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I Am Jazz

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,406 Ratings  ·  334 Reviews
The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere.

From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a
...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 4th 2014 by Dial Books (first published September 1st 2014)
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claudia moore She is now she's a really nice and smart girl who is my favorite person in the world and Jazz keep being the smart beautiful girl you are I have a…moreShe is now she's a really nice and smart girl who is my favorite person in the world and Jazz keep being the smart beautiful girl you are I have a friend who is transgender to his name is Deondre(less)

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東星
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: trans, lgbtq
Okay, issues.

I think it's great that they made this book. Truly. I just have a few issues with it.

1. Jazz is not white. So don't make her white. Why the fuck is she white in this book?!

2. Please don't use terms like "boy body" and "girl clothes." Please. Don't enforce the binary and gender stereotypes on small children.

Okay, those are my main problems with this book.

Firstly, making a non-white person white in this book invalidates her story to an extent. Jazz is an activist who has greatly inc
...more
David Schaafsma
Aug 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I am Jazz is a story about a girl who says "she has a girl's brain and a boy's body." It's a true story, and pretty inspiring. It's for kids to help understand the issue, and more importantly, to understand and accept kids like this in their classes. I fully recognize it is not safe for such kids in almost all of the world, but in my neighborhood, and in my world and family, this story is a pretty familiar one and one they have learned is just part of life.

Chicago is a big blue city where transg
...more
Dov Zeller
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm really glad this book exists and I hope it opens the door for more kids books with trans characters. What's great about it is that it's clearly one girl's story, so it's not universalizing her experience. She's just saying what it's like for her, which gives kids who are reading it a chance to think, "what about me? Is this my story too?" and to identify with some things and not with others.

Some reviewers criticized her explanation "I have a girl brain and a boy body." I understand that it
...more
Jessi
Oct 16, 2014 rated it liked it
My only problem with the book is one of the early pages where Jazz is talking about how she has always felt different- she didn't like firetrucks and superheroes and fire trucks or whatever, but preferred ballerinas and princesses. If they had just left out that page, I would have given the book another star. As it is, a book about acceptance of different gender identities accidentally reinforces gender stereotypes. The way the book is written, Jazz's preference for dance over superheroes is giv ...more
Jeremy
Sep 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Jazz is an actual person ("assigned" male at birth in 2000) who has been on Oprah and 20/20, and although the reality TV show about Jazz includes comments about wanting to become the most authentic person possible, as of Summer 2017, Jazz had not undergone sex change surgery to try to become more like a girl (and admits to liking more girls than before). In April 2018, Jazz indicated that she would attempt a transition ("gender confirmation") surgery in June 2018.

One consistency problem with the
...more
KC
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the true story of Jazz. She has a girls brain with a boys body. A very sensitive subject told with great respect and gently for young children.
Cassie Marshall
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the highest rated banned book of 2015 due to it being about a transgender child. I personally loved the book because I think it is important to teach children at a young age about differences and how we should treat other people even if they are different from us. I Am Jazz speaks volumes about transgender youths and I think it is important to share with the world. Give the book a read if you have a chance!
orangerful
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a tricky book to write. The idea of gender identity for a child is not something easy to explain (not that it's really that much easier for adults). I think the author did the best she could to get the idea across on a level that would make sense to another young child.

But, as other reviewers have said, the examples of why she must be a girl weren't quite solid enough and I could see them confusing some younger readers who are comfortable with their gender but don't like the things that
...more
destiny ☠ howling libraries
Assigned reading for MLIS 7421: Multicultural Youth Literature.

This was probably the cutest and most delightful children's picture book I've read in a very long time! It tells the true story of Jazz Jennings, a trans girl who knew she was a little girl trapped in a boy's body since she was a toddler. It talks about her family's adjustment period to her transition, her classmates' behaviors towards her - and, most importantly, she touches on the fact that anyone who gives her a chance ends up lov
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Rebecca Honeycutt
A book whose moment has arrived. Sweet and simple, it still treats gender as a binary (understandable, since the idea of a gender spectrum may be challenging for kids still in the concrete-thinking stage), but sensitively explains the bare bones of what it means to be transgender. A great first step for helping kiddos (trans or cis) understand gender diversity.
Colona Public Library
This book is on the banned book list this year! Every year I celebrate banned book week by reading a book off the yearly list. At our library we like to have the freedom to read! I thought this book was well spoken and tackled perhaps a confusing subject for kids, very nicely and respectfully. I didn't particularly like the stereotypical society "boy stuff" and "girl stuff" bits, though I felt it still was a good introduction. ~Ashley

It was nicely illustrated, but after reading some reviews it
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Florian
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Jazz Jennings is a young trans girl who works to spread positive messages about transness and increase awareness about gender identity. I applaud her efforts across many forms of media to educate, and her ability to so openly share herself and her stories with the world.

There is an urgent need for books about gender diversity for people of all ages, especially children. There is so little to serve the trans and gender variant communities in terms of children's literature, and the crumbs that do
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This is the true story of a young boy who felt more comfortable as and thought of himself as a girl. Luckily for him, he had parents who took him to a specialist who told them that he is transgender. They then let him be the girl he wanted to be, and to change his name to Jazz.

What I especially like about this book is that Jazz tells her story herself, which allows the reader to empathize more easily with her. As she describes her feelings and frustrations, it becomes clear that she can't help
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Jamie
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-ya
I am really disturbed that this book is about a particular trans teen, but the illustrations do not depict her; she has been whitewashed. The story is GREAT and is definitely a good resource for parents and teachers looking to help young kids understand transgender people more, but the fact that the girl in the book is pale and rosy-cheeked with light brown hair, while Jazz Jennings herself has dark hair and olive skin makes me sad.
Sisi
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a story about a girl named Jazz who was born a boy. Ever since she was young, she liked to wear dresses and play with dolls. She never liked trucks or anything like that. At first, her parents let her wear the dresses at home but whenever they went outside, she wore boy's clothes. She did not like this. Her parents would refer to her as a boy but she would tell them that she is a girl. At first her parents were confused but eventually, they took her to see a doctor and the doctor was abl ...more
Hillary
pretty pictures. difficult subject matter handled well and in an age-appropriate way.

here's the thing. having seen pictures of the real Jazz and comparing her to the likeness of her depicted in the book, it appears her skin tone got lighter for publication. and while I know this probably isn't the first instance of its kind, it irked me a little. it didn't have to be that way.
Inge
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, lgbtq, picture-books
This book is straightforward and explanatory, perfect for trans- and cis-kids alike, as well as their families. The illustrations are cheerful and friendly. I can't wait to see more like this. A very necessary book.
Jennifer Vuillermet
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-love
I Am Jazz is an autobiographical picture book that tells the true story of Jazz Jennings, a transgender child, in a straightforward and relatable way. The book begins by introducing the reader to Jazz, allowing the reader to connect with Jazz as an authentic, outgoing, vibrant and loveable child. Once the reader has fallen in love with Jazz, the book reveals that Jazz is transgender in a matter-of-fact and easy to understand way: “I have a girl brain but a boy body. This is called transgender. I ...more
Jessica Meyers
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt
"I have a girl brain, but a boy body. This is called transgender. I was born this way"- Jazz Jennings

This quote from "I am Jazz" by Jessica Herthel & Jazz Jennings is monumental! It is the first time in a children's book that a child declares that he/she is transgender. This is a major step forward for the LGBT community. It shows young readers that it is OK to be different.

I Am Jazz is based on the true story of Jazz Jennings, a child who was born a boy but felt like a girl his entire lif
...more
Dione Basseri
Well, I can see why this pissed off some people. Terrible people, but some people. Transphobic people, generally.

