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So Hard to Say

Cover of So Hard to Say

So Hard to Say

Rainbow Boys Series, Book 4
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Frederick is the shy new boy, and Xio is the bubbly chica who lends him a pen on the first day of class. They become fast friends—but when Xio decides she wants to be more than friends, Frederick isn't so sure. He loves hanging out with Xio and her crew, but he doesn't like her that way. Instead he finds himself thinking more and more about Victor, the captain of the soccer team. But does that mean Frederick's gay? He hopes not—he sees how everyone makes fun of Iggy, a boy all the other kids think is gay. Frederick has to deal with some tough choices: Even though he is curious about Iggy, he's just started fitting in at his new school, and he doesn't want to lose Xio, his best friend. In So Hard to Say, Alex Sanchez, acclaimed author of the groundbreaking novels Rainbow High and Rainbow Boys, of which School Library Journal said, "It can open eyes and change lives," helps younger readers look at self-discovery, come to terms with being gay, and accept people who are different from them."

Frederick is the shy new boy, and Xio is the bubbly chica who lends him a pen on the first day of class. They become fast friends—but when Xio decides she wants to be more than friends, Frederick isn't so sure. He loves hanging out with Xio and her crew, but he doesn't like her that way. Instead he finds himself thinking more and more about Victor, the captain of the soccer team. But does that mean Frederick's gay? He hopes not—he sees how everyone makes fun of Iggy, a boy all the other kids think is gay. Frederick has to deal with some tough choices: Even though he is curious about Iggy, he's just started fitting in at his new school, and he doesn't want to lose Xio, his best friend. In So Hard to Say, Alex Sanchez, acclaimed author of the groundbreaking novels Rainbow High and Rainbow Boys, of which School Library Journal said, "It can open eyes and change lives," helps younger readers look at self-discovery, come to terms with being gay, and accept people who are different from them."

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  • ATOS:
    4.2
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  • Interest Level:
    MG+
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About the Author-
  • Alex Sanchez spent almost fifteen years working with youth. He is the author of the teen novels Boyfriends with Girlfriends, Bait, The God Box, Getting It, Rainbow Boys, Rainbow High, and Rainbow Road, as well as the Lambda Award–winning middle-grade novel So Hard to Say. Lambda Literary Foundation honored Alex with an Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize. He lives in Thailand and Hollywood, Florida.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 1, 2004
    In chapters that alternate between Frederick, a new eighth-grader, and María Xiomara Iris Juárez Hidalgo ("Xio"), Sanchez's (Rainbow Boys
    ) insightful novel explores the ambiguities of budding sexuality. When shy Frederick transfers to her California school, lively Xio immediately develops a crush on him. They quickly become friends, and he joins her clique, but when they end up in a closet together during a kissing game at a party, Frederick is disturbed that he imagines kissing popular, handsome Victor instead. Readers will find it easy to empathize with both protagonists as Frederick gradually comes to terms with being gay—and shares his secret with Xio. The largely Mexican student body at their school provides an authentic backdrop for the novel (Xio weaves Spanish into her narration, and the boys Frederick plays soccer with call Iggy, another gay student, a "Maricón
    "). While a subplot about Xio's father also possibly being gay seems extraneous, and her circle of girlfriends somewhat scripted (Las Sexy Seis
    : a beauty "with a Barbie doll figure," a brain, a saint, a jock and a jokester who recently moved away—plus Xio), for the most part this is a well-crafted novel. The author maps out spot-on issues for this age group, from name-calling ("Everyone knows calling somebody gay is just about the worst thing you can say to them," Xio thinks) to self-questioning (in one scene, Frederick types the word "gay" into his Internet browser) to worrying about what others think (Frederick asks his father if he thinks gay people are "bad"). These believable narrators face realistic and complicated problems—and demonstrate an inspiring model of acceptance. Ages 8-12.

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    Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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So Hard to Say
So Hard to Say
Rainbow Boys Series, Book 4
Alex Sanchez
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