Rules

By: Cynthia Lord

Avery D, Fotula A, Michael B, Mason M, Dominik S

Will Catherine ever figure out what is normal when she has David and Jason to take care of? Read the story to find out!

Cast of Characters - Avery

Willow Shields cast as Catherine - Catherine is the most important character in my eyes. She is a young girl that is 12 years old. Catherine has a brother named David and he has autism. Catherine is a very sweet girl that cares a lot for her friends and family. Since her brother has autism and her friend can’t talk or walk, she doesn’t know what is normal but wants a normal life. In the book she struggles to help both her brother and Jason while dealing with her own problems, like her friend Kristi.


Asa Butterfield cast as David - David is Catherine’s sister and he has autism. David loves everyone and is mostly always happy. Catherine is always making rules for him. For example, one rule is “No toys in the fish tank!” Even though there are rules, David still doesn't follow them sometimes. David has to go to occupational therapy every Wednesday to help with many things. In all, David is always happy and does whatever his mind pleases.



Dylan Minnette cast as Jason - Jason is a boy about Catherine’s age. Jason has a disability where he can’t talk at all and can’t do many physical activities with his legs. Since he can’t talk he has this little book with words in them, he points to a certain word when he wants to say something. Jason also goes to therapy, like David, and while he was there he met Catherine and now she writes words for him, to put in the word book. Jason and Catherine become good friends.

About the Author - Fotula

Cynthia Lord is the author of Rules. Cynthia Lord was born in rural New Hampshire and she won 2 awards for her books that she wrote. Her life as a writer began at the age of 4 with a song collaboration called “Ding Dong the Cherries Sing.” She also loved to read books in her early years such as Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl and Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne. Her first pencil and paper writing was a birthday card that she gave her grandpa when she was 5 years old. Her first pet was a turtle named Spotsie. When she was in 4th grade, she and her sister begged her parents into getting a dog, her dog’s name was Peanut. Cynthia Lord didn’t start writing fictional stories until she was in high school. Her first attempt on a fictional story was a ghost story. She read a few chapters of it and couldn’t sleep because of the story, yet she never finished the book. In college, she wrote short stories and published them, one even won a contest. After college, she got married and became a teacher. She taught from first grade to a one room school house. She had kids and returned back into her childhood memories with her favorite children stories. As her children grew up, she began writing novels.

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Summary - Mason

In the book Rules, you will read about a girl named Catherine, who is girl that always wanted to have a best friend to live next door, so in the summertime, they could do fun things together like flash your flashlight in the windows, and send messages, go outside and play games together. But things don’t end up exactly how she wanted them too. At home, Catherine lives with her mom, who is always on the phone for work, her dad, who never has time for anything but his tomato plants and work, and David, her brother who she needs to tell how to do everything several times, before he does it, and the brother that she makes the rules for. Things may seem pretty bad for her, but her whole life changes, when a girl, named Kristi, moves in next door with her mom. This moment, is what Catherine has been waiting to happen forever. Catherine is shy at first, but eventually, they become friends, and even hang out often. Catherine also loves to draw, and is also quite good too.Then one day, when she was at the clinic, for her brother, she was casually drawing like usual, when she saw a boy. She was bored, and had nothing to do but wait and draw, so she started drawing the room she was in. She filled in the walls, and added people in too. Then, she drew the boy she saw, and started to draw his body. But when she went to draw his face, she noticed that something was wrong. His face did not look normal, and she knew that because of the clinic she was at, that that he had some sort of disability. She decided to draw his face, but made it look a little more normal than it does in real life. Soon she found out that his name is Jason. He could not walk, nor could he talk, but he did have a communication book, filled with words. After awhile, they both became good friends, and she helped him by adding words into his book. In the book, Catherine and david go through many rollercoasters together, such as birthday party mishaps, and friendship breakups. Soon Kristi let curiosity get the best of her, and wants to see Jason. Catherine feels embarrassed, and doesn't know what to do. What will Catherine do? What will she say? Read Rules, to find out!

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Book Reviews - Dominik

The book, Rules, is something I can connect to because in the book there is a boy named David, and David has Autism. My youngest cousin has Autism. And my third oldest cousin has aspergers disease which is kind of like Autism but on the social end of it. So with this book I had a strong connection to. I had the strong connection because in the book there is a boy with Autism and I have a little cousin with autism.

I give this book 3 stars because my little cousin has Autism and its no where near how bad the book makes it seem. When someone in your family has Autism it makes life interesting because you get to help them more than you would with someone without a disease like Autism. When someone has Autism you can get closer to them than others because you have to teach them more than others so you would be spending more time with them and creating a bond. And the book did not have many interesting parts.

Written by the mother of an autistic child, Rules, has the ring of authenticity -- this is a clear-eyed, unsentimental look at a real family problem. -Critic

A heartfelt and witty debut about feeling different and finding acceptance--beyond the rules.- anonymous

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Book Cover Analysis - Michael

Cynthia Lord chose this cover of a rubber duck and fish, representing a fish tank because of one of the rules David follows, ‘’No toys in the fish tank.’’ Also, she most likely selected this cover because every once in awhile, David seems to place a toy in the fish tank throughout the book, that his sister has to take out. To add on, the duck is seeming to talk saying the word “rules” which represents Catherine always telling her brother to follow rules given.Then, there is the gold fish which is looking at the duck. The fish represents David who has a mental illness which is called Autism which makes David not process information correctly, like goldfish that have a memory span of three seconds. So it is representing Catherine, the rubber duck, giving rules to David, the goldfish.


For the title, I think that Cynthia Lord picked Rules because it is what is sprinkled throughout the book. Catherine often gives ruled to David to follow so David does not cause trouble or mishaps. Such as, ‘’no toys in the fish tank’’, and “you got to work with what you got’’. Then, the book mainly focuses on what happens daily with Catherine and her brother like the rules David has to follow every day.To add on the cover shows the small peice of the book and is’s plot where it shows that David struggles with following rules and Catherine wants to protect David.

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