Tag Archives: Autism

Rules – Contains a valuable lesson for life

rulesTitle:  Rules
Author:  Cynthia Lord

Summary: Catherine is 12-years-old and her brother has autism.  She’s torn between helping her brother and figuring out her own life.  Because her brother struggles with understanding social cues due to his condition, Catherine makes a list of “rules” for her brother to follow to help him cope. While attending one of her brother’s therapy sessions, Catherine meets Jason in the waiting room and eventually becomes friends with him even though Catherine at first has a hard time relating to him because he is confined to a wheelchair and has to point at cards with words on them in order to communicate since he can’t talk.  Their friendship continues to grow, but as it does Catherine becomes even more torn between hanging out with the new girl down the street, helping her brother, and getting to know Jason.

Six Word Review: Contains a valuable lesson for life.

I started reading because: I wanted to know more about what it’s like to live with autism.

I would give this book 7/10 stars because it is for slightly younger kids, but I still think it’s an important book to read because it let’s you see things from the perspective of people you don’t always get to hear from.

I loved Catherine’s character.  She has a really great list of rules.  The world would be a better place if everyone followed Catherine’s rules.  I hated the length.  I almost wish it could have been just a little longer.

If Catherine was in a high school yearbook, she would be voted Most Likely To: Attend Art College.

Anything else we should know? The book is only about 200 pages and the reading level is a bit lower than high school level so it’s a pretty quick read if you’re really busy with homework and just want to sit and enjoy a book.

–Regina, West Seattle, Teen Blogger



Book Shorts: Colin Fischer

Colin FischerTitle:  Colin Fisher
Author:  Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz
Summary:  A boy with autism teams up with the high school bully to get to the bottom of a cafeteria crime.

I started reading it because… It has a character with Asperger’s Syndrome.

I kept reading because… Colin’s way of searching for truth is fascinating, and the character is written in an authentic way.

If the main character(s) were in a yearbook, they would be voted Most Likely To:  Make Enemies and get Bullied

Six Word Review:  Super observant teen proves bully innocent?

This book reminded me of Marcelo In the Real World because both main characters have a diagnosis on the Autism spectrum and both juggle moral dilemmas.


Today, to show how much we love New York City, we’ve got stories from that indomitable city.  Some present, some past, and some from a future we hope never arrives!  Any way you cut the Big Apple, there’s a slice for everyone!

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin.  In a future where chocolate and caffeine are contraband, teenage cellphone use is illegal, and water and paper are carefully rationed, sixteen-year-old Anya Balanchine finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight as heir apparent to an important New York City crime family.

Bunheads by Sophie Flack.  Hannah Ward, 19, revels in the competition, intense rehearsals, and dazzling performances that come with being a member of Manhattan Ballet Company’s corps de ballet, but after meeting handsome musician Jacob she begins to realize there could be more to her life.

The Diviners by Libba Bray. Evie O’Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork.  Marcelo Sandoval, a 17-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.  HS student Nick O’Leary, member of a rock band, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg and asks her to be his girlfriend for five minutes in order to avoid his ex-sweetheart.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.  As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, The $20,000 Pyramid, a 12-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

Do you have a favorite NYC book?  Or movie?  Tell us about it!

Cracking The Hub Book 25 & aftermath​

White BicycleThe last book that I read for the Cracking the Hub Challenge was The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna which was a 2013 Printz Honor Book.
The White Bicycle is the story of Taylor who is in France for the summer as a personal care assistant to the son of her mother’s boyfriend. Taylor is concerned that her mother and her boyfriend might get married during the summer which would leave a gaping hole in her resume. She couldn’t after all put “personal care assistant” on her resume if she was taking care of a relative.
Taylor has a condition on the Autism Spectrum, and has had a difficult time going through school. Now she has friends and wants to become independent – the real reason the state of her resume is of such concern for her. In many ways the summer is a time where Taylor asserts her independence from her mother and starts to make decisions about her identity and what she wants to do with her life. This book is emotionally affecting and a wonderful read. The cover does connect to the storyline but seems rather dull and washed out, so look past the cover and enjoy the splendid writing and identify with your own search for independence from your parents.
After three and a half months of furiously reading and writing I am proud to say I cracked The Hub Challenge. I read outside of my usual interests and was able to find some unexpected favorites (Bernadette, One Shot at Forever, Dodger, The White Bicycle, Bomb, The Running Dream), a few books that I just didn’t really enjoy (Pure, Daredevil), and some books that although they weren’t comfortable reads, I doubt I’ll forget them (Girlchild, Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am, Stargazing Dog).
I was even able to write a reader’s response to one of the books (Dodger) and post it on The Hub blog.
When I took some of these books to Madison and Denny Middle Schools, the absolute teen favorite was Ultimate Comics Spiderman. I couldn’t even keep an eye on the book because a teen would snatch it up and read it immediately. In all, I’m happy that I took The Hub Challenge, and I’m really glad I was able to read 25 of the books before the challenge’s end.
What do you think – should I take this challenge again next year?
You can find the list of all 25 books I read for the challenge, on our catalog.