by Cynthia Lord


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  • Item #080001 in Online-Only Online-Only
    • Grades: 4 - 7
    • Ages: 9 - 13
    Newbery Honor ; Schneider Family Award
    • Format: Paperback Book
      Paperback Book
Short Summary
Wonderfully written with both humor and heartache, this Newbery Honor winner captures the struggle of a young girl longing to be like everybody else.

Product Details

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Life with an autistic sibling can be chaotic. It can be distracting. It can be embarrassing. So twelve-year-old Catherine finds a solution. She creates a lengthy list of rules to keep her brother David’s behavior in check:

  • No toys in the fish tank.
  • Open closet doors carefully. Sometimes things fall out.
  • Late doesn’t mean not coming.
  • Some people think they know who you are, when really they don’t.

Catherine desperately wants a normal brother, a normal family, and a normal life. But can rules make everything better?

When Catherine meets Jason, a wheelchair-bound teen who can communicate only through a word book, their friendship surprises her. Even more surprising is Catherine’s discomfort at having a friend with severe disabilities. Why does she always worry about what other people think? Does she have a rule to change her own behavior? Or will her relationship with Jason fall apart?

An honest and astute exploration of how a special needs child can impact a family dynamic – and how accepting differences can benefit all.

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Product Details

    • Grades: 4 - 7
    • Ages: 9 - 13
  • Product Type: Book
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 5 1/4" x 7 5/8"
  • Language: English
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-439-44383-8

Editorial Reviews

"A heartwarming first novel."

"Catherine is an appealing and believable character, acutely self-conscious and torn between her love for her brother and her resentment of his special needs. Middle-grade readers will recognize her longing for acceptance and be intrigued by this exploration of dealing with differences."
Kirkus Reviews