The First Rule of Punk
From debut author and longtime zine-maker Celia C. Perez, The First Rule of Punk is a wry and heartfelt exploration of friendship, finding your place, and learning to rock out like no one's watching. There are no shortcuts to surviving your first day at a new school--you can't fix it with duct tape like you would your Chuck Taylors. On Day One, twelve-year-old Malu (Maria Luisa, if you want to annoy her) inadvertently upsets Posada Middle School's queen bee, violates the school's dress code with her punk rock look, and disappoints her college-professor mom in the process. Her dad, who now lives a thousand miles away, says things will get better as long as she remembers the first rule of punk: be yourself. The real Malu loves rock music, skateboarding, zines, and Soyrizo (hold the cilantro, please). And when she assembles a group of like-minded misfits at school and starts a band, Malu finally begins to feel at home. She'll do anything to preserve this, which includes standing up to an anti-punk school administration to fight for her right to express herself! Black and white illustrations and collage art throughout make The First Rule of Punk a perfect pick for fans of books like Roller Girl and online magazines like Rookie.

The First Rule of Punk Details

TitleThe First Rule of Punk
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 22nd, 2017
PublisherViking
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Music, Young Adult

The First Rule of Punk Review

  • Brett Zeeb
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky to read an advanced reader copy of this book. It helps when you are married to the author. Despite my obvious bias, this book is the bees' knees, the bomb-diggity, simply awesome. If you don't fall in love with Maria Luisa (Malu), the main character in this book, your heart just might be made of stone. Middle grade kids are going to love this book. Parents of those same kids are going love this book too.
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  • Betsy
    January 1, 1970
    They don’t warn you in library school. They’ll tell you about all the cool children’s books you’ll get to read. They’ll stress how you’ll be able to make a difference in the lives of kids by introducing them to books they might never find on their own. They’ll talk about the glory of the profession, and rightly so. But they won’t tell you about Middle Grade Novel Burnout. It’s a killer, that one. You see, if you read too many middle grade novels in a given year, you begin to sense patterns that They don’t warn you in library school. They’ll tell you about all the cool children’s books you’ll get to read. They’ll stress how you’ll be able to make a difference in the lives of kids by introducing them to books they might never find on their own. They’ll talk about the glory of the profession, and rightly so. But they won’t tell you about Middle Grade Novel Burnout. It’s a killer, that one. You see, if you read too many middle grade novels in a given year, you begin to sense patterns that no one else can see. In 2017 I’ve started down that path. I’ll give you an example of a particular pattern: The new kid in school. It’s not a new idea for a book (Joseph Campbell would probably tell you that it’s just a variation on the old “A Stranger Comes to Town” storytelling motif) but this year it's gotten extreme. In book after book authors have hit the same notes. Kid is new. Kid is awkward in the lunchroom (seriously – if I never read another lunch room scene again it’ll be too soon). Kid makes friends with outcasts. Kid triumphs by being true to his or her own self. Simple, right? They blend together after a while, but it’s not the fault of the format. A good book, a really good book, transcends its format. Much of what I’ve read this year has already faded into a fuzzy haze in my brain. You know what hasn’t faded? The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez. A riotous, raucous conglomeration of Zine art, Mexican-American punk rock, and a nicely flawed protagonist with enough verve and oomph to keep those pages turning, I’m happy to say this book distinguishes itself from the pack. Even if there is the occasional lunchroom scene or two.When your mom is SuperMexican life is tough. And when SuperMexican announces that you are moving with her for two years from Gainesville, Florida to Chicago, Illinois, away from your beloved father and friends, you’re allowed to get peeved. The trouble is that Malu doesn’t think she has ANYTHING in common with her mom. Malu doesn’t like cilantro, loves punk music, makes Zines, and has absolutely no interest in connecting with her Mexican roots, so to speak. Still, Chicago isn’t quite what she expected. And when the chance comes up to put together her own ragtag punk band, she finds that sometimes you follow the rules, sometimes you break