Alex Sánchez (author)

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Alex Sánchez
Alex Sánchez at 2011 Texas Book Festival
Alex Sánchez at 2011 Texas Book Festival
Born1957 (age 60–61)
Mexico City, Mexico
OccupationAuthor
NationalityMexican American
Website
alexsanchez.com

Alex Sánchez (born 1957) 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. Although Sanchez's novels are widely accepted in thousands of school and public libraries in America, they have faced a handful of challenges and efforts to ban them. In Webster, New York, removal of Rainbow Boys from the 2006 summer reading list was met by a counter-protest from students, parents, librarians, and community members resulting in the book being placed on the 2007 summer reading list.

Life and career[edit]

Sánchez was born in 1957 in Mexico City, to parents of German and Cuban heritage; his family emigrated to the U.S. in 1962. He studied writing at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, under Michael Cunningham, Richard McCann, Allan Gurganus, Peter Ho Davies, Michael Klein, Elizabeth McCracken, and Jacqueline Woodson.

Sánchez's works explore themes of love, friendship, coming of age, and LGBT questioning youth. His first novel, Rainbow Boys (2001), was selected by the American Library Association, as a Best Book for Young Adults. With the novel's debut, Publishers Weekly (PW) Magazine deemed Sanchez a “Flying Start”. Two sequels, Rainbow High (2003) and Rainbow Road (2005), complete the Rainbow trilogy, portraying the coming of age of three gay and bisexual teenage boys. Both novels were honored as “Books for the Teen Age” by the New York Public Library.[citation needed]

Sánchez's novel So Hard to Say (2004), about a group of 13-year-olds, won the Lambda Literary Award for Children's and Young Adult literature. Getting It (2006) won the Myers Outstanding Book Award for Human Rights and also second place at the 2007 Latino Book Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction in English. The God Box (2007), focuses on the conflict and friendship between two Christian teenage boys, one openly gay and the other struggling to accept his sexuality. Bait (2009), about a teenage boy struggling with secrets from his past, won the 2009 Florida Book Award Gold Medal for YA fiction and the 2011 Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children's Book Award. Boyfriends with Girlfriends (2011) explores bisexuality in teens. In May 2011, the Lambda Literary Foundation awarded Sanchez the Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize. Additional works by Sánchez include his short story, If You Kiss a Boy, which appeared in the anthology 13: Thirteen Stories about the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen (2003), edited by James Howe.[citation needed]

Although Sanchez's novels are widely accepted in thousands of school and public libraries in the U.S. and Canada, they have faced a handful of challenges and efforts to ban them. Linda P. Harvey of Mission America in Columbus, Ohio, targeted Rainbow Boys in her 2002 essay “The World According to PFLAG: Why PFLAG and Children Don’t Mix Unless you happen to like child abuse” (sic). The book was also challenged by citizens in Owen, Wisconsin in 2005, but ultimately retained by the Owen-Withee Junior and Senior High School, although the superintendent suggested creating a policy of requiring guardian permission to check out the book (ABFFE). In addition to the Wisconsin challenge, the book was also challenged at the Montgomery County Memorial Library System in Montgomery County, Texas (Doyle 6). The ACLU of Texas also reports that Rainbow Boys was challenged in Texas during the 2004–05 school year (ACLUTX 30).

One of the most recent challenges occurred in 2006, when the Webster, New York Central School District removed Rainbow Boys from the summer reading list. After numerous protests from students, parents, librarians, and community members, the book was placed on the 2007 summer reading list. In Canada in 2008, the superintendent of Schools for Charlotte County, New Brunswick canceled plans for Sanchez to speak to students in the high schools "after a few parents objected."[1] However, after hearing Sanchez speak at a presentation, he said he would recommend the gay author as a speaker. "Oh absolutely. Definitely. Now that I've heard him, he's wonderful. But I needed to hear that message."[2]

Works, awards, and achievements[edit]

In 2011 the Lambda Literary Foundation awarded Sanchez the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize. In 2016 he received an attribution in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language for the word "majorly." [3] In 2017 he served as a mentor for We Need Diverse Books [4] and as a judge for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gay author no longer welcome to address N.B. students: Pressure from parents, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2008-10-10
  2. ^ Gay author speaks to residents, students after venue change, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2008-10-22
  3. ^ https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=majorly
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  5. ^ http://www.nationalbook.org/nba2017_judges.html

External links[edit]