Seventh Grade English Language Arts

This summer, both incoming 7th and 8th grade students will read the novel Rules by Cynthia Lord.  The rationale is for us to build community as we will be participating in a variety of activities relating to the novel during the first few weeks of school.   There is no assignment to complete for this novel, however, students enrolled in Honors ELA 7 and Honors ELA 8 will have an additional novel to read that will include an assignment.

      Please have the book read by the first day of school, August 16, 2017.

"No toys in the fish tank" is one of many rules that 12-year-old Catherine shares with her autistic younger brother, David, to help him understand his world. Lots of the rules are practical. Others are more subtle and shed light on issues in Catherine's own life. Torn between love for her brother and impatience with the responsibilities and embarrassment he brings, she strives to be on her parents' radar and to establish an identity of her own. At her brother's clinic, Catherine befriends a wheelchair-bound boy, Jason, who talks by pointing at word cards in a communication notebook. Her drawing skills and additional vocabulary cards--including "whatever"(which prompts Jason to roll his eyes at his mother)--enliven his speech. The details of autistic behavior are handled well, as are depictions of relationships: Catherine experiences some of the same unease with Jason that others do in the presence of her brother. In the end, Jason helps Catherine see that her rules may really be excuses, opening the way for her to look at things differently. A heartwarming first novel.

Visit these links for information about the book and author.