the rules, and sometimes it’s a lot more fun to just go on out and make your own rules. First and foremost, Ms. Perez makes sure right from the start that kids reading this book will find it fun. That's why right after the very first chapter we get our first glimpse at Malu's Zines. Now I've seen novels like this work in doodles and line art all the time. But wrack my brain though I might, I cannot remember a single time that I've ever seen Zines as a way of breaking up the text. It's seems so obvious, but it would only really work if it was consistent with the main character's personality. Check and check on that front. Ms. Perez isn't interested in weighing you down with some almighty tome. There's fun to be had in them thar pages, and she's going to show you that right from the get-go.Adults reading this book definitely will have a different take on a lot of the scenes, character, and elements than a kid would. Perfect Example A: Malu’s dad. One of Malu’s more prominent flaws is her complete and utter blind adoration of her father. To her, the guy could do no wrong. He’s cool (owns a record store, introduces his daughter to punk rock, plays music, etc.) so therefore he’s the perfect parent, right? Kids will undoubtedly be inclined to agree with Malu on this point. Wouldn’t you rather stay with: your rocker dad or your uptight uncool mom? But to any adult reading this book Malu’s dad has warning signs written all over him. Put another way, the dude’s a loser. Not a total loser. He’s a good dad, insofar as it goes. But when it comes to being a practical parent who could support his kid solo for months at a time, don’t rely on him. Malu’s mom (who, from the way she puts up with the kid’s attitude, verges on having the patience of a saint) knows this full well. So does he, for that matter. It’s just Malu and the kids reading this book who may be unaware of the situation in full. One thing that kids won’t remain ignorant of are the moments when Ms. Perez slips in some old-fashioned learning. Now she has an Ace up her sleeve in at least one respect. The Zine format allows her to work in pretty much anything she wants, just so long as it has art and good design. Hence we’re able to hear about “Punk Senorita” Marianne Elliott-Said and not feel like we’ve been handed a history lesson. This could all have backfired, however, if the story itself had had an abundance of history cluttering up the pages. Instead, it's woven in subtly. As an example, one of the highlights of the book for me is when Malu discovers that in Chicago there has been a strong punk Mexican American scene. Actual bands are name dropped like The Zeroes, Alice Bag, the Plugz, and the Brat. One does wonder why Malu’s dad didn’t bother to seek out any of this information for his daughter himself, but that’s neither here nor there.I was discussing this book with another reader the other day when they mentioned that they found Malu’s attitude towards her change in life, venue, and situation “too young” for her age. At the time I had to process that comment for myself. Malu is a middle school kid, just hovering at the cusp of adolescence. Honestly, when I sat down and thought about it, I actually found her attitude to be a bit mature for her age. She’s doing full on teenage tantrums much younger than you’d usually expect. Is she immature? Completely! But she’s immature in a self-absorbed, narcissistic way. You know. Teen-age stuff! Malu is so complete wrapped up in her own head that she does come close to distancing the reader emotionally several times. You want your heroine to be headstrong but not stupid. To speak her mind but not be too much of a jerk. Kids will give their protagonist a lot of leeway when it comes to parental units, but you can only lead them in that direction so far, so it’s up to the author to know exactly where to draw the line. Ms. Perez does a pretty good job in that department. You sympathize with Malu, but you’re also allowed to disagree with some of her choices. Trust me when I say that a protagonist that’s always right is a pretty dull person to read about. Other middle grade novels will prove that much to you.I wouldn’t call it a perfect novel. The propensity of grown-ups to break rules for Malu happens repeatedly and is most unbelievable when a fellow parent is in on the conspiracy. The principal that promises fire and destruction in the event of an alternative Fiesta doesn’t seem too miffed later. And a mom apologizing for freaking out when her daughter dyed her hair green? That’s where it totally lost me. Sorry, kids. Moms will be freaking out moms. But at its best The First Rule of Punk is like a Mexican-American High Fidelity meets School of Rock for kids. A game plan for taking expectations and giving them a personal twist. And hey, any book that inspires kids to make their own Zines is a-okay with me. For ages 10 and up.
