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I Am J Hardcover – March 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
But I did have a couple of problems. I found it hard to believe that J, who has been looking around on the internet for information and support since he was eleven, hadn't heard about T (testosterone injections) or a (chest) binder until he was seventeen. I'm willing to let that go as it allows the reader to learn about these things at the same time that J does. I don't think it would have been such a problem if the book wasn't so obviously written by someone who, like J's support group leader, "talk[s] about the 'gender binary' and 'those of trans-masculine identification' as easily as reciting the alphabet" (243).* Beam is a very very knowledgeable woman, as evidenced by her previous work of non-fiction, Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers. She seemed to have a difficult time balancing her wealth of knowledge with the naiveté of her narrator.
This may look like more criticisms than praise, but it's really not!Read more ›
His family is one of the biggest stumbling blocks, and trying to stay close to them when they don't understand what he's going through is a theme that crops up throughout the book, something he continues to navigate. J starts to create a new "family" when he starts at a new school and starts to meet fellow transgender people. He meets Blue, one of the most fascinating characters in the book (and not just because she has blue hair and paints exclusively in shades of blue), who becomes his girlfriend.
I didn't always like everything J did, but I thought he was a fascinating character, and as he matures, he figures out how to have empathy for those around him, like Melissa, and seek out the help he needs to be the man he wants to be. He realizes that his transition is extremely important to him, but that photography is also his passion, and that entirely abandoning his previous life wasn't necessary to lead him on the path he needed to be. Beam doesn't try to paint J as the "perfect" trans teenager (is there such a thing?) but as a human one who is figuring out who he is, who his role models are, and where he fits in at school, home and in the world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book had me feeling all kinds of emotions.From being mad at different characters,to being happy,and almost crying.Definitely a great read!Published 23 days ago by Katie
I am J tells a story that is rarely told—the coming of age of a transgender teenager. In this case, it’s the story of J, a biracial (Latino and Jewish) transgender boy who is... Read morePublished 4 months ago by James R. Gilligan
All is good....bought this as a gift for a teen from a Christmas "Giving Tree". It is what she asked for, so I am sure she will love it.Published 14 months ago by Patricia Coleman
I Am J is a story about the struggle of a teen who just doesn't seem to fit well in their body. Like most YA books, there is a lacking of depth and description. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Le'Chel
This is my new favorite book. It's quite amazing. The only thing is you can get binders for 10$, in the book it said something like 60$ I think. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jason Ampora