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My Riot book cover - illustration of three bandmates in a Polaroid frame, with the title written on the bottom of the Polaroid as if in markerMy Riot book cover - illustration of three bandmates in a Polaroid frame, with the title written on the bottom of the Polaroid as if in marker

My Riot by Rick Spears and Emmett Helen

Are you drawn toward stories of band life? You are so going to love this graphic novel. When My Riot opens, it’s 1991, and 17-year-old Valerie Simmons is chugging along through an average suburban life, landing her first job at an ice cream shop and training to be a ballerina. But then, a rookie police officer murders a Salvadorian man, sparking two days of rioting by Black and Latino youth in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and Valerie begins to question the safe little bubble she’s lived in her entire life. At about the same time, she meets the young woman who will become her best friend, and they start their own punk band. The rest of the graphic novel takes readers through a fictionalized accounting of what most groups must have experienced during the Riot Grrrl movement, and it grabs your attention from start to finish.

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