Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 5R3.931368
A heartfelt and witty debut about feeling different and finding acceptance--beyond the rules.

Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules-from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public"-in order to stop his embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a paraplegic boy, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published on April 1, 2006 by Scholastic Press
ISBN-10: 0439443822
ISBN-13: 9780439443821
114 Book Reviews
Add a Rating
  • blossomreader
    blossomreaderThursday, May 21, 2020 at 1:03 pm33 stars
    I liked this book. It's about a girl named Catherine and her little brother, David, who has autism. Her family seems to care more about David. Catherine tries to teach David the rules so he an act like a mature person and not embarrass himself and his family, but he's an annoying brat. Things have changed a little. Catherine meets Jason, a new friend. Kind of. And she meets Kristi, her new neighbor. The thing is, Catherine begins to wonder about an important question.....
    • applemango
      applemangoSaturday, May 16, 2020 at 4:09 pm55 stars
      Catherine has a brother with autism named David. Sometimes Catherine hates David because he ruins everything. He needs many rules and he goes to OT. One of his rules: Sometimes people laugh when they like you, but sometimes they laugh to hurt you. Catherine blames David because she has to bring him along every time she wants to go to a party or playdate. David is different and no everyone accepts him as he is. At David’s OT Catherine meets a boy named Jason. As she was sitting in the waiting room with her mom reading she beings to sketch Jason. At first his mom, Mrs. Morehouse misunderstands and think Catherine is making fun of Jason. However, when Catherine gives the drawing to Jason he likes it and they become friends. Meanwhile Catherine has problems of her own...
      • zzayumi
        zzayumiMonday, May 20, 2019 at 12:44 pm
        This book is really good! It is about a girl named Catherine. She wants a normal life, but she has a little brother named David. He has autism, so Catherine is always tired of him.
        • james Monday, January 14, 2019 at 6:15 pm
          i was really intreaged about this book as reading it at a younger age and will support this book and share it to people
          • zykelilahufuxe
            zykelilahufuxeTuesday, November 20, 2018 at 11:19 am55 stars
            Really good book
            • BigWinniePoohMonday, November 19, 2018 at 4:37 pm
              In this book, Catherine is really wanting a normal life. It shows how you should be kind to those who have mental diseases
              • 6graderead
                6gradereadSaturday, November 4, 2017 at 8:26 am
                should i read it
                • evaizabooknerd
                  evaizabooknerdWednesday, June 7, 2017 at 6:54 pm44 starsFeatured
                  What if you had an annoying 7-year-old brother, and he had autism? What if their was a girl just your age moving next door? And what if your worst enemy was the girl's new best friend? Believe it or not, all of this happened to 12 year old Catherine. She always escapes in her drawings, trying to get away from the screaming and tantrums from her brother. Then at her brother's clinic she makes a new friend, Jason. The only catch is: He's a paraplegic and he can't talk. He has to point at the words in a book. Catherine starts making new cards to put in Jason's book, such as: WHATEVER, and STINKS A BIG ONE. Has Catherine finally made a forever friend, or will her longing to be with the girl next door get in the way? This uplifting, encouraging, sad, inspirational and informational book by Cynthia Lord, is definitely a book that will make you cry if you have to set it down. I give this book 4 stars and hope you will take the time to read and enjoy it.
                  • evaizabooknerd
                    evaizabooknerdWednesday, June 7, 2017 at 7:33 pm44 stars
                    I can't believe I got editor's pick!
                  • turtlecake2610
                    turtlecake2610Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 6:04 pm
                    I love this book! I read it for book clubs in my class, and it Rules! See what I did there?
                    • parikhgr8
                      parikhgr8Monday, February 13, 2017 at 6:40 pm55 stars
                      Rules was a magnificent book. It showed that even if you have to deal with someone that really annoys, which in this case would be David, you can come out of that and be happy.
                      • parikhgr8
                        parikhgr8Monday, February 13, 2017 at 6:41 pm55 stars
                        Awesome job, dude!