Malu has always found it easier to relate to her rocker dad than her traditional mother. But her world gets turned upside down when her mom gets a new job and she must leave everything she knows in Florida, including her dad, and move to Chicago. Never dreaming that this move could help her find a way to reconcile her punk rock spirit with the culture her mother desperately wants her to embrace.
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez is a fast-moving, beautiful story of finding yourself. 12-year-old Malu Perez gives the reader a likable and highly relatable character. Headstrong and spirited, with a love of all things punk fostered by her Caucasian father, she struggles to find common ground with her mother, whom she refers to as “Supermexican”, and to find footing in a culture she doesn’t feel a part of. Wonderfully put together magazine zines, or collages, throughout the book also help to solidify Malu even more by giving the reader a peek into her mind and how she sees things. Perez surrounds Malu with a rich cast of supporting characters to guide and support her on her journey as she learns that a person can be more than one thing.
Review of an Advance Reader Copy
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Viking Books for Young Readers
Profanity/Language: None (Note: Characters are referred to multiple times as “Coconuts”, a slang term with racial connotations).
Violence/Gore: Reference to grandparent’s death; girl kicks boy; boy pulls girl’s hair.
Mature Subject Matter:
Divorce, cultural identity and heritage, starting over.
Alcohol / Drug Use: