"Rod Pulido delivers the ultimate one-two punch: bare-knuckled, bruising honesty wrapped in humor, sincerity, and sweetness." — Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Experience the extreme joys, sorrows, and triumphs of a queer Filipino-American teenager struggling to prove himself in an unforgiving world. A poignant coming-of-age story, perfect for fans of Patron Saints of Nothing and Juliet Takes a Breath.
Self preservation. That's Bobby's motto for surviving his notoriously violent high school unscathed. Being out and queer would put an unavoidable target on his back, especially in a Filipino community that frowns on homosexuality. It's best to keep his head down, get good grades, and stay out of trouble.
But when Bobby is unwillingly outed in a terrible way, he no longer has the luxury of being invisible. A vicious encounter has him scrambling for a new way to survive—by fighting back. Bobby is inspired by champion Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao to take up boxing and challenge his tormentor. But when Pacquiao publicly declares his stance against queer people, Bobby's faith—in his hero and in himself—is shaken to the core.
A powerful and unflinching debut that will both shatter and uplift hearts with every read.
Praise for Chasing Pacquiao
"Rod Pulido delivers the ultimate two-punch: bare-knuckled, bruising honesty wrapped in humor, sincerity, and sweetness. If you’ve ever been let down by your hero, this knockout of a book is here to treat your wounds and heal your heart."
—Becky Albertalli, bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda
"What should we do when our heroes let us down? The answer: Pick up Rod Pulido's book. This story has it all. Humor, love, self-acceptance, pain. It packs all the punches."
—Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Medalist and bestselling author
"With Chasing Pacquiao, Pulido steps into the ring with an earnest and compelling debut that pulls no punches as it explores the courage and community needed to stand up to hatred."
—Randy Ribay, author of the National Book Award finalist, Patron Saints of Nothing
“Chasing Pacquiao is a timely knockout. Rod Pulido marvelously balances humor and honesty while exploring bigotry, socioeconomics, power, and how we become our own heroes. A heavy-hitting, must-read debut.”
—Julian Winters, award-winning author of Right Where I Left You
"You've never read anything like this. Rod Pulido deftly infuses a unique journey of queer POC self-discovery with unprecedented cultural specificity — geek culture, boxing culture, Filipino culture."
—Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author
"Pulido addresses important themes of homophobia, socio-economic differences, and fallen heroes with a light hand. A solid debut that explores coming-of-age topics with sensitivity."
"Pulido thoughtfully explores what it is like for a young person to become disillusioned by a hero . . . How Bobby deals with this reality is the most profound part of his story."
"Who hasn’t been let down by their heroes, or fallen in love, or dealt with people who want to see you fail? The themes in Chasing Pacquiao are universal and this powerful novel will resonate with people of all ages. Be prepared for Bobby to work his way into your heart and stay with you long after you’ve finished reading."
"Debut author Pulido presents a bighearted portrait of one queer teen’s desire to feel safe and seen, boosted by a warm and compassionate cast."
“An underdog story with a powerful message about putting heroes on a pedestal, this is for all teen collections.” —School Library Journal