THE GOD BOX
High-school senior Paul has dated Angie since middle school, and they're good together: they have a lot of the same interests, like singing in their church choir, and being active in Bible club. But when a new boy, Manuel, transfers to their school, Paul has to rethink his life. Manuel is the first openly gay teen anyone in their small town has ever met, and yet he says he's also a committed Christian. Talking to Manuel makes Paul reconsider thoughts he has kept hidden, and listening to Manuel's interpretation of Biblical passages on homosexuality causes Paul to re-evaluate everything he believed. Manuel's outspokenness triggers dramatic consequences at school, culminating in a terrifying situation that leads Paul to take a stand.
Lambda Literary Award-winning author Alex Sanchez tackles a subject ripped from headlines in this exciting and thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be both religious and gay.
Read the praise (warning: reviews contain "spoilers"):
from Kirkus: "...an important work about self-acceptance and the meaning of God's love."
from VOYA: "a story that will resonate with Christian Youth who are aware of their own or a close friend's gay orientation. . . . Sanchez addresses theological interpretations head on but through credible use of teen dialogue and ponderings. . . . Identity--sexual, ethnic, and religious--are each compelling to teens, and this novel treats all three openly and honestly."
from School Library Journal: "... Sanchez's cleverly diverse characterizations, conversational stylings, and sense of humor lighten this potentially daunting theme. Plus, the brewing romance ... keeps the pages turning during even the most excruciatingly detailed Bible-passage battles between the two warring parties. These rightfully thought-provoking debates-most of which happen either in after-school Bible study or between Paul and Manuel-make Sanchez's latest an intense, necessary addition to the burgeoning LGBTQ teen lit canon."
"Alex Sanchez evokes the crucifying experience of adolescents wrestling with their sexual identity and their identity as Christians. He does a remarkably faithful job of opening up long-abused biblical passages often used as proof texts to denigrate homosexuality. This book is a gift not just to teenagers, but to those who love and work with them."
--The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church
"With candor, conviction, and compassion, Alex Sanchez dramatizes the plight of teens who struggle to balance their homosexuality and their deeply felt religious beliefs. An important, heartfelt book that deserves a wide readership." -- Michael Cart, editor of Love & Sex: Ten Stories of Truth
"The God Box is a remarkable gem. Sanchez captures the journey of navigating faith and accepting being gay as a gift from God with extraordinary insight and grace. I found myself in this story and wish that it had been there for me when I was growing up. This book is a must read for all youth, gay and straight. The God Box will help all of us open the windows of our hearts and souls to one another as one human family." -- Michael J. Adee, M.Div., Ph.D., More Light Presbyterians
"...solid spiritual food that is rich in entertainment value, a must for today’s impatient youth audience....beyond the help that gay teens will find in these pages, straight youth will benefit as well. They will learn the awful consequences their (and their pastors') often flippant and at times hateful language can have on their schoolmates. ... here are two reasons to buy this book: Save a gay AND straight kid today!" -- Rev. Steve Kindle, Clergy United
"...a breath of fresh air, from a young, passionate spiritual perspective. This is a story that must be told and read and celebrated!!" -- Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator,The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches
"Sometimes fiction is the perfect medium for going deeper in our exploration of faith and sexuality. This is certainly the case with Alex Sanchez's new coming-of-age story, The God Box. Although there are plenty of excellent novels out there that explore the complex emotions around coming to terms with sexual identity, few also explore the equally complex pull of religious belief. Sanchez's novel is a fun, engaging story that will deepen your spirituality and your faith in humanity. I only wish The God Box was around when I was a teenager!" --Harry Knox, Director, Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign
Honors and Awards:
New York Public Library “Book for the Teen Age”
ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults