Sunday, September 9, 2012


Genre: Realistic Fiction
Suggested age:  9-13
Author: Cynthia Lord
ISBN: 9780545036405
Publisher:  Scholastic
Winner of:
Newbery Honor Medal
Schneider Family Book Award
Mitten Award (Michigan Library Association)
Great Lakes Great Books Award (Michigan)
Maine Student Book Award
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award (Vermont)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award
Great Stone Face Award (New Hampshire)
Buckeye Children's Book Award (Ohio)

Catherine is a twelve-year-old girl and aspiring artist who is torn between yearning for acceptance from her peers and her loyalty and love of her younger brother, David, who has autism.  She loyally keeps track of all of the rules that she must teach David about how to act in society.  Rules ranging from, “flush!” and “keep your pants on! Unless Mom, Dad, or the doctor tells you to take them off” to candid and heartfelt ones like, “looking closer can make something beautiful”.  Catherine also subscribes to her own rules that threaten to drive all potential friends away.  

Reading this story brought me right back to grade school where the tangle of emotions, peer pressure, and emerging sense of self seemed to contradict one another.  I identified with Catherine and wished fervently through the book that she would recognize what a truly kind and beautiful person she was.

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