The Bottom Line
- A great book for siblings of children with autism
- Great fun for parents as well
- Compelling, believable characters
- Warm and positive without being gooey or maudlin
- Opens doors for conversation with kids and adults
- This is a novel for kids, so adults might find it simplistic
- The character with autism is not explored deeply
- A novel for children ages nine to 12
- Disabled characters are full and real
- Well-written and worthy of being on any reading list
- A great tool for opening conversations
- Provides insight into autism and cerebral palsy
Guide Review - Book Review: "Rules" by Cynthia Lord
Two things surprised and interested me. First, I realized that the sibling relationship between Catherine and her autistic brother David is not that different from any sibling relationship. He drives her crazy and gets special treatment - but there's a unique bond between them that is unaffected by a diagnosis. This seemed very real to me, and echoed my experience with my own kids.
Second, I was interested to see that Lord took the time-honored approach of making this book all about the kids - and NOT the adults. As a result, mom and dad are emotionally absent. This made me feel a bit sad, but to be honest, it seemed fairly realistic.
I could easily see using this novel at school or at home as an entree to a discussion of relationships and disabilities (the story also includes a very three-dimensional character with severe cerebral palsy). A terrific addition to home and school libraries.