Middle Grade Review: The First Rule of Punk

22 Nov

32050089Synopsis: It’s the first day in a new school a thousand miles away from her dad, best friend and everything she knows and loves and Malu is nervous. After a tough day (violating the school dress code, upsetting the school’s queen bee and so much more), Malu has disappointed her mom… yet again. Malu is nothing like the daughter SuperMexican (as she calls her mom) wants her to be – she hates cilantro, loves punk music and zines, and just wants to move back home.

But, with some courage from her dad she creates her own band of outcasts and learns that following the beat of your own drum is most important! There’s just one thing… her mom doesn’t know about the band and Malu’s pretty sure she’s not going to be happy when she finds out!

Review: I loved Malu and her search for figuring out who she is as a half-Mexican zine-and-punk-loving kid in a new environment. The zines spread throughout the story are a fun way to get to know Malu in a different format (plus there are directions at the back of the book to create your own!). I think this is a story that many kids will relate to, in that you move, your friends grow apart from you and in the end you feel a little lost at sea. But, you never know who will be a good friend and as the old adage goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover” and even though Malu’s group of friends have really nothing in common – they learn that they need each other and that together they can do just about anything. I love that Malu is struggling with being half-Mexican and half-white and not really feeling whole anything because I think there are a lot of kids out there that grow up feeling just like this. This is a great title to share with kids who loved Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (as the review mentions), plus All’s Faire in Middle School by the same author.

Twitter Booktalk (280 characters or less): Malu’s mom has moved her away from everything she knows and loves and Malu isn’t quite sure where she fits in now. Malu finds a crowd of outcasts and convinces them to join her band and change their school!

Title: The First Rule of Punk
Author: Celia C. Pérez
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Page Number:  336 pgs.

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