Reading Vicious is My Middle Name by Kevin Dunn felt like I was in a time machine transported back to the 90s when I loved punk music and Doc Martens.
This blog post contains affiliate links that are of no cost to the reader. If you make a purchase through the provided links this blog will receive a small commission to help with the financial costs of maintaining the site. I received an Advanced Review Copy for review, but the opinions are my own.
Vicious is My Middle Name Novel Summary
Sydney wants to stay in Rochester, New York, not move to Beaver Dam, North Carolina. Her partially shaved head and Doc Martens make her stand out at her new school. She does not find the kids are very welcoming in Beaver Dam and Sydney has to deal with bullies and being misunderstood by school staff. She soon discovers that an asphalt plant will be built next to the school. Sydney uses the lessons she learned from punk music to challenge the powers that be. Buy this book here.
This novel is a great read for teachers (adults) who want to reconnect with their younger “punk” selves. After reading this book, I went to Spotify and looked up 90s punk and ska music. It was like being in high school all over again after rediscovering those songs. All that was missing was a poster or a zine advertising local punk bands.
Recommend this book to your students who:
- Have an interest in music
- Express a passion for social justice
- Might feel misunderstood by their peers
- Like reading books with strong female protagonists
- Like reading middle school or YA fiction
Content Warning: This book discusses the death of a parent, immigration raids, and power structures.
You can buy this book on Amazon, order it from your local independent book store or ask your local library to purchase a copy.
Additional Book Recommendations