Rules by Cynthia Lord: Summary & Setting

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  • 0:03 Setting of 'Rules'
  • 0:18 'Rules' Summary
  • 0:49 Catherine Meets Jason
  • 1:17 Kristi Moves In
  • 2:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Abby Federico

Abby has taught elementary special education and has her master's degree in this area.

Imagine having to constantly teach another person the 'rules' of life! In this lesson about the book ''Rules'' by Cynthia Lord, you will learn about the setting and summary of the book, as well as more about these life 'rules.'

Setting of Rules

The setting of a book is where and when the story takes place. The setting for the book Rules includes the main character Catherine's house and neighborhood during the summer, as well as the occupational therapy clinic where Catherine's brother goes for therapy.

Rules Summary

The main character in this book is Catherine. Catherine is a 12-year-old girl who is on summer vacation. While she would like to be doing things like finding new friends, instead she has to take care of her younger brother, David. David has autism, and sometimes has trouble knowing what to say or do when he's around other people. Catherine makes up rules for David so that he knows how to act. Some examples of David's rules would include knocking on the bathroom door before entering, and not putting toys in the fish tank.

Catherine Meets Jason

David has to attend occupational therapy, which helps him with things like writing. Catherine goes with David to his therapy sessions. While she's there she meets a boy named Jason. Jason is in a wheelchair and cannot talk. Instead, he has to use pictures to communicate. Catherine and Jason get along, and Catherine draws some pictures for Jason to use to talk to people. Catherine even runs while pushing Jason outside so that he can get an idea of what it feels like to run.

Kristi Moves In

Another thing that happens during the summer is that a new girl moves in next door to Catherine. The new girl's name is Kristi, and she wears fashionable clothes and is popular. Catherine really wants to become friends with her, but is worried that Kristi might not like David. Eventually the two become friends. However, Kristi starts to like a boy named Ryan, who Catherine does not like because he makes fun of her brother David.

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