Rainbow Boys and other novels
about love and friendship for teens and adults
by Alex Sanchez
for 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.
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)
"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."
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."
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."
"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."
novel helped me understand and accept myself."
"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."
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."
"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."
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