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     Here's where you'll find my Coloring Page Tuesdays, contributions to Illustration Friday, Blog Book Tours (interviews with authors and illustrators), movie and book reviews, marketing and illustration tips under Method, Events and Big News (mine and the industry's), and general things I just find interesting. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Just finished a good one: Rules by Cynthia Lord

     Okay, no big surprise here because Rules has won countless awards, but don't you love it when the awards are well-deserved?
     Rules is about a young girl, Catherine, trying to be a normal kid while dealing with her younger autistic brother. I'll admit the subject is daunting when you first pick up the book, "am I going to enjoy this?"
     Well yes, you will.
     Catherine is an amazing protagonist. She has been forced to grow up quickly as much of the burden of caring for her brother falls on her. She is savvy, aware, and especially bright. Her vigilant (and necessary) attention to the things in her life, always watching out for potential difficulties for her brother, give us a strong vision of her world while showing just how mature (and naturally artistic) this young girl is. But she's also going through the typical angst of boys and new friends. The juxtaposition of these traits makes her one of the most multi-dimensional characters I've read in a long time. I was completely inspired by her bravery.
     The relationship she develops with Jason, a wheelchair bound boy who's normal mind is trapped in a body that doesn't work, is heart-warming. It develops with ease and a reality that makes any relationship with somebody different more accessible to all of us.
     In the end of the story, I do wish I knew if the new friend stepped up to the plate, it was the only thread that left me hanging, but maybe that's for the best. We are forced into the friend's shoes and left to wonder, would we step up to the plate with such grace and courage if we were in Catherine's situation?
     Wonderful, wonderful story. Beautifully written. I highly recommend Rules!



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All Artwork © Elizabeth O. Dulemba,  - Y'all play nice, okay?