Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez is the 2018 Kids Read Across Rhode Island book. The book is about a girl named Maria Luisa, but she likes to be called Malu. Malu calls her mom SuperMexican, because she feels that her mother pushes her to speak Spanish and wants her to learn about her Mexican background. When Malu has to move away from her dad and live with her mother in Chicago for two years, she is not happy. Some of the kids at her new school are not nice and they call her a "coconut", brown on the outside, white on the inside. They make fun of her because her Spanish isn't fluent and she dresses like a punk rocker. Malu struggles to fit in at her new school and still follow the first rule of punk, "Be yourself."

Sprinkled throughout the book are references to Punk music, which Malu loves, and copies of her zines. Malu's zines are small books she creates with text, drawings, and pictures cut from magazines. Malu uses the zines to explain how she is feeling. I thought this book was very interesting. I think you will enjoy how tough and resilient Malu is as she fights to find her place in the world. It would make a great beginning of the year Read Aloud for teachers. I am sure many students will want to create their own zines about their family cultures as an extension activity.

Review by Mrs. Castro

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