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Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Alex Sánchez. Sánchez is a Mexican-American author of award-winning novels for teens and adults. His first novel, Rainbow Boys (2001), was selected by the American Library Association (ALA), as a “Best Book for Young Adults”. Subsequent books have won additional awards, including the Lambda Literary Award.

My first introduction to Sánchez was his short story, If You Kiss a Boy, in the marvelous collection of short stories, 13.  I was so impressed with Sánchez and 13 I started using them as required reading for middle school students.

Sánchez uses is own life experiences to write compelling stories about LGBTQ youth: their struggles, families, opponents, friends, and allies. He also addresses other challenges for young adults such as abuse, peer pressure, and body image. His characters are complex and real, making his books a compelling read for teens and adults alike. Because of his unflinching honesty about the lives of young adults, especially the LGBTQ community, most of Sánchez’ books have faced challenges in libraries. His Rainbow Boys trilogy includes three of the most banned books of the last decade.

The Alex Sánchez website welcomes readers in this way:

Welcome! Here’s where you’ll find info about: gay teen books, gay Christian teens, gay teens coming out, bi teens, gay youth resources, books about gay teenagers, where to buy books for gay teens, gay young adult books and novels, gay coming of age books, gay teen novels, and banned books … Enjoy! Peace, Alex

He includes resources for all of these issues as well as a link to his It Gets Better video. I want to thank Alex Sánchez  for being a strong voice for LGBTQ youth, for providing hours of reading pleasure, and for providing his readers and their peers with resources to get through their struggles more safely and less alone.

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