Rainbow Boys and other novels
about love and friendship for teens and adults
Alex Sanchez


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Gay Teen Books

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Praise for Rainbow Boys:

From Professional Reviewers

From Teenage Boys and Girls

From Teachers and Librarians

What Professional Journal Reviewers say about Rainbow Boys

From School Library Journal: "…This gutsy, in-your-face debut novel speaks the language of real life for gay teens, that of the ecstasy, heartache, and humor of first love (and sex), that of daily harassment and fear, that of having what it takes to stand up and be proud of who you are. There will no doubt be challenges to Rainbow Boys, much like the challenges of Judy Blume's Forever (Turtleback, 1975) when it was published in the 1970s. But please, have the courage to make it available to those who need it-it can open eyes and change lives." Gr 9 Up- Betty S. Evans, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield

From Children's Literature: "Alex Sanchez goes where few authors have dared to go … masterfully bringing to the table a broad range of homosexual issues. "Coming out" is a process that is different for each individual. The triumph of this book lies in its evenhanded treatment of complex sexual issues and in its message of tolerance for all human beings. The frightening reality of HIV infection is sensibly portrayed. Candid sex scenes are related skillfully and honestly. One can only hope that a work such as this will serve as a beacon for youths of all sexual orientations. Included is a listing of a half dozen organizations providing more information and help for gay and lesbian teens." Ages 14 up. Reviewer: Christopher Moning

From VOYA: "… this book does a remarkable job dealing with the feelings and emotions of a gay teenager experiencing his first crush, and for that reason, this book is an important purchase for libraries serving teens." Reviewer: Lynn Evarts-VOYA, December 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 5) VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P S Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). Ages 15 to18.

From KLIATT: "…This sympathetic, well-written look at gay teen life and the difficulties of coming out includes detailed information at the back about organizing a peer group, PFLAG and other organizations, AIDS, and more. The subject matter and adult language recommend this to mature students; there are no graphic details of sex, however. YAs who are struggling with some of the same issues will appreciate this realistic, caring portrayal of the relationships between the three boys and their efforts to accept their sexuality in the face of intolerance." KLIATT Codes: SA-Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; September 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 5) Ages 16 to adult.

From Kirkus Reviews: "… drives home the homophobia at school and the abuse the guys suffer and provides a lot of information about gay sexuality in the same way that Judy Blume's Forever did for the heterosexual experience. Unlike some earlier novels about homosexuality, the persecution of the three boys is named plainly for what it is-homophobia … this is a fine first effort, thought-provoking and informative for all young adults." (Fiction. YA)

From Publisher's Weekly: "Sanchez creates modern situations that speak to contemporary teens … believable and touching." Ages 12-up. (Oct, 2001).

What Teenage Girls and Boys say about Rainbow Boys:

"I walked into [the bookstore] this morning, picked up your book, and didn't walk out until I had finished and it was dark outside. … I live in a really homophobic town and it was nice reading about characters dealing with that in high school, especially when things like that are happening to me in jr. high. Sex hardly ever gets addressed, especially homosexual issues, and yet we deal with homophobia every day in my school and town. It was nice to know we're not alone."

"When I was reading the book I felt as if someone had taken my story and put it on paper. … In the chapter when Kyle told his Mom, it was like I was reliving telling my Mom again. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, as I imagine it is for many. … I have also experienced homophobia a lot in my life, most from my father and brother, like Jason has. Almost everyday I have to have deal with persecution and harassment. It makes me feel a lot better about who I am knowing that there are people like you out there trying to spread understanding and acceptance."

"The book was amazing! I read 188 pages straight and read the rest the next day. Oh my God, I loved it so much. … I didn't want it to end. … tell me you will definitely write tons more books, I promise to read every last one! Maybe my parents should read it, then they might know how I think and feel right now."

"Rainbow Boys … was one of the most inspiring books I've read. It lifted my spirits and made me feel better just to read it and know that other people are going through the same types of things I am. Thank you for writing your book."

"I'm not homosexual, but I always had interest in how people who were felt. I, being Baptist, couldn't ask for answers in certain places, and so I just wondered. … thank you for writing your book, because although I got a lot out of it, I'm sure others will find many more answers than I have, and feel like they're not so alone anymore."

"In the morning I woke up early to read Rainbow Boys. After school I ran home to read more. … I live in a very rural area and I deal with a lot at school. So many people discriminate against homosexuals. I wish I could find more wonderful books like yours."

"This was a very inspirational book. I always though gay guys always acted one way and were pretty gross. After reading this I have a whole new respect for the gay and lesbian community."

"This book teaches you rights and tolerance about all types of gay people, I finished this book in a week, and I really enjoyed reading it. I think that all people of all ages will love this book, if they keep an opened mind. I'm 14 years old and I fell in love with this book"

"This book was amazing!! Reading as a gay teenager having just come out, Rainbow Boys excellently portrayed the struggles that homosexuals face in a primarily heterosexual world. The characters were true to life, and never strayed far from their inner-guidance, whatever it may have been. I personally have faced obstacles and glories similar to those of the characters."

"It gave me some insight to how people at my school feel everyday. People tell anti-gay jokes all the time and don't understand how they can make other people feel, this would be a good book for anyone who has ever told such a joke to read. Even though I'm not gay, I felt that I could relate to the characters because of the problems they faced everyday, like how they were treated just because they were a little bit different."

"I wanted to cry after every sentence and every identification that I saw between the book and myself. It makes me wonder why I and so many other gay teens have to worry about this. … Your book has changed the way I look upon things And I thank you for that."

"I am an 18 year-old gay male who suffered so much of the same things Nelson and Kyle did. I'm ashamed to say this was the first book ever read in my life so it really moved and inspired me. I have yet to come out to my parents but now I feel I have the courage to do it. You're my hero. Thank you so much."

"Your novel helped me understand and accept myself."

What Teachers and Librarians say about Rainbow Boys:

"I'm an Assistant Librarian … and I just finished your book. I just wanted to take a few minutes to let you know that it was the most refreshingly honest young adult books I've ever encountered. These are the boys we went to school with and never even realized what they struggled with."

"I'm a Youth and Children's Librarian in a small town suburb … I just finished reading [Rainbow Boys] and want to commend you for writing such an important novel. I'm sure your book will change many young peoples lives."

"I teach in a junior high school and am always searching for literature that will truly speak to my kids. I read "Rainbow Boys" this afternoon and could not put it down. I appreciate that a few authors are finally trying to reach kids who have typically been marginalized. I am excited to share this book with some of my students."

"Rainbow Boys is faced out in our school library, it will be added to our suggested summer reading list for upper schoolers, and I ... Thank you for writing a book that will, without a doubt, make a positive impact."

"I am a Young Adult Specialist working for the … Public Library. I just finished reading Rainbow Boys … If my sons ever tell me they are gay I am going to suggest they read your novel. It shows that homosexuality is normal no matter what people want to believe."

"As a high school English teacher … I want to applaud you for writing a convincing, clever, real book which deals with so many issues teens face. Without being condescending or overly moralistic, you presented a brilliant case for understanding each person's sexuality and for acceptance of it."

I LOVE hearing from you. You can email me at:

Thanks! Peace, Alex

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