Rules by Cynthia Lord
Catherine, 12, just wants to live a "normal" life. Which is totally impossible because her brother has autism. She has spent years trying to teach David rules about the correct way to behave, in order to head off embarrassing moments for her.
She keeps an entire notebook of rules some are easy like, "Say excuse me after you burp" or "Don't stand in front of the TV when other people are watching it". More complicated ones would involve, "You can yell on a playground but not at dinner," or (this one is really important) "A boy can take his shirt off to swim, but not his shorts". Spending all her time writing rules is exhausting but allows control to a degree, of what is happening in her life.
One summer trying to impress a new friend next door, she is surprised by her own shocking behavior. She learns that what some people think is normal may not be normal! This book takes a sensitive view of feeling different and trying hard to find acceptance.
Rebecca Caudill Nominee 2009...this is a debut novel for Cynthia Lord, I look forward to more books from her!