Gay teen novel put back on reading list

Yup. You all know how I like to follow up on things I write about.

Way back in August 2006, I first wrote about the novel Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez, and how it was pulled by a Rochester, NY-area school system.

Now, it is being reported that the novel is being put back onto reading lists and library shelves:

Last summer, a parent’s complaint led to the removal of a gay-themed book from a Rochester-area high school’s summer reading list.

Now it’s back on the list.

“Rainbow Boys” by Alex Sanchez is an award-winning novel released in 2001. The book about gay teen life won the International Reading Association’s 2003 Young Adults’ Choice award, and the American Library Association selected it as a Best Book for Young Adults.

The Webster School District removed it from its reading list last summer. Students are required to read at least two books over the summer and write reports due at the start of the next school year.

Critics of the removal contend the gay story line was a factor in the decision. But district officials said the book was temporarily removed while they reviewed the process used to select books for the list.

Webster Superintendent Adele Bovard sent an e-mail message saying a committee of teachers, librarians, a student and administrator met throughout the year “to refine the summer reading program.”

She said the committee reviewed “Rainbow Boys” and recommended returning it to the list.

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