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  • Marianne (Boricuan Bookworms)
    January 1, 1970
    Boricuan Bookworms- Book Reviews The First Rule of Punk is a fun middle grade book about a Mexican-American girl who whose mother has relocated them to Chicago for a new job. I really liked a lot of things about Malú from the beginning, because it was completely relatable to me to see her struggling with her identity. She doesn’t want to be the perfect Mexican señorita her mother wants her to be, but instead wants to be punk like her dad.Malú’s struggles really highlight the unrealistic expecta Boricuan Bookworms- Book Reviews The First Rule of Punk is a fun middle grade book about a Mexican-American girl who whose mother has relocated them to Chicago for a new job. I really liked a lot of things about Malú from the beginning, because it was completely relatable to me to see her struggling with her identity. She doesn’t want to be the perfect Mexican señorita her mother wants her to be, but instead wants to be punk like her dad.Malú’s struggles really highlight the unrealistic expectations that are placed upon children of color. Malú is called a “coco” (brown on the outside, white on the inside), by her classmate Selena, the perfect example of a Mexican child. Unlike Selena, Malú doesn’t speak Spanish perfectly, she doesn’t like cilantro, doesn’t enjoy traditional Mexican dancing; basically doesn’t do things that are “expected” from a Mexican child. But does this make Malú any less Mexican?Of course, there’s more to the story than this. This book isn’t only about identity and culture, but about friendship and finding your place. We see Malú’s character develop throughout the story while she makes new friends and meets more Mexican people and role models who help her understand her struggles. I like to think of us as more like patchwork quilts. Some pieces are prettier than others. Some pieces match and some don't. But if you remove a square, you're just left with an incomplete quilt, and who wants that? All our pieces are equally important if they make us whole. Even the weird ones. I think that this book really shows how representation is important, as we see how much Malú starts to reevaluate her life once she meets more people who are actually like her and she sees all the possibilities of what she can be.In between chapters, we see excerpts of zines Malú makes, which gives us extra insight into who she is and what she admires. I liked this aspect of the book a lot because it was a fun little surprise waiting for you at some parts of the story.While being middle grade, this book never feels to me like it’s too “juvenile” or “childish”; yes, the main character is 12 years old, but the story is written in such a way that it’s difficult not to get sucked in. Malú’s narrative voice is honest and a little bit sarcastic, which made a lot of situations both relatable and completely hilarious. I definitely recommend this book to anyone, because it’s fun and refreshing while also dealing with serious issues such as culture and being yourself. Review copy provided by publisher My Amazon Review.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    A realistic and captivating middle grade voice and a plot that moves along at a perfect pace. This story of identity explores being Mexican American, being punk, being torn between cultures and parents, transition, and discovering your "own patchwork quilt" you. Plus, Malú's zines woven in are awesome!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    The first rule about reading the book The First Rule of Punk is that you will LOVE it. This story has everything: emotion, wit, culture, intelligence, heart and a fantastic soundtrack (make a playlist might be rule 2). I can't wait to see the final artwork in the finished copy because I love Malú's zine so much. I learned a lot from reading this while still being reminded of my own childhood experiences. I am eagerly awaiting another book from Celia C. Pérez. This is my favorite middle grade boo The first rule about reading the book The First Rule of Punk is that you will LOVE it. This story has everything: emotion, wit, culture, intelligence, heart and a fantastic soundtrack (make a playlist might be rule 2). I can't wait to see the final artwork in the finished copy because I love Malú's zine so much. I learned a lot from reading this while still being reminded of my own childhood experiences. I am eagerly awaiting another book from Celia C. Pérez. This is my favorite middle grade book of 2017 so far.
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  • Shenwei
    January 1, 1970
    one of my favorite middle grade reads of the year. a funny but heartfelt story about finding your people, being yourself, taking pride in your heritage, and standing up for what you believe in
  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    My eyes have been replaced with emoji hearts. That was a delight.
