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Rules by Cynthia Lord

I wasn’t sure I would like this book at first because it is an “issues” book. I thought it would be about a girl who learns to accept her brother’s disabilities, and while this is true, it was more a learning-to-fit-in-and-be-comfortable-with-yourself book. I’m still making it sound cheesy, but it really wasn’t. Rather, it was hilarious and well-written. The main character, a twelve-year-old girl named Catherine, is highly relatable, and draws you in from the first chapter by telling you all about her “rules” for behavior that she has written for her autistic brother (which range from practical to laugh-out-loud funny). I couldn’t help but love her for doing this for him.

My only problem with the book was that I felt like the main character wasn’t consistent; it felt like she went from being 12 to being 15 halfway through the book. She initially seems cute and tomboyish, but then all of a sudden begins to show so much maturity and becomes so precise in her word choices and in her ability to self-analyze that at times I felt very conscious of the author’s own voice shining through the narrator’s. Such is the problem with first person, I guess.

All in all this was an excellent book and I would highly recommend it.

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