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The God Box / Alex Sanchez.

By: Sanchez, Alex.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Simon Pulse, 2009, c2007Description: 248 pages ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781416909002; 1416909001.Subject(s): Homosexuality -- Juvenile fiction | High schools -- Juvenile fiction | Schools -- Juvenile fiction | Friendship -- Juvenile fiction | Christian life -- Juvenile fiction | Homosexuality -- Fiction | High schools -- Fiction | Schools -- Fiction | Friendship -- Fiction | Christian life -- Fiction | Homosexuality -- Teen fiction | High schools -- Teen fiction | Friendship -- Teen fiction | Christian life -- Teen fictionGenre/Form: Young adult fiction. | Teen fiction.Subject: "How could I choose betwen my sexuality and my spirituality, two of the most important parts that made me whole?" 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 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 reevaluate 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 the headlines in this exciting and thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be both religious and gay.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Paul, a religious teen living in a small conservative town, finds his world turned upside down when he meets Manuel--a young man who says he's both Christian and gay, two things that Paul didn't think could coexist in one person. Doesn't the Bible forbid homosexuality? As Paul struggles with Manuel's interpretation of the Bible, thoughts that Paul has long tried to bury begin to surface, and he finds himself re-examining his whole life. This is an unforgettable book on an extremely timely topic that strives to open minds on both ends of the spectrum.

"How could I choose betwen my sexuality and my spirituality, two of the most important parts that made me whole?" 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 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 reevaluate 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 the headlines in this exciting and thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be both religious and gay.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Sanchez's (Getting It) latest exploration of the lives of gay teenagers centers on high school senior Paul, a devout Christian teen who lives in Texas with his widowed father, takes his longtime girlfriend out for chaste dates every Saturday and saves written prayers to Jesus in a "God Box" his father carved for him. ("What would it feel like to have a boyfriend? I wondered.... Almost immediately, a wave of guilt washed over me. Once again I wrote down my same prayer: Dear Lord, please take away these feelings. You know which ones.") But Manuel, a new, openly gay student who argues that Christianity and homosexuality are not at odds, forces Paul to rethink his stance and reassess who he really is. Some readers may tire of Paul's exhaustive analysis of Bible versus, as he argues with himself, Manuel, his girlfriend and his Bible study group at school, but the extent of his spiritual agony rings true for someone whose lifelong beliefs are being challenged. While the characterizations of Paul and Manuel (who, as he uses the Bible to counter Paul's Biblical arguments against homosexuality, can seem too good to be true) are strong, the secondary characters can seem comparatively flat. But readers seeking well-reasoned and well-researched Christian arguments for accepting gays-not to mention a heartrending coming-of-age story-should readily embrace Paul's journey. Ages 12-up. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Conservative, closeted, and a Christian, Paul has a girlfriend and sticks to the straight and narrow in his small Texas town. He's changed his name from Pablo to appear more American, and he keeps his mouth shut when it comes to hot topics, like who is gay and who isn't-until Manuel, who happens to be openly gay and Christian, wanders in on his turf. The new guy slips easily into the high school senior's mostly accepting circle of friends and his Bible-study group. Before he knows it, Paul finds himself spending more and more time around Manuel, who simultaneously bends his heartstrings and his belief system. The results are a boxing-ring-like philosophical and spiritual debate on the intersection of homosexuality and religion. Sanchez's cleverly diverse characterizations, conversational stylings, and sense of humor lighten this potentially daunting theme. Plus, the brewing romance between the pair-not to mention the dissolution of Paul's romance with his loyally lovable girlfriend-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.-Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Paul, a high-school senior and a committed Christian, loves his girlfriend, but worries about the feelings he has for guys. Then Manuel, openly gay, comes to town. Manuel says he's a Christian, too, but Paul doesn't understand how those two things are compatible. As the two become friends, Paul is both attracted to Manuel and repulsed by his feelings, and he continuously prays to be straight. God seems to have another path for him, though. Everyone plays an assigned role here: Paul, the conflicted gay; Manuel, secure in his sexuality; Angie, the confused girlfriend; the prejudiced jocks; the hate-the-sin, love-the-sinner pastor. There's even a throwback to early gay literature when someone almost dies because of his sexuality. Manuel seems the least real. Relentlessly upbeat, he knows the Bible better than most preachers, and is always ready to show the real intent behind chapter and verse. More authentic is Paul's confusion and how he uses the Bible to find answers. His investigation of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, often quoted by homophobes, is particularly eye-opening.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2007 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Hispanic high-school senior Paul has struggled to overcome his attraction to boys, placing his prayers on slips of paper in an ornately carved "God box" in hopes the feelings will be taken away. He also dates best friend Angie and prays he will soon be sexually attracted to her. A new student arrives at their small-town Texas school, and Manuel comes out on his first day. He shocks the Bible Club by not only professing to be Christian but in more than holding his own in scripture-heavy debates. Manuel and Paul's friends start a GSA and deal with homophobia. After a six-month struggle and a tragedy, Paul realizes he can't love God or anyone if he doesn't love himself. Sanchez takes on the myth that homosexuals are ungodly in this sometimes melodramatic tale. Occasionally reading more like a manual on dispelling homophobic misinterpretations of Bible verse than a novel, this is still an important work about self-acceptance and the meaning of God's love. (Fiction. YA) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.