Book Review: The First Rule of Punk

33245571Recently, Larrabee and I saw Wicked in San Jose. In preparation, of course, we had to re-watch The Wizard of Oz, which he didn’t remember at all. I told him that now that he’d seen it, he’d probably come across references to it all over the place.

And he did. The next day, he started reading The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez. In the first chapter, twelve-year-old Malú makes a zine called “There Is No Place Like Home.”

The First Rule of Punk is a charming coming-of-age story about a 12-year-old half Mexican girl who likes punk rock and zines. She doesn’t want to move with her professor mom from Florida to Chicago. And she definitely doesn’t want to dress like una señorita.

But somehow, over the course of the first couple of months of middle school, Malú finds her own “Yellow-Brick-Road posse” and figures out how to be true to all the parts of herself.

In addition to Wizard of Oz references, the book is full of Malú’s creative zines (and includes instructions for making your own), and it’s a lot of fun.

9 thoughts on “Book Review: The First Rule of Punk

  1. You should definitely get your son to read the book ‘The Wizard of Oz’ too, if he hasn’t already. I don’t like the classic film with Judy Garland all that much but I still have good memories of reading the book. This book looks cute but probably too young for me (even though I still sometimes like juvenile fiction.) I have no idea what zines are, though- I should probably look it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I loved The Wizard of Oz book as a child too–and my husband says he read it at least five times. Somehow we don’t have a copy anymore, so I’ve put in a request at the library for my son. BTW, zines are little handmade booklets. I don’t know whether kids still make them. Some of my high school friends did.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently finished reading FROP with my class. We are watching The Wizard of Oz today. I will place L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Celia C. Perez’s Strange Birds on the list of Book Recommendations.


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