Rainbow Road by Alex Sanchez (Simon & Schuster, 2005). It's the summer before college and Jason, who made national news when he came out to his coach and basketball team, has been asked to travel across the country to speak at the opening of a high school for gay and lesbian teens in Los Angeles. Jason's boyfriend, Kyle, and Kyle's best friend, Nelson, decide to come along for the ride on a road trip that will lead them to new people, new experiences, and most of all, themselves. Funny, touching, illuminating, romantic, and thoughtful. Despite its depth, a quick read perfect for summer. Ages 12-up. Don't miss companion novels Rainbow Boys and Rainbow High.
More on Rainbow Road
Rainbow Road reminds me of those old on-the-road movies and other traveling YA books like My Road Trip To The Pretty Girl Capital of the World by Brian Yansky (Cricket, 2003).
Actually, in both My Road Trip and Rainbow Road, the characters spend time here in Austin, which is fun for me and both offer an illuminating look at the city. Brian lives here, Alex used to, and they spoke together at the last Texas Book Festival. (In the interests of full disclosure and restaurant recommendations, I should probably mention that we all went out for barbecue at Hoover's Cooking, which is near East, afterward).
For those who are fans of the Rainbow books, I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that I was thrilled with Nelson's character arc in this last installment.
See also an author profile of Alex from Teenreads.com; Wordsmith: Alex Sanchez, author of young adult fiction by Ove Overmyer from The Empty Closet (December, 2004); An Interview With Alex Sanchez, author of Rainbow Boys, from ALAN review. Another interview with Alex is available on CLSCLR; because the site is under redesign, use the search engine.
Cynsational News & Links
Summer Reading Extravaganza: Fifty summer-themed titles, beach reads, and other books for vacation reading from CBC member publishers.
Do As I Do: Teachers Who Read Children's Books by June Locke from Book Links. Includes suggestions for teachers and librarians. A PDF file. See also Affirming African American Boys by KaaVonia Hinton, also a PDF file from Book Links.
Author Gail Giles blogs lately about Storky: How I Lost My Nickname and Won the Girl by D.L. Garfinkle (Putnam, 2005)(see my own comments) and A Room on Lorelei Street by Mary E. Pearson (Henry Holt, 2005)(see my own comments). Speaking of D.L. Garfinkle, a new (May 2005) interview with her has been posted at Young Adult Books Central.
Happy 40th birthday to Debbi Michiko Florence, and thanks to Debbi for her Random Act of Kindness!