A fun and inspirational read for middle school aged readers who (want to) understand the importance of being true to themselves, no matter their ethnicity, gender, or age. The main character, Malu, questions everything and rarely takes "no" for an answer when she is trying to make her dreams come true. She teaches that kids can overcome the hardships of moving to a completely new place and making new friends without changing their identity. This book is a great introduction to music appreciation, creating zines, and finding the unique and positive qualities in yourself and your heritage.
— Laura Knapp
A 2018 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book
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 Malú (María 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 Malú 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, Malú 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.
About the Author
Celia C. Pérez is the award-winning author of The First Rule of Punk, a 2018 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book. Celia is a longtime maker of zines inspired by her love of punk music and writing. Her favorite zine supplies are a long-arm stapler, glue sticks, and watercolor pencils. She'll never stop picking cilantro out of her food at restaurants, and she owns two sets of worry dolls because you can never have too many. Originally from Miami, Florida, Celia lives in Chicago with her family where she works as a community college librarian.
A 2018 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book A 2018 ALSC Notable Children’s Book A 2018 Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award Winner A 2017 ABA Indies Introduce Title A Kids’ Indie Next List Pick An E.B. White Read-Aloud Middle Reader Award finalist A 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Honor Book An Amelia Bloomer List Book CCBC Choices 2018 A 2018 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year A Junior Library Guild Selection Publishers Weekly Flying Start NPR Best Books of 2017 Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of 2017 School Library Journal Best Books of 2017 A Horn Book Fanfare Selection Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature Best Books of 2017 NYPL Best Books for Kids 2017 Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Books 2017 Evanston Public Library 101 Great Books for Kids 2017 A Seattle Public Library Top 10 Children’s Chapter Book of 2017 A UPenn Graduate School of Education Best Book of 2017 2018-2019 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award Nominee 2018-2019 Sunshine State Young Readers Award Nominee A 2018 Great Lakes, Great Reads Award Winner 2017 Nerdy Book Award Winner
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST RULE OF PUNK:
"A charming debut about a thoughtful, creative preteen connecting to both halves of her identity." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Those who enjoy vivacious, plucky heroines... will eagerly embrace Malu." —School Library Journal (starred review)
"Pérez’s debut is as exuberant as its heroine... A rowdy reminder that people are at their best when they aren’t forced into neat, tidy boxes." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Extremely relatable and creatively inspiring, with a voice that is equal parts witty and sharp." —Bustle.com
"Malú is an irrepressible force, one that readers will long remember." —Diana López, author of Confetti Girl and Nothing Up My Sleeve