Entertainment

The Book About Young ‘Brown Weirdos’ Is Finally Becoming A Musical And We Can’t Contain Our Excitement

Back in 2017, Celia C. Pérez introduced the world to 12-year-old Malú, a Mexican-American punk teenager, in her book “The First Rule of Punk.” Two years later, the critically acclaimed novel is turning into a musical. This past week, the Children’s Theatre Company, the nation’s largest theater for young people, announced it would be adapting the book into a musical.

“The First Rule of Punk” received critical acclaim when it was released for its representation of a Mexican-American tween.

The book is a coming of age story around the life of Malú, a 12-year-old Latina who has a passion for rock and roll, skateboarding and zines. As Malú enters a new middle school, she breaks the dress code, clashes with the cool girls at school and lets her mother down through it all. Yet through it all, Malú’s dad, who lives thousands of miles away, reminds her to never forget the first rule of punk, be yourself.

In response, Malú stands up to the school’s strict administration by taking the high road. She forms a punk rock band of misfits just like her. This becomes a way of expressing herself and a reflection of self-growth.

Celia C. Pérez says she’s excited for a whole new audience to experience Malú’s journey as many others already have.

Credit:@mrsbnashville/Twitter

Perez published zines (self-published works) for over 20 years because of her own longtime love of punk music. Zines play a big part of the punk culture and were often a form of self-expression.

This passion drove her to create the character of Malú who she says came from her own self-interest in “identity and culture.’ Now a whole new audience will get to experience “The First Rule of Punk” with the new musical production.

“It’s such an honor to have ‘The First Rule of Punk’ adapted into a musical by the nation’s leading multi-generational theatre, Children’s Theatre Company and to have BMG and their catalog of iconic artists involved with the production,” Perez said, according to Broadway World. “I am excited for this story to reach new audiences and look forward to seeing it come to life on a stage.”

“The First Rule of Punk” has already left an impressionable mark on young audiences trying to find themselves.

Credit:@mrsbnashville/Twitter

Books have a great power to teach us about perspectives different from ours and at times teach us about ourselves too. Many have taken to social media to express their gratitude for “The First Rule of Punk” and what the book has meant to them finding themselves.

“I saw so much of myself in Malú and I’m so excited about this!!! It’s honestly one of the only books with a Hispanic character that made me feel seen and represented. I love @CeliaCPerez so much for this story,” one Twitter user said.

It’s no surprise the novel has brought people of all ages together and now it will take it’s next step as a musical. We cannot wait to see even more people get to hear the story of Malú.

“I love this book and its themes of navigating cultural collisions, familial tensions, and the struggle to find one’s own voice,” Peter C. Brosius, CTC’s Artistic Directors, said in a statement. “It is a book that leaps off the page with its energy, wit, and truth. I cannot wait to partner with BMG and bring this book to theatrical life with the drive and power of the punk music world.”

Read: This Bilingual Children’s Book Will Teach Little Ones About The First Latina Who Went To Space

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This Month, Isabel Allende Is Releasing a Memoir and HBO Is Releasing a Mini-Series Based on Her Life

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This Month, Isabel Allende Is Releasing a Memoir and HBO Is Releasing a Mini-Series Based on Her Life

Photo via Getty Images

March is a busy month for Isabel Allende. The most successful Spanish-language author of all time released a new memoir, “The Soul of a Woman”, on March 2nd. On March 12th, HBO released a mini-series based on her life entitled “ISABEL: The Intimate Story of Isabel Allende”.

Both of these projects focus on the unifying themes of Isabel Allende’s life. How she has defied the patriarchy, bucked expectations, and pursued her dreams while the odds were against her.

The HBO mini-series, entitled “ISABEL: The Intimate Story of Isabel Allende”, covers a lot of ground. From Allende’s childhood in Chile, to the chaotic years of her uncle’s assassination (who happened to be Chile’s president), and her subsequent flight to Venezuela.

The series will also touch on different phases of her life. Her career as a journalist for a progressive feminist magazine. Dealing with her all-consuming grief when her daughter died in 1992. Publishing her first novel–“House of Spirits”–in 1982.

A scene from the trailer of “ISABEL” sums up the hurtles that Allende had to overcome to create a career for herself in the male-dominated world of publishing. “They are going to raise the bar because you’re a woman,” her agent tells her bluntly. “You’ll have to work twice as hard as a man in order to obtain half the prestige.”

Allende’s memoir, “The Soul of a Woman“, on the other hand, reflects on her life through a distinctly feminist lens.

