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Rules by Cynthia Lord

A critique of the novel Rules, which was a Sunshine State Young Readers book in 2008 and 2009, the winner of the Newberry Honor award in 2007, and the winner of the Schneider Family Book Award,
by

Trey Carlton

on 19 November 2012

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Transcript of Rules by Cynthia Lord

Rules, by Cynthia Lord A critique by James "Trey" Carlton Narrator & Major Characters Overall Rating/
Audience Recommendation Overall Rating Audience Recommendation Ryan Conflict/Summary Passage Setting Catherine Kristi David Narrator and main character, Catherine is a kind-hearted girl with a passion for drawing. Brother of Catherine, David was born with autism, causing him to clearly stand out from other children. Because of his autism, Catherine has spent a majority of her life trying to teach him how the world works by taking advantage of his love of rules and making up rules for him, such as "If the bathroom door is closed, knock." and "Sometimes people laugh when they like you, but sometimes they laugh to hurt you." Kristi is Catherine's new neighbor, so, in an attempt to make a new friend, Catherine tries to hide David in order to seem normal. Time: Beginning of summer Vacation, year unknown Wanting to seem like an ordinary girl to her new neighbor Kristi, the narrator and main character Catherine attempts to hide her eight-year-old autism-ridden brother David from her. Not long after being invited into Catherine's house, Kristi notices her unfinished drawing of Jason, quickly assuming that he was either her boyfriend or her crush. Before long, Kristi meets Ryan, who then invites her to the upcoming summer dance. Soon afterward, Kristi invites Catherine to come as well and invite Jason, the dance being on the same day as his birthday party. "Your mom said you were here," Ryan says to Kristi. "Did you ask Catherine yet?"
Ask me?
Kristi smiles. "Catherine, you know how the community center's holding a dance on Saturday?"
I nod.
"They asked me to help decorate," Kristi says, "and I was hoping -"
"I could help you decorate," I say, grabbing my towel off the and. "I'm good at making posters."
"Actually, I was hoping you'd like to go?" Kristi glances at Ryan. "Me and Ryan and you and somebody. It'll be so much fun. Please say yes."
I wrap my towel around me, tight as I can. "I don't know anyone to ask."
"Ask Jason," Kristi says. "That boy you drew. This is your chance to ask him out." Apparently a mean-spirited boy, Ryan has made fun of David because of his autism for years, often causing trouble between Ryan and Catherine. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, I would give this book a 4.5, partially because of the fact that it has a good, if somewhat rude, sense of humor, but the fairly common and easily expected conflict keeps this book from getting a perfect score. I'd recommend this book to any girls who were going through puberty, mainly because the main conflict is something that they may face themselves. Role: Main Protagonist. Role: Protagonist. Genre: Realistic Fiction Summary Place: Maine, city unknown Jason Jason is a boy who meets Catherine when she is caught drawing him when she decides to tag along with David and their mother to David's occupational therapy. Though his problem is unknown, it is known that it has left him unable to walk or speak, forcing him to talk with a communication book. Role: Protagonist Role: Protagonist Role: Antagonist
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