Rave Reviews Log: Realistic Fiction

April 10, 2007


By Cynthia Lord
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
Newbery Honor 2007
Reviewed by Noelle

Summer has begun and Catherine is excited that the new neighbors moving in next door include a girl who is just her age named Kristi. She hopes Kristi will like swimming in the pond and maybe will want to signal in Morse code with flashlights at night from their bedroom windows. But she is petrified that David, her younger brother with autism, will ruin everything with his unusual behavior. Catherine keeps a list of rules for David; like "Late doesn't mean not coming" and "No toys in the fish tank." But as she tentatively begins making friends with Kristi, she also starts to develop a surprising new friendship with a boy she meets at David's therapy office. Jason is in a wheelchair and can't speak, but he uses cards to communicate. Catherine finds Jason a safe friend to talk to, especially when she feels guilty about her negative feelings surrounding David. But when she doesn't tell Kristi the truth about Jason, Catherine finds herself in trouble when Kristi insists she invite Jason to the community center dance. Which friend is more important to keep? This fast-moving story will draw readers in with its honest look at living in a family with a sibling that is challenged by autism. Catherine must face her feelings and make some hard choices about what is really important to her. Good stuff!


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