  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the TreelineWhen Malu's (Maria Luisa) mother gets a two year visiting professorship in Chicago, she has to leave her father and his record shop in Gainesville. Malu and her father love punk rock music, and her mother is not a fan, so Malu really wishes she could stay with her father. Even though she makes an impassioned plea in an artfully crafted zine, she is living in Chicago before she knows it. It's a fun, quirky neighborhood with lots of other Hispanic residents, E ARC from Edelweiss Above the TreelineWhen Malu's (Maria Luisa) mother gets a two year visiting professorship in Chicago, she has to leave her father and his record shop in Gainesville. Malu and her father love punk rock music, and her mother is not a fan, so Malu really wishes she could stay with her father. Even though she makes an impassioned plea in an artfully crafted zine, she is living in Chicago before she knows it. It's a fun, quirky neighborhood with lots of other Hispanic residents, which delights Malu's mother but doesn't break through Malu's irritation. On the first day of school, she wears heavy eyeliner despite her mother's objections, and gets sent to the auditorium for a dress code violation talk. There, she meets a boy who has dyed his hair blue (but dresses like Henry Huggins!) who ends up being the son of the local coffee shop owner, Ms. Hildago, and the grandson of her neighbor. Malu's school career doesn't go well, since she has run afoul of the popular Selena, so when a school talent show is announced, she gathers a few people to form a band (the CoCos, after Selena's slur that she is a "coconut"). When they don't make the cut during auditions because they are too loud and not traditional enough to honor the school's namesake Jose Posada, Malu decides to embrace the rules of punk and have an alternative concert. The band, and Malu, continue to have rocky times, but ultimately are able to be appreciated for being true to themselves. Strengths: It's nice to see a middle grade character with specific interests, and one who takes initiative to change circumstances she doesn't like. Stories about moving are always popular with my readers, and I thought it was interesting that Malu moved to a neighborhood that seemed like a better fit for her, even though she didn't want to recognize it. The zines between the chapters are interesting, the various characters well drawn and unique, and the celebration of Hispanic culture is more in depth than in many books I have read. Weaknesses: I had a different concept of zines in my head-- Malu's work seemed more like scrap booking to me, but the author is well know for her own zines. Also, Malu's love of punk culture doesn't seem to be doing her any favors, and I found myself identifying more with her mother! (Go wash that gunk off your eyes, young lady, and put on a clean shirt!)What I really think: I will definitely buy a copy. Many of my students have requested displays of Hispanic literature for Octobers Hispanic Heritage Month, and this will be a good title to include.
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  • Monica Edinger
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyed this. Have now seen finished copy (with zines) and my opinion is as before --- a charmer.
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Oh wow, do I ever love this book. The First Rule of Punk has heart, humor, spunk, and charm. And, of course, a radical and delightful punk-rock sensibility in the main character, Malú. This is a terrific story about a girl, Malú, who has to move from Miami to Chicago with her professor mom for two years, and is bummed, and wants to be punk rock about it (her dad, back in Miami, owns a record store) but finds it's hard to maintain a punk rock attitude all the time, especially when you're only 12 Oh wow, do I ever love this book. The First Rule of Punk has heart, humor, spunk, and charm. And, of course, a radical and delightful punk-rock sensibility in the main character, Malú. This is a terrific story about a girl, Malú, who has to move from Miami to Chicago with her professor mom for two years, and is bummed, and wants to be punk rock about it (her dad, back in Miami, owns a record store) but finds it's hard to maintain a punk rock attitude all the time, especially when you're only 12 and in a new town. She is also a zine maker and the book includes her zines as she makes them, which is so cool to see, and will no doubt inspire zine-making in readers (I read an advance copy of this book, and am very much looking forward to the "real" book, when the zine art is all final).I'll be honest: this book is so ridiculously my type of book that I was unspeakably giddy the whole time I was reading it. If you are a fan of spunky main characters who are finding their way and find their people despite (or because of) their parents' influences, arts/crafts/zines/glue sticks, Chuck Taylors, tights, musical references, coffee references, delicious food references, and Beverly Cleary references, then you will also love this book.
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  • Mariana Calderon
    January 1, 1970
    Edelweiss review: (aka, I LOVED THIS BOOK)Maria Luisa, star of The First Rule of Punk, has the voice I want every little brown girl to find and read. Malú, as she prefers to be called, is memorable, funny, and startlingly relatable for any mexican-american who didn’t realize how much they needed her in their life. She likes rock music and her dad’s record store, prefers soyrizo to the meat-filled chorizo, and sometimes feels like she could never be mexican enough for her college profesora mom (w Edelweiss review: (aka, I LOVED THIS BOOK)Maria Luisa, star of The First Rule of Punk, has the voice I want every little brown girl to find and read. Malú, as she prefers to be called, is memorable, funny, and startlingly relatable for any mexican-american who didn’t realize how much they needed her in their life. She likes rock music and her dad’s record store, prefers soyrizo to the meat-filled chorizo, and sometimes feels like she could never be mexican enough for her college profesora mom (whom she calls the “Super-Mexican”) As Malú navigates a big move to Chicago, new school mean girls, and being the weirdo who doesn’t like cilantro, she shows a DIY scrappiness that would make any punk proud. Full of zines exploring Malú’s thoughts on how to be punk, mexican history, and her trademark blend of mexi-punk culture, this is a book that should be on every summer reading list.
