This is a wholesome middle grade novel about cultural identity and staying true to your unique self. This book is also a great example of a book for young readers that functions as a, "window and mirror" that shows the trials and triumphs of a modern Mexican American girl. Teachers, parents and punks alike will enjoy this while learning a little something about zines and Mexican punk bands.
Cute, cheerful and interesting!
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
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!
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!
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.
The author shares great instructions here on how to make a zine!
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