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Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  4,035 ratings  ·  725 reviews
Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her incredible journey in her first Barbara Walters interview, aired at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or ...more
Audio CD, Unabridged, 272 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Listening Library
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Sphinx Feathers I loved it! I hope she writes more, or I would love to see books from her family members too. I think they're all amazing people.…moreI loved it! I hope she writes more, or I would love to see books from her family members too. I think they're all amazing people.(less)

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Miranda Reads

Feeling inspired - so there's a Bonus BookTube Video this week - all about the most impactful Pride books I have read.

Now that you know this one made list, check out the video to see the rest.
Jazz Jennings - a young transactivist, TV personality and author of children's picture book I Am Jazz, has written an autobiography.
Jazz Jennings - a young transactivist, TV personality and author of famed picture book I Am Jazz, has written an autobiography.

Within this book, she reflects on what it w
Whitney Atkinson
I started this at 7:30 in the morning as I got ready then drove to work, and I ended up finishing it at 10 while I was sitting at my desk. Not gonna lie, I definitely cried about 3 times while in the car and while sitting at work. I was so touched by Jazz’s life and her passion for bringing about equality and recognition for young trans people, and listening to the ways she inspired change and stood up to prejudice just got to me. Hearing about her hardships and triumphs was intriguing, and her ...more
Caz (littlebookowl)
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
I enjoyed Jazz's memoir, and think that books like this are so important, we absolutely need to see more on the market. But I went in with certain expectations and I didn't quite get what I was looking for.

For the most part, what is explored and shared felt very surface-level. I came away feeling like I didn't really get enough information, as we are told about her activism and experiences but it doesn't go deeper. Jazz doesn't come across as superficial - she expresses how grateful she is for t
Carmen boy named Kit asked, "So, do you all share the same deep dark secret that I have?"

His question startled me. "I do," I told him. "But for me, being transgender isn't a deep, dark secret. I don't mind telling people, I think I'm great just the way I am, and so are you."

This books has it's strengths and weaknesses. It is about Jazz, born Jaron, a transgender girl. She was 15 when she wrote this.


1.) This really helps you understand what is would be like to be a transgender chil
Mariah Roze
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This has been on my To-Read List since it came out. So I am so glad that it finally came in! This book was fantastic and the author was in high school at the time of writing this. She was very open and honest about her whole life. That is extremely hard to find from someone so young. I strongly suggest this book! It is also a quick read :) Very short!

"Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transiti
What I adored about this memoir, aside from the topics it tackles, is you can tell Jazz wrote it herself. It's conversational, with heart, and it talks about tough things with the sort of insight and sensitivity but also freedom that comes with talking about them when you're a young teenager. It's about when she discovered she was transgender, but it's also about how she and her family work together to talk about trans rights and educate others about trans youth. She's levelheaded in a way that ...more
Krista Regester
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jazz is an inspiring person and the fact that she has accomplished so much in the short amount of time that she has been ALIVE is so impressive. I think this is just the start of the many books/accomplishments to come and I can't wait for more. ...more
This is an important story both because of Jenning's ability to share everything that she wants to share to help others like her or questioning and provide a support like those that supported her, but I was not impressed with the writing. Yes, it's her memoir and yes, she's a teenager and yes it sounded very much like a teenager writing about her life, so take it for what it is. It's humorous and seriousness and blends her family's thoughts and actions along with her own and her friends, but aga ...more
This was an excellent audiobook from SYNC, I’m so glad they made it free to teens and others like me this summer. Hearing Jazz tell her own story in her own words and how frustrated she was being born in the wrong body and not being understood by others, through some tough growing up, and finding her own way, inspiring others along the way was so uplifting and such a great positive story.
Avery (Book Deviant)
This book was very difficult because, even though it's own voices, it was terribly executed. Check out my full review here. ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

The writing isn't the best and I do wish we had gotten a little deeper in some cases but Jazz's words/story are very moving and inspiring... I applaud her for her bravery and courage and positive attitude. She isn't afraid to be who she is and is living her life the way she wants to.

