Kat's Reviews > I am J

I am J by Cris Beam
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's review
Mar 29, 11

bookshelves: glbtq, ya-fiction, realistic-fiction
Read from March 10 to 29, 2011

A good, much-needed addition to the small but slowly-growing collection of YA Lit about transgender teens. Due to the quality of information contained within the story, I would recommend this one over Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger for anyone looking for a good (and eye-opening) story about a FTM trans teen. J, a 17-year-old mixed-race teen living in NYC, struggles to reveal his true self to his family and friends. J turns to photography as an outlet for expression, but like everything else about himself, fears sharing it with others. After suffering through much frustration and anger with his confused parents and best friend Melissa, J is fortunate to find a supportive network of people and resources to help him begin to openly transition and make peace with his identity. It's no easy journey, but J is determined and brave with the help of old and new family.

The terminology and concepts of gender introduced will be assuring for teens in question and enlightening for anyone seeking to understand. While the author herself is not trans-identified, she has written nonfiction books on the topic, and she has a trans foster daughter and a gender-variant partner. Her understanding and expertise really come through, and her resources included serve as a great starting point for anyone wishing to learn more.
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