Catherine is the sister of a boy who has autism. She spends a lot of her time watching over him and has created a list of rules for him:

RULES FOR DAVID

  • If the bathroom door is closed, knock! (especially if Catherine has a friend over).
  • Say thank you when someone gives you a present (even if you don’t like it).
  • Don’t stand in front of the TV when other people are watching it.
  • A boy takes off his shirt to swim, but not his shorts.
  • Some people think they know who you are, when really they don’t.
  • No toys in the fishtank.


Catherine thinks of the rules as being for David, but after listening to this story, I feel like they are just as much for her as him. Catherine lived a different life than most kids. She wants to do regular things and just be normal but that’s almost impossible because of David.

Girls at 12 years of age have complicated lives – even more so for Catherine because of her family dynamic – but she has recently made two new friends, Christie, her new neighbor that seems to ooze coolness and Jason, a young man who is wheelchair bound and unable to speak.

Catherine wants very much to be friends with Christie, and always feels she can’t quite say the right thing. Catherine doesn’t necessarily plan to become Jason’s friend but she volunteers her artistic talents to make word cards for his communication book and friendship blossoms.

I don’t want to give away too much but I feel like Cynthia Lord did a great job writing the jumbled emotions that cloud the days of most teens and tweens.  This book is a great recommendation for kids who loved Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper or Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin.

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