Like with John Barrowman, it feels as if you are sitting down with Jazz and listening to her tell you her story. It all has an open feel to it and an honesty, which is beautiful.

(I came across this book by c
Mariah Roze
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
March 25, 2019 – Finished Reading (Other Audio CD Edition)
March 22, 2019 – Shelved (Other Audio CD Edition)
March 22, 2019 – Started Reading (Other Audio CD Edition)
July 27, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
July 27, 2016 – Shelved
Lauren (Shooting Stars Mag) Becker
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia
Jazz Jennings from the TLC show I Am Jazz is releasing her memoir this month. It's a great look at her life so far - she's only 15 at the moment- and how she always knew she was a girl in a boy's body. I loved hearing stories from her childhood. I'm sure it was tough for her parents to deal with this news, but they seem like great people who only want the best for their children. They allowed Jazz to dress as a girl at home for awhile, and eventually in public. They were constantly learning and ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What can make emerging into your true gender identity before high school even more difficult? Doing it on reality tv!
What's fantastic about this story is how she knew as a small child she was female, and because of her extraordinary open-minded and supportive parents, she was accepted and enabled to love herself, become herself, and become a (very public!) advocate for transgendered young people, all at an astonishingly young age! Her strong self-confidence, clearly incubated by great parental l
Jen • Just One More Page

This review is also posted on my blog.

(view spoiler)
❤Marie Gentilcore
This was an informative and interesting memoir written by Jazz Jennings, a transgender teen girl. Jazz knew from a very young age that she was in the body of the wrong gender. Her family was concerned but I liked how they were supportive of her and I really liked Jazz’s positive outlook on life. I am glad she is out there as a role model. I hope her book will help others out there who are in the same situation. I would recommend this book for anyone who might have a family member who is transgen ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: america, audiobook
Jazz is really articulate for her age, but man it’s weird listening to such a young girl telling her story! She sounds like she would be a fun person to get to know, though there were a few bits of the story I admit I didn’t agree with, like her taking a protestor at a speech by Obama to task.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catherine by: Anna Johnson
My friend recommended this book to me after I recommended This is How It Always Is to her and I think they make good companion pieces.

Jazz Jennings (her chosen first name and a pseudonym for her last name) is one of the youngest people ever diagnosed with gender dysphoria, also known as being transgender. When she was in preschool, she knew that she felt like a girl, even though she was born a boy. (There are a number of similarities to the character of Claude/Poppy in TiHIAI and I would not be
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: celebs, memoirs
Why I didn't love this book:

Let me start by saying I loved the idea of this book. There is a gaping hole out there when it comes to transgender narratives. The fact that not only is there one more resource out there but that it is from a teen's perspective is great. I commend Jazz Jennings for putting herself out there. However...

1) The writing was pretty terrible. It's written as if you were having a conversation with 14 year old Jennings, which I suppose you are, but when this book could poten
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
When I first saw the commercial for this show coming to TLC, I was caught off guard and thought how does a child know at such a young age that they are transgender? Well, this book did a perfect job of explaining it to me. Written by the fifteen year old herself, Jazz tells the story of how she knew as a toddler that she was meant to be a girl even though she had boy parts. I felt like I had a very sincere look into both the struggles and triumphs she and those like her often face. It's a book t ...more
Mar 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Jazz has a strong voice for gender identity disorder. She is a transgender teen and manages to tell her story with the help of a very supportive family who created a safe place for her transition. I found this educational. While I know a few people who are transgender, it isn't a topic that they discuss openly in the lunchroom. I can't imagine what it would be like to live with that type of secrecy of needing to hide who you are and the need to have giant walls of protection. T

Now with all that
Rita Shaffer
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Appreciate Jazz’s honesty! Such an important book for many!
Reading this memoir of one of today's most famous transgender teens feels like sitting down for an eye-opening conversation with a friend.

