MMGM (3/20/2017): Rules by Cynthia Lord

Update (June 26, 2021): In the time since publishing this post, I have learned about some ableist elements of Rules that I did not know about when posting this review. I recommend taking the time to learn about these issues from this article at Disability in Kidlit. I apologize for my ignorance regarding these issues. Thank you for understanding.

For MMGM, I am recommending Rules by Cynthia Lord.

The main character of Rules (a Newbery Honor book) is Catherine, a 12-year-old girl whose younger brother, David, has autism. Catherine is often conflicted between trying to help her brother in the world and wishing that he could behave around others. In the story, set in summer, Catherine makes two friends, a girl named Kristi who moves in next door, and a wheelchair-ridden boy named Jason who cannot speak and must use cards with words written on them. All of these events culminate in Catherine's struggle between embarrassment and protectiveness, or between her and her brother. Catherine is a great narrator for the story, staying strong and likable as she deals with issues in her life. Kristi and Jason are great characters as well, and Catherine's conflicts as part of friendship with them are relatable to anyone who's ever had friends. Although an important part of this book is autism, unlike many other books about the subject, this one is not very sad, making it a particularly enjoyable read for any kid, class, or adult.


  1. That's great that the story deals with autism, that many kids can relate to, but isn't sad. Sounds like Catherine is a great character. Thanks for sharing about it.

    And yes, wish Spring would come sooner. At least it's going to be warmer here this week so I can get out and walk.

  2. I enjoyed this one too. It is a fast read with many memorable scenes. Thanks for featuring and keeping it out there!

  3. This is one of the first MG books I read about autism. Still a favorite. I love the back story behind Lord's writing the book.

  4. Sounds great! Love teaching new books to help break sigma!


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