The First Rule of Punk - Blog Tour

From debut author and longtime zine-maker Celia C. Pérez, 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.

Celia C. Pérez has been making zines inspired by punk and her love of writing for longer than some of you have been alive. Her favorite zine supplies are a long-arm stapler, glue sticks, and watercolor pencils. She still listens to punk music, and she’ll never stop picking cilantro out of her food at restaurants. Originally from Miami, Florida, Celia lives in Chicago with her family and works as a community college librarian. She owns two sets of worry dolls because you can never have too many. The First Rule of Punk is her first book for young readers.


When I think about where I live (south central Texas) and how hard it has been for me to find stories for my students that are mirrors into their lives in multiple ways, it was a struggle the last few years. The First Rule of Punk though BLEW me away. I was thinking about all of my past students and even future students who will relate to this in more ways than just the protagonists storyline. This is a book I immediately preordered multiple copies of.

Malú is a young girl who feels that who she is doesn't meet her moms expectations (every girl age 12&up) solely because she is half Mexican/half white, and because of that her mom is constantly on her about learning her heritage and wanting to be proud that their family came from Mexico to America and the hardships they went through to get here. Her Dad on the other hand is this punk rock, record store owning, creative soul who Malú finds herself clinging to. Then her world crashes upside down when her and her mom have to move to Chicago for a couple of years for her moms career. Malú finds herself unsure she will ever make friends, especially after a few run ins with Selena, who isn't exactly the nice girl to the "weirdos" slash "coconuts" as she calls them. Malú goes through a lot of typical new student challenges, and in the process she realizes that being herself is exactly who she needs to be, even though it may not be a direct reflection of her Mom, she does understand that her Mom has good points and she needs to meet her halfway with learning her culture and appreciating where her family came from. This is an amazing story that encompasses how so many of my students whose families that come from Mexico have discussed with me. They don't know about their culture and what things mean, nor do they speak Spanish, and Celia does an absolutely AMAZING job of weaving in historical points throughout the text that are a lot of Mexican traditions or sayings that get misconstrued by the public.

I'm so thankful for this book in so many ways. I can't wait to share with my students. 


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