"The First Rule of Punk" by Celia C. Pérez, Chapters 1–9

Twelve-year-old Malú loves punk rock, but her mother and the strict principal at her new school definitely do not. With the help of her fellow "misfits," Malú fights to express who she truly is.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–9, Chapters 10–19, Chapters 20–38

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. maneuver
    determine the direction of traveling
    I maneuvered the blades carefully around the page.
  2. assortment
    a collection containing a variety of kinds of things
    The yellow Whitman’s Sampler box that held my colored pencils, stickers, and scraps of paper still smelled of chocolate but no longer contained a delicious assortment of candy.
  3. gauzy
    so thin as to transmit light
    I looked up at Mom, who stood over me in her HECHO EN MEXICO T-shirt and a knee-length gauzy skirt.
  4. embroider
    decorate with needlework
    Plus, she likes to wear these embroidered dresses and skirts, and wraps called rebozos.
  5. omen
    a sign of a thing about to happen
    “Mom’s never-ending knitting project. It’s a bad omen.”
  6. superstitious
    showing faith in magic and ignorance of the laws of nature
    “I didn’t know you were so superstitious,” he said.
  7. indignantly
    in a manner showing anger at something unjust or wrong
    “She could,” I said indignantly.
  8. sheepish
    showing a sense of shame
    I gave Dad a sheepish grin.
  9. generic
    applicable to an entire class or group
    It was furnished in that generic way homes in furniture catalogs are.
  10. funk
    a state of nervous depression
    “If it will get you out of this funk,” Mom said with a sigh.
  11. nape
    the back side of the neck
    Her hair was gathered into a stubby bunny tail at the nape of her neck.
  12. raspy
    unpleasantly harsh or grating in sound
    She let out a raspy chuckle.
  13. furrow
    make or become wrinkled or creased
    Her brow furrowed the way it does when she’s in a work trance, like she was already thinking about her great new job and had forgotten all about me.
  14. awning
    a canvas canopy to shelter people or things from rain or sun
    The coffee shop we walked to had a bright red awning that said CALACA COFFEE.
  15. loft
    a large unpartitioned space over a commercial space
    There were steps leading up to a loft area with floor seating where pillows of mismatched colors, patterns, and sizes surrounded a few short tables.
  16. pompadour
    a hair style in which the hair is swept up from the forehead
    Mixed in with them were fifties rock-and-roll singers with greased pompadours, and Mexican singers with big mustaches and bigger hats.
  17. earthy
    not far removed from or suggestive of nature
    It tasted earthy and sweet, like cinnamon and piloncillo.
  18. abyss
    a bottomless gulf or pit
    “If I were a sailor back in Columbus’s day, I’d be afraid we were going to drop off into an abyss and be eaten by a giant sea serpent.”
  19. culinary
    of or relating to or used in cooking
    Our food arrived, and I inspected my Soyrizo for signs of cilantro, my culinary archnemesis, just in case.
  20. fellowship
    money granted for advanced study or research
    “It’s a big deal to be offered this visiting professor fellowship,” Mom said.
  21. sulk
    be in a huff and display one's displeasure
    “I hope you’ll at least try, for your own sake and for my sanity. No more sulking, okay?”
  22. impression
    an outward appearance
    “Is this really the impression you want to make on people who don’t know anything about you?”
  23. stall
    postpone doing what one should be doing
    I stalled a bit, looking at my schedule and then at the number next to the door.
  24. slink
    move or walk stealthily
    I’d barely slinked down into my chair when the girl sitting across the aisle spoke to me.
  25. retort
    a quick reply to a question or remark
    The words spilled out before I realized it was not only rude but a pointless retort, since she didn’t appear to wear anything but lip gloss.
  26. cringe
    draw back, as with fear, pain, or embarrassment
    I cringed at the sound of my name and raised my hand.
  27. conduct
    manner of acting or controlling yourself
    I could feel Selena watching me as I stuffed my notebook and the code of conduct booklet into my backpack.
  28. corral
    collect or gather
    Some kids were harder to guess, but we were a herd of dress-code violators, and the man on the stage was corralling us.
  29. deem
    judge or regard in a particular way
    No physical alterations that are deemed potentially disruptive, including, but not limited to, unnatural hair color, makeup, or piercings.
  30. disruptive
    characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination
    No physical alterations that are deemed potentially disruptive, including, but not limited to, unnatural hair color, makeup, or piercings.
  31. constructive
    emphasizing what is laudable or hopeful or to the good
    “But these are the rules, guys. Don’t like them? Figure out a constructive way to express yourselves.”
  32. anthropologist
    a social scientist specializing in the study of humanity
    I watched them like I was an anthropologist.
  33. sly
    marked by skill in deception
    “Look, I’m not here to bother you,” she said, giving me a sly smile that said otherwise.
  34. billow
    rise and move, as in waves
    I pictured Mom flying through the air with a rebozo cape billowing behind her and stifled a giggle.
  35. stifle
    smother or suppress
    I pictured Mom flying through the air with a rebozo cape billowing behind her and stifled a giggle.

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