Being Jazz My life as a (transgender teen)

Jazz Jennings

Book - 2016

Teen activist and trailblazer Jazz Jennings--named one of "The 25 most influential teens" of the year by Time--shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths.

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2nd Floor 306.768/Jennings Checked In
New York : Crown [2016]
First edition
Physical Description
pages cm
Main Author
Jazz Jennings (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* A memoir at the age of 15? Yes, if you happen to be Jazz Jennings, arguably the most well-known trans teen in America and the subject of the reality show I Am Jazz. Though born a boy, Jazz knew from the time she could form a coherent thought that she was a girl. Officially diagnosed at age 3 with what was then called Gender Identity Disorder, Jazz—thanks to extraordinarily supportive parents—began to come out at age 5. After an article in a local newspaper led to her being interviewed by Barbara Walters (twice!), Jazz became a media presence and, increasingly, an advocate for transgender children's rights. Her stature continued to grow when Time named her (again, twice) one of America's 25 Most Influential Teens. Obviously, Jazz's is not an ordinary life, but it serves as a role model and inspiration for LGBT kids, who will recognize the kinds of problems she has encountered and overcome: not being permitted to use the girls' restroom or to be a member of the girls' soccer team—not to mention love troubles. She has survived them gracefully, as her well-written, informative, and accessible memoir evidences. Her story is an important addition to the slender but growing body of transgender literature and belongs in every library. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Coming out as transgender, especially as a child or teen, often means declaring oneself in two arenas. The first is the intimate world of one's family; next comes the broader world of school, teams, and other institutions. Fifteen-year-old Jazz Jennings, a transgender activist and reality-show star who transitioned at age five, knows firsthand how much the first world matters: it makes it possible to take on the second. Her memoir doesn't downplay the teasing, the pain of being forbidden to play on the girls' soccer team, or the difficulty of finding romance, but it always circles back to her family's support. Jennings's account of how they listened to her, educated themselves, let her choose her clothes and toys, formed a nonprofit to support trans kids, and let her become a public face of trans life is both touching and inspiring. The upbeat and sometimes humorous narrative moves swiftly through the details of Jennings's upbringing; for readers looking for a candid introduction to some of the issues facing trans children and teens, this book is an excellent start. Ages 12–up. Agent: Joseph Veltre, Gersh Agency. (June) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 6 Up—Jazz Jennings has been in the public eye for a long time, drawing media attention when her family allowed her to transition at a very young age. In this memoir, Jennings (now 15) shares stories and experiences from her life as an openly trans girl. Battles to get her on the girls' soccer team, to allow her access to the girls' restroom at school, and to educate the public at large dominate Jennings's story. The memoir shares a varied and anecdotal account of her life, offering a behind-the-scenes look at being an LGBT celebrity, navigating preteen romance, and treating depression. The narrative flow is choppy, but the voice and tone are genuine and provide an incredibly normalizing view of a trans teen's life. Jennings speaks frankly about things like anatomy and boyfriends, but mentions of her depression and struggles with peers are subtle. Subjects of violence against trans people and the high rates of suicide in the trans community are also kept at an arm's length, helping the book appeal to younger or unfamiliar readers who may not be prepared for the less uplifting stories of trans life. The teen's successes and nearly limitless self-confidence and optimism will be reassuring for the family and friends of trans youth, but older teens may find the book hard to relate to. A very accessible resource list is included, as well as interviews with the Jennings family. VERDICT A great introduction to trans life for middle schoolers and a balancing addition to the more harrowing stories available.—Amy Diegelman, Vineyard Haven Public Library, MA [Page 99]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Get ready for season 4 of the popular TLC show I Am Jazz! Teen advocate and trailblazer Jazz Jennings—named one of “The 25 Most Influential Teens” of the year by Time—shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths. “[Jazz’s] touching book serves as a rallying cry for understanding and acceptance.”—Bustle  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 accepting of the transgender community. This groundbreaking interview was followed over the years by other high-profile interviews, a documentary, the launch of her YouTube channel, a picture book, and her own reality TV series—I Am Jazz—making her one of the most recognizable activists for transgender teens, children, and adults.   In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn’t all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen. Through it all, her family has been beside her on this journey, standing together against those who don't understand the true meaning of tolerance and unconditional love. Now Jazz must learn to navigate the physical, social, and emotional upheavals of adolescence—particularly high school—complicated by the unique challenges of being a transgender teen. Making the journey from girl to woman is never easy—especially when you began your life in a boy’s body.PRAISE FOR JAZZ JENNINGS:   “Jazz is one of the transgender community's most important activists.”  —Cosmopolitan   “A role model for teens everywhere.” —   “Wise beyond her years.” —Teen Vogue