The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard MAG

December 16, 2008
By Jessica Cox PLATINUM, Dexter, Michigan
Jessica Cox PLATINUM, Dexter, Michigan
21 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“They didn't know much, but they knew that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. Her mother's building.”

This quote is a powerful ­indication of how great this book is. The Usual Rules is about how a girl transforms herself into a totally different person after her mother passes away in one of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11.

Wendy, who is 13, learns on September 11th that a plane crashed into her mother's building: “Most of the kids in her homeroom crowded around the windows, not that you could see much through the smoke. The air seemed to be filled with snow, though it was actually bits of paper.”

Wendy eventually is picked up from school by her stepfather and her little brother. Since her mom usually picks her up, this makes Wendy feel even worse.

Finally, they give up hope that Wendy's mother survived and accept the fact that bad things happen. Wendy doesn't take it well and ends up going against her mother's wishes and moving to California to be with her father and his girlfriend. This book describes Wendy's experiences with a pregnant 16-year-old, dropping out of school, and meeting a bookstore owner whose son is autistic.

I love this book. It deals with problems that I have faced, so it was comforting knowing how others reacted and managed. The book pulled me in right from the beginning describing how 9/11 affected people. It gave me a vivid picture of everything that was happening. The Usual Rules is moving ­because it makes you appreciate everything that you may take for granted.

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