Her publisher describes it as “a passionate and inspiring mediation on what it means to be a woman.” And it doesn’t appear that Allende is shying away from the label of “feminist”. One of the first sentences of her book states: “When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, even before the concept was known in my family, I am not exaggerating.”

Despite being 78-years-young, Allende’s beliefs–about feminism, freedom and intersectionality–are incredibly modern. Throughout her lengthy press tour, Allende has been candid about the life experiences that have shaped her beliefs–mainly how witnessing her mother’s suffering at the hands of her father contributed to her “rage against chauvinism.”

Today, Allende remains incredibly in touch with the progressive issues of the moment, like the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements.

“In patriarchy, we are all left out: women, poor people, Black people, people with disabilities, people with different sexual orientations,” she recently told PopSugar. “We are all left out! Because it divides us into small groups to control us.”

Above all, Allende believes that we all–especially women–should recognize that we have many of the same goals and dreams. And we’re stronger when we’re united. “Talk to each other — women alone are vulnerable, women together are invincible,” she says.

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ipstori Creator, Ruth Resendiz, Wants People To Love Reading Again

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ipstori Creator, Ruth Resendiz, Wants People To Love Reading Again

When the pandemic hit, the Mexican book market saw print sales decline within the first half of February. By April it had plummeted 88.2 percent.

For former professor, Ruth Resendiz, the Mexican publishing crisis feels personal. The brains behind ipstori, Resendiz is on a mission to get people reading again.

“It was about 15 years ago that you started to see that [students] were not reading,” she told mitú.

In 2019 Mexico Daily News reported a noticeable decrease in reading practices following a recent survey. Results concluded that nearly half of respondents didn’t have time to read, while 21.7 percent showed no interest in reading.

Featured by Apple for Women’s History Month, Resendiz wants new readers to understand the power literature can offer. “There are a lot of writers that say literature can give you a sense of immortality,” she said.

ipstori is Resendiz’s love story to reading that started at a young age.

Courtesy of Apple

Resendiz’s fascination with literature began when she was eight after contracting the measles. Bedridden for two weeks the young girl began reading “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.

“I knew nothing about the United States and suddenly I was immersed in another family, in another era, in another culture, and that changed my life forever,” she said.

Resendiz continued saying: “With literature, you’re allowed to be unfaithful, you’re allowed to be in a lot of people’s arms.”

Resendiz created ipstori later in life with no tech experience.

Courtesy of Apple

Becoming an entrepreneur at 52, Resendiz launched ipstori in October 2019. With no prior tech experience she was passionate about getting stories into the hands of people everywhere. Despite facing challenges as a middle-aged woman in the field, Resendiz got help from her tech savvy children turning her solo passion into a family affair.

Considered “a Spotify for literature,” the app contains fictional short stories in genres ranging from romance to thrillers. Available on the App Store, each story has a reading time of one, three, five, or seven minutes.

One of Resendiz’s main focuses with ipstori is to highlight the emotional depth of a narrative. With a generation living on smartphones, Resendiz hopes this method of engagement sparks a change of attitude.

ipstori gives readers thousands of stories to read at any time.

Courtesy of Apple

As attention spans have declined with the rise of social media, Resendiz anticipates that reading short stories would eventually allow readers to adapt to longer novels.

For me, a success story would be that someone that started with ipstori, [their] next stage is going to a library or to Kindle or buy a whole book,” she stated. “We don’t want to compete with books. We just want to give you this kind of starting ritual.”

During the pandemic, 71 percent of the Mexican population was on the internet. Thanks to the digital market, e-books and audiobooks are helping print bookstores regain sales, but not by much.

Luckily, more than 70,000 users engaged with ipstori reading ‘diversidad’ and ‘erotic’ genres that especially gained traction during the pandemic.

“When you’re surrounded by death in every sense, not just corporal death, but [the] death of a lot of things you need to control it with life,” Resendiz observes. “And what is more lively than [the] erotic?”

With over 200 authors writing for ipstori from all over Latin America, Resendiz is expanding the app’s range to include “tiny audibles” read by professional theater actors.

While the publishing crisis remains, Resendiz wants her app to “be that bridge between the creators and the possible readers.”

Reading, she says, is “the difference between being alive and just surviving.”

“We are made by stories, the stories of our parents, and the stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves,” Resendiz says.

The App Store featured ipstori for Women’s History Month.

READ: Many Native Languages Are Dying Off But Here’s How Indigenous Millennials Are Using Tech To Save Them

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