Posted 20 hours ago

House Rules: the powerful must-read story of a mother's unthinkable choice by the number one bestselling author of A Spark of Light

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I had raved about it to two friends that have a 17 year old son with Asperger's and the many similarities and explanations regarding what it is like to have Asperger's.

But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions. The portrayal is an interesting one, not least due to the fact that Jacob is one of the five narrators, but also due to its largely accurate representation of autism. How would you describe Jacob’s ability to feel emotion and relate to people – particularly Emma, Theo and Jess? It is one of those books that has you from the first page and stays with you long after you have finished.I know better than to ask him questions – like if there are signs of foul play, or if we’re talking suicide. I suppose these talents would make me a hit at a cocktail party if a) I drank, which I don’t or b) I had any friends to invite me to a party, cocktail or not. I found myself telling everyone who would listen that they should read it, and the lead characters became so real to me it is hard to believe it is not a true story. On episode 26 of Season Two, the whole CrimeBusters team got hauled up to Mount Washington to investigate a naked guy who was found at the summit.

We look like polar opposites – his hair is fine and so blond it could pass for silver; mine is dark and gets bushy if I do not have it cut religiously every three weeks (actually, part of the reason I get it cut every three weeks is because three is a good safe number, unlike four for example, and the only way I can handle someone touching my hair is if I know it’s coming in advance. My biggest fear: that they will, and I won’t always be there to keep people from thinking the worst of him.I suppose there wouldn't have been much left to the story if people had spoken with Jacob early on but the truth of Jess' death was pretty clear midway through the story anyway. I don't want to give too much away but as the trial progressed (and Jodi does these courtroom scenes so well) I thought I had guessed who had killed Jess - but I was wrong. Emma Hunt has pretty much sacrificed a large portion of her day-2-day life, if not all of it, to ensure her 18 year-old Asperger's son Jacob can live some sort of a normal life.

Well, that was my first mistake – Chad and Andrew were so psyched at the thought of hanging out with an upperclassman that they started asking Jacob questions, like what grade he was in and if he was on a sports team. Theo is always caught up in what other people think of him, while I already know what people think of me – that I’m the weird kid who stands too close and doesn’t shut up. Once, when Jacob and I were little, we were playing in a pond near our house with an inflatable boat. Frustration on the part of the reader, since the characters constantly seem to do the wrong thing and miss obvious solutions.No one could figure out what a naked guy was doing on top of a mountain, but it turned out to be hypothermia. Theo is also a really believable character as the younger brother who is loved, but is lost in the morass of a difficult family life. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do.

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