Told with the assistance of Jessica Herthel, this is the actual story of Jazz Jennings, a transgirl. It's quite a cheerful book, which is so nice, in a world where parents with trans children often go kind of nuts. Jazz presents a sort of perfect idea of how a family should react to the news: they assure their daughter they love her the same as always and life just goes on. There are
...more
Tasha
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Told in the first person, Jazz explains to readers her favorite things like the color pink, dancing, singing, makeup and mermaids. She talks about her best friends Samantha and Casey and what they do together. Then Jazz talks about how she is different than the girls she is friends with. Jazz was born a boy but has a girl brain. She explains that she is transgender and then talks about how she has been this way since she was a very little child. Readers will see her family come to terms with Jaz ...more
Elizabeth
I don't love the "I have a girl brain but a boy body" framing -- I understand making things simple for kids but come on, this book came out in 2014 :( and kids can understand, e.g., "I'm a girl, but when I was born my parents thought I was a boy."

I can't actually tell Jazz's race/ethnicity from the picture on the inside back cover, but she's definitely darker than the (very white) girl in the book, and it's a bummer that everyone in the book is so very white [edit: okay, I looked again and I cou
...more
Elizabeth
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book gets five stars for relevance, sweetness, innovation and art. From what I understand, the young lady whose story this is is a person of color, which is sadly not reflected in the art. The language the author uses to explain pretty complex gender concepts to very young children would concern me if it was aimed at adults, as it seems to reinforce gender stereotypes (girls like ballet and dressing up, etc.). However, that is true for this child. She did/does like dressing up and ballet, e ...more
Lisa Haywood
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I AM JAZZ, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings was a bit of a surprise. I started reading without really knowing what to expect while perusing books to complete my text set on accepting differences. I AM JAZZ is a picture book, beautifully illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas, targeted at elementary school students. After learning some of the fun things this beautiful little girl loves to do in her free time – dance, turn cartwheels, wear high heels and princess gowns – I discovered that Jazz was ...more
Bibiana Jurado
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a nonfiction story about a girl named Jazz who loves dresses, the color pink, and mermaids. She states that she used to be a boy, but that being a girl felt right while being a boy just felt unnatural. Her parents weren't sure as to why Jazz felt out of place as a boy, but after talking to a doctor, they discovered that Jazz is transgender- a girl in a boy's body. The book informs the reader about what transgender is exactly in a straightforward manner while focusing on how important acc ...more
Muhuawu wu
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a to-the-point description of who a transgender person is. it is Jazz's true story. she wastes no words and simply explains how she is a girl as much as any other. This is a children's book and it is exactly how to tell young children about a trans family member.
It is worth noting that everyone's story is unique. This is one girl's perspective on a very wide array of other stories. My story as a trans person is different but the message, the explanation, is the same.
The illustrations are
...more
Tarah
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is how simple it is to explain.

This is a to-the-point description of who a transgender person is. it is Jazz's true story. she wastes no words and simply explains how she is a girl as much as any other. This is a children's book and it is exactly how to tell young children about a trans family member.

It is worth noting that everyone's story is unique. This is one girl's perspective on a very wide array of other stories. My story as a trans person is different but the message, the explanatio
...more
Amy Rae
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
As an introduction to transness, I think this is a perfectly fine book. As usual, I'd like to see picture books about trans children where the children's lives are depicted as normal parts of the world, but I didn't actually expect that from this book. I hope any follow-up books feature Jazz as a child who happens to be trans, rather than as a trans child whose book exists to teach children about herself.

Anyway, I liked this one on the whole, but I really dislike the pink-and-pastel-saturated, d
...more
Dondra
Feb 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
This is a children's picture book about a transgender child. And...controversy.

This is a tough and emotional topic. For me, it is one I want to approach with my children on my own, not with an overly-simplistic (and thereby, confusing) children's picture book.

Other reviewers mentioned some of the criticisms I noted in my own reading: seemingly reinforcing gender stereotypes, lightening the child's skin tone in illustrations (the book is biographical), and as I already mentioned, oversimplifyin
...more
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