These books are both about girls who face difficult situations and make helpful and wise rules to help and eliminate these situations. In “Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls” we have ten-year-old Allie who is the new kid. At school, she meets peacemaker Erica, love-frantic Sophie, and spelling bee champion Caroline. As Allie tumbles headfirst into the first day of school, they are by her side. Soon, a gaggle of fifth-grade girls think her 5-year old brother is cute, and she swaggers into the room confidenly. As the teacher introduces her, a bully named Rosemary makes fun of her brother, and vows to beat her up after school. But with the help of her new friends and her premature kitten, she realizes that Rosemary isn’t as mean as she seems. Throughout the book, she mentions rules that she makes up about real life situations.
In “Rules” we have twelve year old Catherine, who is excited to learn that another twelve year old is moving in to the house next door. There is only one problem. Her brother, David, is literately mentally retarded. To help him so he will learn more easily, she comes up with rules like: “knock before entering the bathroom”. Soon, the girl moves in, but there is another problem. The new girl seems to be bonding with the boy who calls David a retard! All the while, Catherine is bonding with 15-year old Jason, who cannot speak. To “speak” he uses message cards, which he points to. But, quoting the dust jacket, pretty soon “it’s her own shocking behavior that forces her to ask, what is normal?”
These stories are alike in many ways. My friend Hannah suggested “Allie…..” and my friend Saphira suggested “Rules”. I liked these books both very much.