't be as embarrassing. Throughout the story, she meets Jason, a boy with disabilities also. She makes flashcards with words and pictures to deal with his disabilities, it will also help him speak and learn. Catherine meets Krisi, the friend she always wanted. She tries to keep her brother's autism away from Krisi so that she would think Catherine was just another normal girl. Cynthia Lord's style is full of warmth and understanding. Her story Rules is told in first person, by Catherine. It is also full of embarrassment between Catherine and David. Lords sensitive words really get you to read and wonder, "What will happen next?" This book shows how it feels to be different. It shows you what it would be like to have autism, and how hard it is to deal with. If you're the type of person to think and understand troubled times this is the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2009

    Reading Review Of The Book Rules

    Ever told a white lie, or just didn't tell any one about something? Catherine sure has. Catherine just wants to appear normal. When you have an autistic brother that you get stuck babysitting, and you have a sorta friend that can't talk or walk. It can be hard to feel normal. Catherine wants to be friends with the new girl next door, yet Catherine doesn't want to tell her brother David's secret to her because she thinks it might ruin her chances of this friendship. Meanwhile, David has some rules to follow that Catherine made. Catherine wonders if she should come clean and tell the truth to the new girl.

    Catherine changes in the story. She is torn by the truth, she wants to tell but she is afraid. I would describe her as an emotionally confused person. Catherine is a very caring person but she is a problem causer. Part of the problem comes from trying to become friends with her new next door neighbor Kristy. Catherine and Kristy find things hard for them to work out, even though Kristy is nice to David. David drives Catherine up the wall. Whenever Catherine is babysitting he wants to go to the video store. He is not an average boy thats for sure. The title of the book comes from within the book. Since David is autistic Catherine decides to make him some rules, hence the title.

    I would definitely recommend this book to all ages. It sends the message of telling the truth, and loving your family the way they are, and knowing how to make the right kind of friends. In the beginning of the book Catherine wasn't very good at any of these things. She had to make a decision towards the end of the book, but I don't want to give the ending away. If this sounds like a book that would interests you, or you feel like you need to know the ending, you can find it at your school, or local library.

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  • Posted October 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Cute,but from the wrong point of view

    'Rules',I must say,is very interesting.When I say this,I mean that it's not the best book that I've ever read,but it's not the worst.It just lacks sophistication.You see,when most authors write about topics like this(this meaning autism),those books are from the point of view of older people,not 12-year-olds.While reading I could tell how the narrator thought she knew how to deal with her brother's problem,but she doesn't.That's why is an author is going to write a 1st-person-narration,at least write it from a person who actually understands what a disease is.And also from a person who has patience.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2009

    These Rules Rock

    I love Rules for many reasons, it has humor, but is sensitive at certain parts when it needs to be. I recommend Rules to people that like humor books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2009

    Not just a children's book!

    This book was selected by the Mother/Daughter book club at my daughter's school. A very engaging story. As the parent of a "special" child, I loved the way the author handled the characters with special needs. It made me think about how my other children cope with living with a sibling with disabilities. I think this would be a great classroom read. Valuable lessons on tolerance and valuing other's perspectives.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    Realistic and Moving

    This book will make its reader stop and think about what it might be like to live with a younger brother with a disability. It shows how situations in life can bring joy, anger and sorrow in a matter of minutes and that everyone can experience similar emotions about circumstances he/she might encounter.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2008

    Rules

    I think this was a very good book especcialy kids that like with challanged siblings and you can relate to how Catherine feels and her reactions to different things.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Rules!! Rules!! Read all of it!!

    This book really helped my class understand about people who have somethings that we can do that they can't do as easyly or not at all. In the story, an eight(8) year old boy named David has something that he can't do and everyone makes fun of him. David has an older sister named Catherine. Catherine is 12 years old and she has to babysit David. But then a new family moves in and they always ask what is wrong with David and Catherine meets someone who can't talk. Catherine's new friend whats them to go to a dance together!! Will they? Read this book to find out. This book is for ages 8 and up.

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  • Posted November 18, 2008

    RULES!!

    Ms. Lord wrote Rules to show that even though, every teenager wants a normal life, and they all want to be accepted, that it¿s okay to be different and have issues. The viewers to this book should be teenagers, simply because the book is all about them and the situations they may face in life. For instance this book also fits the teenagers because the story is being told by a teenager named Catherine. I believe Ms. Lord chose her to tell this story because, coming from an adult teenager might not listen and think the adult has no idea what teens are thinking. However the story, coming from a teen will catch the eye of other teens that have similar interests. Rules may be a true story or event. Nothing in this book could be made up; I wouldn¿t be surprised if this story was based on a real person¿s life. <BR/> I can¿t honestly say that I related to anyone in the book because, I have never had siblings or problems with making friends or impressing people. I do however, believe that Ms. Lord got the point across to the readers. I think what she wanted to accomplish with the book, and she did. There are a lot of lessons to learn for instance, ¿No toys in the fish tank, it¿s a rule¿. I think the readers can get a pretty good idea of what the book is about from this quote. <BR/> I¿m not sure there is a movie based on this book, although I¿m pretty sure there are a lot of books related to this one, however I can¿t think of any right now so we are just going to say that this book is unique and everyone should read it. <BR/> The significant thing about this book is that everyone lives by rules, but it¿s your individual rules which set them apart from anyone else¿s rules. I would recommend this book to anyone, who feels they need to be normal to have a good life, and those who feel the need to impress their peers. My final thought of the conclusion is wow this book made some interesting views and opened up my eyes to the way I view people. However, the book could have been little longer to clear up some questions that I had, but that¿s just me. <BR/> The ending is thoroughly predictable almost in every spot of the book I knew what was going to happen next. All in all I would rate this book a three and a half stars, because its not the best book in the world, there are some points in the book where its like why would you write that. Then there are some points in the book where I just thought wow, this is deep conversation I never looked at it like that before. There are some points in the book where I had to think so that¿s why I rated it a 3.5 out of 5, being the highest.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    Pretty Cool

    12 year old Catherine has to deal with her younger brother, David who has a disease called autism. Catherine is always writing rules for David to follow such as *no toys in the fish tank* to *keep your pants on in public* to *if someone gives you a present, you say thank you even if you don't like* and many more. During that summer, Catherine meets a guy named Jason who doesn't have the ability to speak and uses cards with words on them to communicate. Jason is a really great guy and becomes good friends with Catherine who he even invites to his b-day party. How far will their friendship go? Catherine also meets a new neighbor, Kristi, who has just moved in. Catherine is extremely excited about this. Will David embarrass her in front of Kristi?

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