The First Rule of Punk

The First Rule of Punk

Paperback - 2017
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Twelve-year-old María Luisa O'Neill-Morales (who really prefers to be called Malú) reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang--violating the dress code with her punk rock aesthetic and spurning the middle school's most popular girl in favor of starting a band with a group of like-minded weirdos.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2017
ISBN: 9780425290408
0425290409
Characteristics: 310 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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From Library Staff

Pura Belpré Author Honor

A fun romp through the awkward years of middle school that examines themes of identity and culture.

Chicago Public Library recommends this title as one of the best books published in 2017.

The first rule of punk is to always be yourself. But how do you know who that is? That’s the question punk-rock-loving, zine-making, twelve-year-old Malu, the child of bicultural parents, is desperately trying to answer in this humorous, high energy novel set in Chicago. Get ready to find your pe... Read More »


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kellybishop200
Apr 09, 2019

Cute, cheerful and interesting!

JessicaGma Jun 08, 2018

IT's always so great to read a middle grade novel that doesn't make you want to claw your eyes out. This is a brilliant look at Punk, identity and trying to stay true to yourself when pulled in many different ways. I loved this one and will be recommending it heavily

LPL_KarenA Mar 12, 2018

Zines! Punk rock music! Strong female characters! Mexican cultural pride!

Malú wants nothing more than to be back in Florida with her dad, but she's forced to move with her mom to Chicago for a fellowship at a university. Making zines and listening to her favorite punk rock bands may be the only way to get through life, when Malú decides she's going to form a band to perform at the school's talent show. Never mind that's she's never sang or played an instrument. Her punk rock rule of "being the real you" forces her to face her fears, make new friends, and be true to herself.

A Belpré Author Honor, Pérez's "First Rule of Punk" explores what it's like to be the new kid, the stand out kid, the punk kid, and the "my parents don't get me" kid for the older elementary and middle school set. The book is steeped in Mexican culture and Spanish language and explores Malú's discovery that she can be white, Mexican, and punk rock all at the same time.

Malú's zines are included throughout the book and an example of how to make your own zines is included at the back! Many bands are mentioned throughout the book. Check the library's catalog to see if we carry any of the titles!

ArapahoeMary Sep 19, 2017

Maria Luísa (who prefers to be called Malú) loves punk rock. She does NOT love her mom's attempts at helping her know and appreciate her Mexican heritage. So when Malú and her mom (whom she calls "SuperMexican") move to Chicago for a two year stay, she's naturally upset. But when the school principal bans Malú and her new friends from playing in the school talent show because they're too loud, she finds she might be able to combine her love for punk rock AND her Mexican heritage to make a powerful statement. Interspersed with Malú's handmade zines, this is a story that will resonate with many kids struggling with being who they want to be and meeting parent expectations. May also inspire some to create zines of their own!

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Aug 18, 2017

This book spoke to me on a personal level. I was totally Malu in later middle and high school, complete with a mom who, though loving, could not understand my music choices, clothes, and ideas. And look at me now! But seriously, not only do I think this book is important for kids who feel, "other than," it is just done really well. Fantastic characterization, realistic dialogue, and Malu's zines breaking up the text a bit (good for reluctant readers). I could see this one appealing to fans of Roller Girl and Raina Telgemeier when they're ready for something a bit meatier.

SchoolCorps1 Aug 17, 2017

http://www.readbrightly.com/how-to-make-zine/

The author shares great instructions here on how to make a zine!

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