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  • Ms. Rose
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to receive this INCREDIBLE ARC! I can't recommend this book enough. All the stars for Malú who, in search of her true punk persona, attempts to avoid the identities to which she feels others want her to conform. Her creative and charismatic middle grade voice shines in this amazing debut novel from Celia C. Perez and she realizes that identity is not quite as straight-foward as she once thought. So thankful for the opportunity to read!
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  • Vikki VanSickle
    January 1, 1970
    What an absolute delight to read! Malu (Maria-Luisa) is not thrilled to be moving with "SuperMexican" (aka mom) to Chicago, away from her record-store owning dad who understands her love of punk music much more than her professor-mother does. Her complicated relationship with her mixed heritage is a problem most days, but at her new-school Malu's poor Spanish and dislike of cilantro sets her apart from her classmates in an even bigger way. This middle grade novel is brimming with personality. Ma What an absolute delight to read! Malu (Maria-Luisa) is not thrilled to be moving with "SuperMexican" (aka mom) to Chicago, away from her record-store owning dad who understands her love of punk music much more than her professor-mother does. Her complicated relationship with her mixed heritage is a problem most days, but at her new-school Malu's poor Spanish and dislike of cilantro sets her apart from her classmates in an even bigger way. This middle grade novel is brimming with personality. Malu is smart, sassy, artistic, and although she struggles with her identity, she is never anything but herself. This is a great book about self-expression with absolutely zero condescension. The characters were all vivid, funny, true-to-life people. I particularly loved the parent-child relationships in this book which are prickly at times, but always loving. Malu's own zines are included and will likely inspire readers to pick up their own pair of scissors and get creating. What a gem!
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  • Vanessa (splitreads)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5. This was a cute story that fit many of the typical MG story arcs you would expect, but I really liked Malú, the focus on Mexican-American history, plus punk culture + zines. I definitely think the beginning of the story had me more caught up in it and some of the resolutions were a bit too easy and predictable towards the end (even for a MG book). This is totally worth your time though.Also!! Malú is from Gainesville and just her talking about Spanish moss and lovebugs was everything to me.
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  • Sandie, Teen Lit Rocks
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a sweet read about a kick-butt character trying to find her place in a new school. She's half-Mexican-American, half-"European-mutt" American, and all punk fan, but when her divorced mother forces her to move away from her indie record store-owning dad to a mostly Mexican neighborhood in Chicago, Malu feels like a misfit... until she convinces three classmates to start a punk band to play at a school talent show. This would make a great addition to elementary-school or middle-schoo This was such a sweet read about a kick-butt character trying to find her place in a new school. She's half-Mexican-American, half-"European-mutt" American, and all punk fan, but when her divorced mother forces her to move away from her indie record store-owning dad to a mostly Mexican neighborhood in Chicago, Malu feels like a misfit... until she convinces three classmates to start a punk band to play at a school talent show. This would make a great addition to elementary-school or middle-school libraries for 4th-6th graders.
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  • Patrick
    January 1, 1970
    Great story of a young girl dealing with two backgrounds, one of which is her Mexican Mother. Her mother wants her to celebrate and embrace her culture, but she would rather focus on music, punk, and her dad's style. Really enjoyed her journey to a new school and the relationships she made there.
