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I Am Jazz

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  2,280 ratings  ·  543 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
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 fri…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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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,280 ratings  ·  543 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Okay, so I found this one for a "banned book" challenge and I'll admit, I've been really curious about it ever since.

And my overwhelming impression - mixed feelings. Very, very mixy-feelings on it.

And I honestly debated whether I should review it at all...but what is the point of GR if it isn't to bring about discussion on difficult topics?

This book is about real-life trans activist Jazz Jennings, who knew from a young age that her identity was wrong.
Jazz always knew she was different from
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
Rachel Reads Ravenously

Banned Books week 2018!

4 stars!

I really enjoyed this picture book and think it's an important one for parents to read to their children. Transgender subject aside, it's a book about accepting and loving people for who they are, something I think many children need to be taught.

There's some terminology that's a bit awkward, and I don't get why they made Jazz white in the book when she is not in real life, but overall I think it's a great step forward in children's literature.

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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. Here is a post-surgery follow-u ...more
Dave 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
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
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
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
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!
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I read this book for banned book week 2018. This is a true story about a young girl that was born in a little boy body. She tells how it felt to her to be a child that didn't feel like her brain and her body matched. She does a very good job of explaining it at a level where children can understand. If you are looking for a way to explain transgender to your child or have a child that may struggle with this, this would be a good book to start with. If you are just trying to promote acceptanc
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
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.
Jamie King
Aug 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
this is totally sick and perverted. it is traumatizing to children. spreading this is child abuse and has been shown to be causing harm to children
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
Melissa Buck
A lovely story about a little girl named Jazz, who despite being born a boy, learns that she is transgender. Showing the reader that it is ok to feel different and this book can help children to understand this. Would help children to be more accepting of others beliefs and not tease each other, like how Jazz had been.
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
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
I am Jazz is a cute introduction to what it means to be trans to help kids understand. I think it's a solid introduction, and worth a read, but best to be combined with other LGBTQIA+ kid-friendly books.

The story is laid out nicely, and the tone is straightforward and informative, but still lets you see into Jazz's feelings and experiences. The illustrations are very cute. The book addresses a topic that I think kids deserve to have discussed with them.

The illustrations also seem to lighten her
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
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: PreK-Grade 3
Shelves: read-with-kids
I think this is a good younger version of Jazz's [auto]biography. I think I need to try to read this with my kindergartens and see how that goes!
Update: Read with grade 1 and it went very well! I think it explains things so well. The only thing I don't like is how it speaks of gender-specific clothing, but it is important to Jazz's story and the kids do understand and can empathize with being forced to live as a gender different than what they identify with.
Read with Kindergarten. They didn't as
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.
Alice Bennett
Wow. This is a truly amazing book, telling the real-life story of a transgender girl called Jazz in such an accessible and easy way for children to understand. It's so important children are exposed to books that tackle themes like this and this book will be a staple in my classroom. I loved how optimistic and happy Jazz is and how she says that although she is different, she is incredibly happy with who she is. That is such an important message to share with children of every age.

My only issue
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
A really interesting and emotive read. This would be good for all children to encourage acceptance of others and appreciate everyone's differences. This would also be really supportive for a child experiencing similar feelings to Jazz. It's even more powerful as a true story. ...more
Andrew Lovell
Mar 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book is full of issues and demonstrates a lot of hypocrisy within the PC culture of 2019.

1 - Jazz is all about being who you are, your true self. Yet, in real life, Jazz is a dark skinned female (biological male) and the book portrays here as white. So be who you are...unless you want to sell books, then be white.

2- I thought that gender stereotypes were bad. such as "girl things" and "boy things". Yet Jazz classifies boy things as trucks, tools, and superheroes and girl things as dress up
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
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
Madison Siegle
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am Jazz is the story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, a transgender teen who’s an advocate for LGBT. This is a children’s book that has been widely banned in schools and some libraries, the reasons being that, obviously, there is LGBT content, some language, sex education (due to explanation), and “offensive viewpoints.” This is tricky again in the same way that the homosexual penguins are offensive to some, so would the ideals in this book. However, i ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Book: I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings, and Shelagh McNicholas

The Banhammer: "This children’s picture book memoir was challenged and removed because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints." From the ALA, specifically

My Reaction: Oh my god this is the cutest thing?? It is a short picture book memoir by Jazz Jennings and cohorts on her childhood as a trans girl and it is SO CUTE. The
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jazz Jennings is a girl, and not just any girl, a very girly girl. She loves the color pink. She loves dancing, singing, makeup, wearing high heels and princess gowns. She even loves to dress up as a mermaid, just like her best friends, Samantha and Casey. The only difference is, her body needs help from hormones, and possibly surgery if she chooses, to help her outside match what she feels like on the inside. Her family and teachers were confused at first, but after a doctor’s helpful discussio ...more
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