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Paperback House Rules Book

ISBN: 0743296443

ISBN13: 9780743296441

House Rules

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and the modern classics My Sister's Keeper , The Storyteller , and more, comes a "complex, compassionate, and smart" ( The Washington Post ) novel about a family torn apart by a murder accusation. When your son can't look you in the eye...does that mean he's guilty? Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others,...

Customer Reviews

7 ratings


I've read this some time ago and as an autistic adult who struggles with having to combat stereotypes brought against us from media like this I found it exhausting. We are not violent. We are not criminal masterminds. We are not prone to commit murders. We tend to hurt ourselves rather than others. This is one more thing that I now have to explain away to people.

Interesting and informative

This was a good read. As far as the murder mystery theme, I couldn't figure it out all along! This book had me going back for more.


The author goes into much more depth on the day to day life of Aspergers such as the funny things which are taken literally, the foods each day of a certain color, the obsession with one subject, etc. I live with this daily and found it so funny as the author does not have pity for the child- mainly the mother! It's also sad because other people don't understand and will argue with the mother about it- all so true. When you have a kid with a 160 IQ and can express quantum physics, it is hard to understand that photographic memory does not understand the subtle nuances of the English language or understand social situations. You would be surprised at how ignorant and judgmental people can be. It's a great read and true insight into the life of every person in a family with an Asperger's child. It is a good read for anyone.

Riveting book for parents of kids on the autistic spectrum or anyone who knows one

Jodi Picoult did her homework before she wrote House Rules. The main character, Jacob, has all of the classic characteristics of Aspergers. As a parent of a son with Aspergers, I was happy to read a book which will broaden the understanding of kids on the spectrum. It is terrifying to consider the consequenses of these kids getting involved with law enforcement of any kind. Though there was a coincidence in the plot that is hard to believe, Picoult's masterful writing makes it work. I would definitely recommend this book.

Mom of an 18 yr old son with Aspergers: Where in my house, has Jodi Picoult been hiding?

My oldest son was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in the 3rd grade some 15 years ago, after I finally admitted to his Special Ed. Resource Specialist that I felt many of his mannerisms were very autistic-like, in nature. When I first read about this authors latest novel - prior to it's release - I was hesitant. The film/television media has begun exposing Aspergers to the general public in varying degrees. Sadly in it's first few years and attempts - in a rather negative and frightening manner. For me, with a son who attends a local public high school and who is mainstreamed as much as class requirements, credits and availablity allows - this was frustrating. I have taken it upon myself to educate anyone within ear range - and who is willing to listen (after all, I am not the Aspie and can tell by facial expressions when I have lost my audience!) about my son and his unique and wonderful qualities, as well as his difficulties and trials. It appears Ms. Picoult has been living in my house over the past 18 years witnessing many intimate moments between my sons and myself. While I am married, we have acknowledged with the help of dr.s and counselors - that my husband as well, has Aspergers and our younger son is diagnosed with ADHD - still, the author has tuned into my life in an amazing way. The relationship between the brothers in the book is so realistic, that even with a larger age gap, our younger son who is extremely social and attuned to reading peoples expressions and subtleties - is already doing many of the things Theo discusses having to do for Jacob. And the overall loyalty between brothers that is displayed in the final pages of the book - I see daily, even through the bickering and name calling. The description of Jacob atending his first school dance, we recently experienced with our son (a senior) attending his first Winter Formal. For those reviewers who did not think too highly of this book, calling it predictable or what have you, I can only say that perhaps they are not involved in the life of a person on the spectrum, well enough to see the truth in her words. This book made me cry, laugh, run the gamut of all feelings one can touch on, when living with an emotionally challenged child. I want to think Jodi Picoult for bringing out into the world - the struggles, joys and daily challenges of living with an 18 yr old son who is handsome, funny, smart (and as this story shows) who is as different from a neuro-typical teenager as night and day, black and white - regardless of how hard we try to help them feel otherwise. If she were here, I would hug her - knowing inside, that my son is probably thankful it wasn't him hugging a stranger.


Could not put this book down once I started reading. Compelling story that grabs you in the first chapter and holds you until finally releasing you with the last word. Thought provoking and beautifully written in the voices of the main characters. A thoroughly enjoyable will not be disappointed. Bravo Jodi!

"The world, for Jacob, is truly black and white."

In "House Rules," Jodi Picoult explores the complex world of Emma Hunt, who is almost entirely focused on helping her eighteen-year-old son, Jacob, learn to communicate appropriately with his family and peers. This is a Herculean task, considering the fact that Jacob has Asperger's syndrome, a disorder characterized by a compulsive attachment to order and routine, a tendency to take comments literally, hypersensitivity to bright lights, human touch, and scratchy fabrics, a reluctance to make eye contact, lack of empathy, painful bluntness, and difficulty relating to others. Emma's life is complicated by the fact that her husband, Henry, left shortly after their younger son, Theo, was born. Fifteen-year-old Theo deeply resents the amount of time and money that his mother lavishes on his older brother. At great expense, Emma brought early intervention therapists into her home who were "intent on dragging [Jacob] out of his own little world." She also buys costly medicines, supplements, and special foods that, she insists, help regulate Jacob's behavior. In addition to his other quirks, Jacob is obsessed with forensics. He watches a television show called Crimebusters and keeps a detailed journal of each episode; he even shows up at real crime scenes and offers to "help" the detectives solve their cases. Much to Emma's chagrin, he regularly stages his own mock crime scenes at home, using corn syrup to simulate blood. His preoccupation with true crime becomes an issue when someone he had recently quarreled with is found dead. Eventually, evidence comes to light pointing to Jacob's guilt. Could something have happened that caused him to snap? It would not be the first time that he lashed out after someone provoked him. After Jacob is arrested, in desperation Emma chooses an inexperienced lawyer named Oliver Bond to represent her son. Bond will have to pull a few rabbits out of his hat to earn sympathy for his idiosyncratic client. The central characters all have imperfections. Emma, who is disconcerted by the curveballs life keeps throwing her way, never gives into despair. Still, her preoccupation with Jacob shortchanges Theo, who feels neglected and unloved. Jacob is a smart yet very troubled young man who will need a miracle to get out of the mess he has helped create. He is aware enough, however, to realize that people think of him as "the weird kid who stands too close and doesn't shut up." Theo is a rebellious and angry teenager who acts out in frustration because he is burdened with a sibling who acts like "a total nutcase." Oliver is a kindhearted twenty-eight year old attorney whose lack of familiarity with criminal law may prove costly. Jess Ogilvy is Jacob's compassionate and sensitive tutor, whose job it is to teach him social skills, such as how to make small talk and the importance of looking people in the eye. Yet she is foolish enough to stay with her boyfriend, Mark, an aggressive boor who cruelly teases Jacob.
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