Rules by Cynthia Lord

Yesterday I read this beautiful book. Rules by Cynthia Lord is a poignant story showing a slice of 12-year-old Catherine's life. Her brother, David has autism. Catherine lovingly makes up rules to help him get through life. Things that other people figure out for themselves, David must be taught. Some of the rules include "If the bathroom door is closed, knock (especially if Catherine has a friend over)!", "Keep your pants on! Unless Mom, Dad, or the doctor tells you to take them off.", and "No toys in the fish tank."
Catherine is not only a sister to David, though. She is an artist, a daughter, a friend. When a new girl moves next door, Catherine is hopeful that they will become good friends. But she is embarrassed to say anything about David. She also develops a close bond with a handicapped boy who cannot speak or walk. She draws pictures for him to help him communicate.
Cynthia Lord has done an incredible job tackling a heavy topic. The book is laced with both humor and tenderness.
I highly recommend this book for all ages.

As you can see, Rules won a Newbery Honor and the Schneider Family Book Award in 2006.

Cynthia Lord blogs here, where you can see what a kind-hearted woman she is. This blog will be added to the Delicious Author Blogs in the sidebar.

By the way, I actually wrote this review myself. Crazy, huh? I'm so excited about the reviews I've been receiving in my inbox. If you have reviews you'd like to share on Clean Reads, please see the sidebar for info. I want to post a minimum of two reviews of Clean Reads each week, but I'd love to have enough to post one-a-day.

I really want Clean Reads to include all levels of novels. If you have any ideas for adult Clean Reads, please let me know. If you don't want to write up a review, just leave a comment with the book name and author.

Thanks for your support!

ATTENTION: For the week of May 9-15th--Don't forget to comment on this or any other Clean Reads post for a chance to win a new signed copy of RULES by Cynthia Lord!


  1. I really want to read this book, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

  2. This book is wonderful. Thanks for your review.

  3. I loved this book!!

    I read it the first time because I cyberly "know" the author (er, sorta), but as soon as I got done, I sat down and read it straight through again.

    Have I mentioned that I loved this book? Every word was perfect, and it was a great example of a "quiet" novel that nevertheless has plenty of tension and plot and people to care about. Lovely!

    BTW, that's the first time I've seen the cover with the stickers on it. Looks good, doesn't it?

  4. Thank you so much, Emily!

    I notice you've mentioned that you'd like to give away free books sometimes. If you'd like a signed copy of RULES to give away, I'd be glad to mail you one.

    Just send me your address:

  5. Thanks everyone for commenting on Rules. It is really a treasure of a book.
    Thanks, Cindy! I can't wait to have a Giveaway for Rules!

  6. Cynthia Lord,
    I have just completed your book Rules. I really enjoyed it and would like to thank you for giving me a better understanding of children with Autism.
    Jordan at

  7. This is 2008; I had to read this book for a college class. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and reviewing it. I have been around autistic children and had the pleasure of getting to know them. This book is about how a sibling deals. Its fantastic.

  8. yo ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. ruthiebledsoe@hotmail.comFebruary 5, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    Ruthie said:
    I enjoyed the book and found it truly amazing how Catherine realized it wasn't only Jason and David with a problem but there were things about herself she had to deal with. The boys world was normal and Catherine really lived in the abnormal world trying hard to make them fit in.