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  • Cassie Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    When I think about where I live (south central Texas) and how hard it has been for me to find stories for my students that are mirrors into their lives in multiple ways, it was a struggle the last few years. The First Rule of Punk though BLEW me away. I was thinking about all of my past students and even future students who will relate to this in more ways than just the protagonists storyline. This is a book I will immediately preorder multiple copies of. Malú is a young girl who feels that who When I think about where I live (south central Texas) and how hard it has been for me to find stories for my students that are mirrors into their lives in multiple ways, it was a struggle the last few years. The First Rule of Punk though BLEW me away. I was thinking about all of my past students and even future students who will relate to this in more ways than just the protagonists storyline. This is a book I will immediately preorder multiple copies of. Malú is a young girl who feels that who she is doesn't meet her moms expectations (every girl age 12&up) solely because she is half Mexican/half white, and because of that her mom is constantly on her about learning her heritage and wanting to be proud that their family came from Mexico to America and the hardships they went through to get here. Her Dad on the other hand is this punk rock, record store owning, creative soul who Malú finds herself clinging to. Then her world crashes upside down when her and her mom have to move to Chicago for a couple of years for her moms career. Malú finds herself unsure she will ever make friends, especially after a few run ins with Selena, who isn't exactly the nice girl to the "weirdos" slash "coconuts" as she calls them. Malú goes through a lot of typical new student challenges, and in the process she realizes that being herself is exactly who she needs to be, even though it may not be a direct reflection of her Mom, she does understand that her Mom has good points and she needs to meet her halfway with learning her culture and appreciating where her family came from. This is an amazing story that encompasses how so many of my students whose families that come from Mexico have discussed with me. They don't know about their culture and what things mean, nor do they speak Spanish, and Celia does an absolutely AMAZING job of weaving in historical points throughout the text that are a lot of Mexican traditions or sayings that get misconstrued by the public. I'm so thankful for this book in so many ways. I can't wait to share with my students.
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  • Carolee Wheeler
    January 1, 1970
    Celia's writing has always made me want to make things. Tell stories. Look at my life through a tender narrative lens. Malú's story is no different. Buy this one for all the middle grade readers in your life who are just a little bit different.
  • Jessica Lewis
    January 1, 1970
    Just lovely lovely lovely <3 more soon!
  • Hallie
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this middle grade novel about a punk half-Mexican girl who makes zines, loves reading, and wears silver chuck taylors. I am all about this book.
  • Lupine
    January 1, 1970
    Punk latina teen who's into making zines? Sign me up. Points for zines scattered throughout and zine making tips at the end.
  • Jae
    January 1, 1970
    Y'ALL. This book was everything I wanted it to be and more. Highly recommended to all girls rock campers, middle school misfits, zinesters, riot grrrls, and punks.
  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    Malú doesn’t want to move with her mother to Chicago, even if it is only for a couple of years and not permanently. She knows her mother wants her to be much more of a proper Mexican young lady just like her. But Malú is much more into punk rock and creating zines. When they get to Chicago, Malú finds herself in a very diverse middle school where she manages to violate the dress code on the very first day. As she struggles with the rules of the new school, Malú starts a punk rock band of other k Malú doesn’t want to move with her mother to Chicago, even if it is only for a couple of years and not permanently. She knows her mother wants her to be much more of a proper Mexican young lady just like her. But Malú is much more into punk rock and creating zines. When they get to Chicago, Malú finds herself in a very diverse middle school where she manages to violate the dress code on the very first day. As she struggles with the rules of the new school, Malú starts a punk rock band of other kids who don’t fit in. They enter the school talent contest but don’t get any further than the audition and then are rejected for the performance. Now Malú has to channel her own punk attitude to stand up and be heard.This is such a winning and cleverly built novel that one can’t really believe it’s a debut book. Pérez captures the push and pull of middle school and being a person with unique interests struggling to find friends. Pérez also weaves in the main character’s cultural heritage throughout the book, making it a vital part of the story and playing it against the rebellion of punk rock. That play of tradition and modern attitudes is a strength of the book, allowing readers to learn about Mexican culture and also about rock and roll.Malú is a great protagonist, filled with lots of passion and energy. She has a natural leadership about her even as she is picked on by another girl at school. Still, Malú is not perfect and it’s her weak moments when she despairs or lashes out where she feels most real. Her zines are cleverly placed in the book, thanks to the skills of the author who also publishes zines.A fresh and fun new read that blends Mexican Americans with punk rock in a winning formula. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
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  • Karin
    January 1, 1970
    Super-cute middle grade novel about a young half-Mexican girl who moves to Chicago with her mom, starts a punk rock band, learns more about her Mexican heritage, and creates zines about all of it.
