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SO HARD TO SAY by Alex Sanchez


by Alex Sanchez

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-86564-3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Frederick, 13, is the new kid; Xio is an astrology-obsessed, spirited, Hispanic girl in his new class. She and her friends adopt Frederick—mostly because Xio thinks he’s really cute. Frederick, despite his asthma, starts playing soccer with the Hispanic boys, the counterparts of Xio and her girlfriends. Xio wants to date Frederick, but he’s not sure he feels the same way; he’s not sure he likes girls that way. He’s never thought about it before, but the more time he spends with Victor, the leader of the soccer boys, the more Frederick realizes that he might feel about boys the way most boys feel about girls. The truth comes out privately and, after a rough patch, all remain friends. Sanchez, whose first two titles were for YA, writes for a younger audience quite convincingly. Xio and Frederick alternate chapters to tell their story and their voices are distinct and believable. As with his previous efforts, the prose style is serviceable and coincidence helps tie things up neatly, but many young teens, gay and straight, will see themselves and their friends in these characters. (Fiction. 10-14)