Learning to Embrace Your Heritage

Learning to embrace your heritage is one of the themes in the book I am profiling today.  Finding your own place while doing that is really the challenge faced by Malu, our main character.  Blending where you come from with who you want to be is a challenge for any kid and readers will empathize with Malu as she tries to chart her own path.

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Title: The First Rule of Punklearning to embrace your heritage first rule of punk

Author: Celia Perez

Target: Grades 5-8

Series: No

What this book is about:

Malu has a SuperMexican for a mother and a dad who is all rock and roll. That makes Malu all punk. But what exactly does being punk mean? As Malu and her mom move to Chicago she gets to define herself and of course, while punk can mean being in a band and green hair, it can also mean having the courage to be yourself. Choosing to be a little different can be scary but finding friends along the way can make life a little easier.

Why I love this book:

  • First off I always appreciate stories that help us see another culture. In this case, we get a look at the Mexican American culture crossed with the Punk Rock culture of my youth. Yup, a trip down memory lane with the Go Go’s was fun for me. But it is also enlightening for kids to open a window into someone else’s heritage or for Mexican American kids to see themselves.
  • Malu is quite a character as she navigates school and friends. She has a lot of courage and pushes back just enough on her parents to feel authentic. She is also able to stand up to a bully which I appreciated.
  • I enjoyed the zines scattered throughout the story. They not only broke up and enhanced the narrative, they also provided a fun creative window into Malu and her heritage.

Who this book is for:

Great for kids who enjoy realistic fiction or kids who are managing a household with multiple ethnicities. It reminded me of My Basmati Bat Mitzvah as kids struggle to embrace their varied cultural heritage along with the everyday life of being a tween.

Final thoughts:

The punk kind of threw me off. While I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane, I wonder how many kids today are tuned into punk?

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The First Rule of Punk.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.