Playing by the Book is available wherever books are sold.
Praise for the book
“In Playing by the Book, S. Chris Shirley tells a story I loved curling up with, featuring one of the most endearing teen protagonists I've read in years.”
—Alex Sanchez, Author of The God Box and Boyfriends with Girlfriends
"There's so much to admire in S. Chris Shirley's debut novel, but the most remarkable thing may be its voice. Jake Powell is both earnest and skeptical, curious and guarded, and he tells his story with an endearing humility that–somehow–avoids the sarcasm that has become the norm. Playing by the Book reminds us of how rewarding it can be to climb into someone else's head."
—Patrick Ryan, author of The Dream Life of Astronauts and Send Me
"S. Chris Shirley's Playing by the Book is beautifully written and vividly conveys a journey of self-discovery. This moving, funny, and sexy young adult novel also illuminates how combining Christian fundamentalism and a gay love story can produce another very Good Book."
—Bob Smith, author of Openly Bob, Selfish and Perverse, and Remembrance of Things I Forgot
S. Chris Shirley's Playing by the Book is winning, witty, touching, and full of life. Jake Powell's journey from wide-eyed innocence to self-actualization is a pleasure to witness. What's even more pleasurable is being in the hands of a writer who knows how to tell a story, who knows how to create complex characters, and who brings honesty and love to every page of his debut. Bravo!"
—Martin Wilson, author of We Now Return to Regular Life and What They Always Tell Us
In Playing by the Book, Chris Shirley does something miraculous: he tells the moving and often funny story of a fundamentalist Christian minister's son coming to terms with his sexuality with refreshing candor and loving respect for all perspectives. The result is a debut novel that celebrates varied points of view without preaching to the converted. No matter where you stand, expect to be reached by this Son-of-a-Preacher Man.
—Michael Zam, co-creator, writer and producer, Feud (TV); librettist, The Kid (musical)
"In this heartfelt and moving coming-of-age story, Chris Shirley has given us a Holden Caulfield for a new generation."
—Geoffrey Nauffts, Tony-nominated playwright of Next Fall
"In his debut novel, Shirley—president of the Lambda Literary Foundation—offers up a optimistic but not overly romanticized look at youth, becoming oneself, and the discomfort and joy that comes from finding out who you want to be in the world, whether your parents like it or not."
—The Advocate (10 Great LGBT Summer Reads)
“A thoroughly enjoyable read that should be on the shelves of every school library as well as the bed stands of anyone who wants to understand what it feels like to grow up gay."
—Kevin Jennings, Founder, The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)