I admire authors who take on what many of us consider tough subjects and approach them with open hearts. One of my favorite truth tellers is Cynthia Lord.
Her insightful middle grade book, RULES, takes us inside the dynamics that occur in the relationship between twelve-year-old Catherine and her younger brother David, who is a child with autism.
At my school we joyfully mainstream children with autism into our regular education classrooms. We’ve embraced RULES as the initial read-aloud for the year across the grade level. It serves as an invaluable teaching tool for our kids to build an understanding and compassion for their peers who don’t necessarily fit the blueprint of a typical middle grade student. Our students grow along with Catherine as she navigates her own emotions and realizations. RULES teaches that children with autism and other challenges are not broken, but rather bright lights that allow us to value differences.
“Wishes are slippery things. You have to be very specific or you can get exactly what you wished for and still end up with nothing.” – Cynthia Lord from TOUCH BLUE
This quote brought tears to my eyes and made me pour through the book, TOUCH BLUE. Again, Cynthia Lord tackles a delicate, but fascinating subject, that of a foster child coming to live with a family. We share this experience through Tess, as she reconciles her whimsical expectations with the gritty reality of integrating someone new into your household.
Cynthia Lord pulls us into the fascinating world of Bethsaida Island off the coast of Maine where lobster fishing is a way of life. The picture she paints of this setting is every bit as magical as a fantasy story, while still giving the reader a grounded sense of home.
As a teacher, I appreciate Cynthia Lord not only for her wonderful storytelling, but also for the life lessons she beautifully illustrates for my students.
Thank you, Cynthia Lord, for sharing your heart.
Is there an author whose work tugs at your heartstrings?