Rules (novel)

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Author Cynthia Lord
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's Novel
Publisher Scholastic Paperbacks
ISBN 978-0439443838
OCLC 61109244-439-44382-1
LC Class PZ7.L87734 Rul 2006

Rules is the debut novel by author Cynthia Lord. Released by Scholastic, Inc. in 2006, it was a Newbery Honor book in 2007.[1] It is a Sunshine State Young Readers book for 2008–2009 and won A 2007 Schneider Family Book Award.[2] In 2009 it also won the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award.[3]


1. People have good intentions to live by the rules they are given, but no matter how dedicated they are, some rules might be broken for reasons good or bad.[4]

2. There are flaws in all of us – not just those with special needs.

3. We all try to do the best we can to fit in, but things don’t always end up the way we intend.[5]

4. Always stick with family no matter what

5.Even the best of us can't stick to their own rules


Lord has two children, a son and a daughter, and was inspired by them while writing Rules. She states that the character of David is loosely based on her son who has autism, while the character of Catherine is a mixture of herself and her daughter, who loves to draw. Most of the characters and incidents come from a very personal place in Lord's life, including the character of Jason, who was very loosely inspired by an experience she had as a kid while watching a child in a wheelchair communicating with his mother.

The Q&A following the end of the book welcomes the reader with these words, when asked where the idea for Rules came from: "I have two children, a daughter and a son, and my son has autism. One day when my daughter was about ten years old, she asked me, "Mom, how come I never see families like mine in books and on TV?" I didn't know how to answer her, so I went looking for children's books that included characters with severe special needs. I did find some, but most of the books I read seemed very sad to me. Sadness is part of living with someone with a severe disability, but it's only one part. It can also be funny, inspiring, heartwarming, disappointing, frustrating—everything that it is to love anyone and to live in any family."


  1. ^ "2007 Newbery Medal and Honor Books". Association for Library Services to Children. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  2. ^ American Library Association Schneider Family Book Awards
  3. ^ "Past Winners - DCF Children's Book Award". DCF Children's Book Award. November 2014. Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Rules by Cynthia Lord
  5. ^ Rules by Cynthia Lord

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