Explore The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

 The First Rule of Punk book cover with a girl with braids and brown skin, smiling and winking while holding a mic.

Twelve-year-old María Luisa O'Neill-Morales (please call her Malú) reluctantly moves with her mom to Chicago and enters seventh grade with a bang by violating the school dress code with her punk rock fashion and starting a band with a group of like-minded weirdos.

Check out your copy from Denver Public Library. It's always available with no wait as an eBook, in English, and in Spanish. Or, you can check out a print copy for curbside pickup.

Get to know the book in this introduction from librarian Jennifer:

Here an excerpt from the book read by librarian Laura:

Learn to make your own zine like Malú:

In The First Rule of Punk, Malú makes zines as a way to express herself, to explore topics, and sometimes to influence people. She uses a variety of media and a collage-style to illustrate her publications. In general, zines are small-circulation publications that are usually self-published. You can make your own simple zine using only one piece of paper, a pen and a pair of scissors. See the video that accompanies this book exploration for instructions.

Denver has its own Zine Library with a lending collection of around 20,000 zines. For more information about the Denver Zine Library, visit denverzinelibrary.org. They have also offered zine workshops and an annual zine fest. What topic will you explore in your zine?

Celebrate the amazing YOU

A wonderful writer, Maya Angelou, once said, “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” In The First Rule of Punk, Malú has a very clear idea of who she is and refuses to let her school, her classmates, or her family decide her identity or how she should express herself. Take a piece of paper or a page in your journal. (Hint: It’s a great idea to keep a journal to express yourself.) Assemble some pens, pencils, paints, stickers, glue, or magazine cut outs...whatever materials you have at home and would like to use. Think about the quote above. Write/draw/create a collage/make a list celebrating what makes you AMAZING and unique.

Learn more about Maya Angelou in Rise: From the Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou by Bethany Hegedus.

What to read next

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Twelve-year-old Astrid falls in love with roller derby and goes to derby camp instead of dance camp with her best friend.  Navigating new friends while keeping the old ones is hard, but so is keeping up with the older girls at derby camp. Place a hold to check out the print book or check out the eBook.

Join Book Explorers for more book activities and discussions.

Try these printable activities for a do-it-yourself, at home book club:

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