Recommended grade level: 7 and up

Pages: 256 (for ISBN 9780399554643)

Genre(s) and keywords: nonfiction, memoir, LGBTQA+

Tone/Style: personal, youthful

Pace: moderate to fast

Topics: transgender people, coming out, media attention, dating, legal battles

Themes: courage, gender identity, being oneself, speaking out

Who will like this book?
Jazz touches on a lot of typi
Macy  (It's a Book Thing)
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, owned
More of my reviews at

This review is based on an advance reader copy that I picked up at BookExpo America. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own.


This was a book that I picked up on a whim at BookExpo America. Before picking up this book, I had never heard of Jazz Jennings, but I'm really glad I now know who she is. Before reading this book, I binge watched all of the episodes of I Am Jazz. Then, once I finished watching the show, I
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been "shopping" for new books to add to our library collection in regards to LGBTQ. This memoir by Jazz Jennings is a perfect addition for those students either wanting to educate themselves about transgender people or are transgender themselves. Jazz takes the reader on her journey as early as a 2 year old all the way up to almost 15 years old and currently filming a second season of her reality show. Jazz's family is absolutely supportive and amazing which is what really makes this memoir ...more
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This is a book that I had to read, one of my daughters closet friends is transgender. I'm very proud that Bridget has maintained this friendship when others were fickle. Its about the persons heart, not the persona they wear in public.

So it was interesting to see the process that Jazz went through with her transformation, its also important to note that she had the support of her family.

My only criticism of this book is that perhaps, Jazz's recollections and thoughts would have been more focuse
Sue Heraper
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I had the privilege of listening to Jazz speak at the American Library Association conference and I was eager to read her memoir that same day. I was drawn into her story, which is written in a conversational style. She is honest about her struggles, and also includes some humor. She manages to be relatable in addition to being a role model and inspiration for LGBT kids. The writing is informative, and I would recommend this book to any teen as a candid introduction to the issues facing transgen ...more
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Solid memoir with universal themes of self-acceptance that will appeal to a middle-high school audience.

I got bored with the fame-dropping; the later chapters of the book deal more with Jazz's rise to national recognition, while the earlier chapters document her struggles with playing soccer and going to the bathroom during school, things cisgendered take for granted.
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this book on audible. Jazz was confident, honest, and open about her life. And I loved hearing her story about her life. She did it well. I wish her Well with her advocacy work! Incredible young girl!
Might give it 4 stars later, but I have to think about it some more first. Rating books is so hard... idk, I guess I'm worried about rating inflation or something. Is that even a thing? I feel like it should be a thing. Anyway. ...more
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Play Book Tag: Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings- 4 Stars 2 12 Jul 28, 2016 12:58PM  
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Jazz Jennings (born October 6, 2000) is an American teenage trans woman, YouTube celebrity, spokesmodel and LGBTQ rights activist. She came to wide national attention in 2007 on "'I'm a Girl' – Understanding Transgender Children" an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC News' 20/20. Her parents noted that Jazz was clear on being female as soon as she could speak. Other national interviews and appe ...more

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300 likes · 44 comments
“I never would have been able to tell!” I was finally able to put my finger on it, and it’s something that anyone who is meeting a transgender person for the first time should keep in mind. Saying you “never would have known” is actually very rude. Being surprised that a person looks like the gender they are just reinforces a stereotype that transgender people aren’t usually attractive or able to pass, and worse, the stereotype that physical appearances even matter. A person’s true essence comes from within! I” 5 likes
“The homicide rate for transgender women in America hit a historic high in 2015, according to the Human Rights Campaign, even with all the current support and visibility. Almost all of them were women of color, and the number killed was twenty-one as of November 2015—that’s basically two people a month, and the real number is likely to be even higher due to unreported cases. Worldwide it’s much worse: Between 2008 and 2014, there were 1,731 reported murders. That’s really terrifying, and a huge reason why I continue to be a public advocate and keep speaking out. Change happens through understanding, and one of my biggest hopes is that our next generation of kids will grow up in a world with more compassion.” 4 likes
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