The First Rule of Punk

The First Rule of Punk
Written by Celia C. Pérez

Publisher’s Summary:
Twelve-year-old María Luisa O’Neill-Morales (who really prefers to be called Malú) reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang–violating the dress code with her punk rock aesthetic and spurning the middle school’s most popular girl in favor of starting a band with a group of like-minded weirdos.

Primary Source Pairing:
Through the ups and downs and the challenges and celebrations, the readers of the book The First Rule of Punk get a front-row seat to Malú’s feelings through the zines (pronounced zeens – like magazine) she creates. Malú’s creations offer a visual representation of her experiences. For this primary source pairing, use the zines as the primary source and provide students with the Zine Analysis Questions bookmark included above. The zines are precious gems of visual analysis embedded in the text. Encourage students to study all the details to fully understand Malú as a character.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Examine the zine.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What is the theme of the zine?
  • How does the zine make you feel?
  • Find something small but interesting.
  • How does the zine represent what is happening in Malú’s life?
  • How do the zines in the book help you better understand Malú?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Zine Analysis Questions bookmark: Created by JMarek: FirstRuleOfPunk_ReadersBookmark

Additional Resource:
“How to Make a Zine: A Kid-Friendly DIY Guide” Created by Celia C. Pérez: