Rules by Cynthia Lord
Current Mood: cold
Current Song: South of Nowhere background music
Cynthia Lord's debut novel RULES is a tender look at adolescence and autism. Through the eyes of 12 year old Catherine, we see how her little brother's autism touches each of her family members in different ways: her mother is caring, her father is distant, and Catherine is both his sister and his teacher. No matter what happens, she tries to teach David rules to make sure he knows the do's and don'ts of life.
Then Catherine meets two kids her age who are about to change the rules: Kristi, the new girl next door who she is in awe of immediately, and Jason, a paraplegic who she meets while waiting for her brother to finish an Occupational Therapy (OT) session. Kristi could be the cool best friend Catherine has always wanted. Jason turns out to be the friend she never expected.
Rules is both compassionate and honest. It was a pleasant read due to the warm narrative and the honesty of the afflictions, emotions, and relationships. By allowing Catherine room for error, for apologies, and for acceptance, the young protagonist is very likable and relatable. Like the equally outstanding TRU CONFESSIONS by Janet Tashjian, I recommend RULES to young kids and families alike in hopes of encouraging acceptance and compassion.
Read my interview with Cynthia Lord.