  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing. Review to come.
  • Abby Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    When Maria Luisa (Malu) is forced to move to Chicago with her mom for two years, she is devastated. She's leaving behind everything she knows and she will particularly miss her dad, record store owner and her personal hero. When Malu starts at her new school, Posada Middle School, a school with a very high Latino population, she feels like she doesn't fit in. The principal criticizes her punk rock look, some of the other kids call her a "coconut" (brown on the outside, white in the middle) becau When Maria Luisa (Malu) is forced to move to Chicago with her mom for two years, she is devastated. She's leaving behind everything she knows and she will particularly miss her dad, record store owner and her personal hero. When Malu starts at her new school, Posada Middle School, a school with a very high Latino population, she feels like she doesn't fit in. The principal criticizes her punk rock look, some of the other kids call her a "coconut" (brown on the outside, white in the middle) because she struggles with Spanish. Slowly Malu begins to make friends, and they decide to put together a punk band for the school talent show. But when Principal Rivera rejects their act for being "too loud" and not a good example of Mexican culture, they decide to fight back by holding their own alternative talent show.There are so many great themes here - it's the universal story of a girl starting middle school and not feeling like she fits in. But Perez examines what culture means and how it can mean different things to different people. I loved the parallels she found between Posada and modern punk mentality of protesting the norm and speaking out against policies that they don't agree with. Malu, in addition to loving punk music and culture, is also an artist and creates zines, several of which are sprinkled throughout the book. It gives the book an interesting texture and may inspire readers to create their own. I would love to read more about Malu and will eagerly seek out anything else Celia Perez writes!
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  • Ryan
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful story of teenage exploration of what is punk when you have to face the oppression that is middle school. Raised with her Super Mexican mom in Chicago and inspired by her punk loving dad, Malu struggles to build her identity in a new school, a new town, with new friends. In the end the first rule of punk is be yourself. The book has good narrative flow and wonderful collage illustration that highlight the authors history with zines.
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  • Mindy
    January 1, 1970
    Really cute book. Plus zines and punk music!
  • Emily Scheinman
    January 1, 1970
    So fun! Loved the dialogue!
  • Stacy Fetters
    January 1, 1970
    "Even punk music felt more like a mismatched quilt than I have ever considered. Being punk meant a lot o different things, just like being Mexican meant many things. Sometimes those things don't seem to match. And that was okay because I'd discovered that maybe the first rule of punk was to make our own rules." The first rule of punk is that there are no rules. The second rule of punk is to be yourself! This is exactly what Maria Luisa is and will forever be. And now she is my book bestie! Movi "Even punk music felt more like a mismatched quilt than I have ever considered. Being punk meant a lot o different things, just like being Mexican meant many things. Sometimes those things don't seem to match. And that was okay because I'd discovered that maybe the first rule of punk was to make our own rules." The first rule of punk is that there are no rules. The second rule of punk is to be yourself! This is exactly what Maria Luisa is and will forever be. And now she is my book bestie! Moving at any age is tough, but moving away from everything that makes you comfortable and even your dad makes it ten times as worse when you're still a kid. It feels like the world won't forgive you for disrupting your life. But the second rule of Punk helps Malu find her people. Fitting in when you're weird is harder than anyone could imagine. Everyone looks at you, they snicker and sometimes they say the meanest things even to your face. Maria knows when and how to put those bullies in their place. She's one tough badass girl and who wouldn't want to be her friend?She is a true punk all the way and having been denied to perform in the talent show, she takes things into her own hands. Finding equally as awesome kids to be in her band, they decide to have their own after show talent show for the people who were denied being at the school one. As things get rolling, issues get in the way and her own heritage comes back at her. But she perseveres and shines bright like a diamond in the sky. There's a lot about this book that I absolutely love. From cover to cover, everything about this book was perfect. I was in line from the first line. The best middle-grade book that I have ever read. Malu and her band of magical Misfits and her love of fanzines capture your heart and turn your soul into a tattooed one. If you don't fall in love with the music or Malu then you actually might be the devil!
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