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I Am Jazz Hardcover – September 4, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A 2015 Rainbow List Selection

"All young people—regardless of difference—deserve the things Jazz shares in her lovely book: a loving family, supportive friends, and the freedom to be their true selves. A beautifully illustrated and accessible primer on one trans girl's journey of living her truth."—Janet Mock, New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness 

"I wish I had had a book like this when I was a kid struggling with gender identity questions. I found it deeply moving in its simplicity and honesty."—Laverne Cox, acclaimed actress and transgender advocate 

"Jazz is a sensitive and courageous young woman. Her story is inspiring and important to read. By sharing her experiences and view she has added to our understanding and compassion for the transgender experience."—Barbara Walters

"A terrific and timely book that explains to kids what it means to be transgender and—more importantly—that reminds kids our similarities are much more important than our differences."—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of The Storyteller and Between the Lines

I Am Jazz is honest, inspiring, and beautiful—but its greatest strength is it never apologizes for being different.”—Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author of I Am Amelia Earhart

About the Author

Jessica Herthel is the director of the Stonewall National Education Project, which networks LGBTQ inclusive school districts and develops educational materials for the classroom.

Jazz Jennings is twelve years old. She is an honorary co-founder of the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation (www.transkidspurplerainbow.org). She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network, 20/20 specials with Barbara Walters, and The Rosie Show, and she speaks at schools and conferences across the country.

Shelagh McNicholas has illustrated many books for children, including The Perfect Pony and Little Ballet Star. She lives in England.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books; 1 edition (September 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803741073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803741072
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Women and Gender Studies professor, I am constantly on the lookout for books challenging normative sex and gender roles. While I Am Jazz is an important book for introducing children to the concept of transgender, I was disappointed to see that "girlness" was equated to princesses, pink, and mermaids in this text. While stereotypical gendered behavior is often a key factor in parents and health care providers realization of a child's transgender identity, it is limiting to both our trans* and cisgendered (non-transgendered) children to set up such binary categories of male and female behavior. I would have liked to see more of Jazz the soccer star, Jazz doing a science project, Jazz doing art, and the emphasis on what made her transgender placed upon her sense of self, not her love of dresses and mermaids. Still, many thanks to young Jazz for bravely sharing her story with other children.
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Format: Hardcover
I Am Jazz
As a retired senior citizen who has suffered lifelong gender dysphoria, I credit my doctor and therapist, Jazz and her NEW book with helping me to understand the physical and psychological pain that has tormented me since very early childhood. This pain has been a regular visitor in my life because I was born with hormonal and brain differences whose effects on gender identity become more and more powerful with time--regardless of what I do.

Recently, my physician and therapist have helped me understand that I am a person having a transsexual experience I never chose to have. I pray that those of you who reject such medical explanations for why a boy would want to be a girl--especially parents of transgender children--will love your kids unconditionally. Don't punish them, or throw them out of the house--they have a medical condition that, without your love, and the support of schools and society, can lead to anxiety, depression, and death by suicide.

All kids need to be known, accepted and loved--no matter what. This is more true for kids who are transgender than for almost any other group. Thanks to you and your family, Jazz, your book is helping all of us understand a little bit better now! Thank you for a story that has helped me make sense of that time when I was your age, and no one knew how to help me deal with my neuro-endocrine difference! Sincerely,

Morgan
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Format: Hardcover
As a straight mom of three, I can honestly say that this book brought tears of joy to my eyes as I read it. It is a beautiful affirmation of the essential humanity in all of us, and it is a clear and age-appropriate way to introduce kids to the diversity around us. For those of you who are concerned that children might not understand or be confused by the concept, rest assured. Using my kids as a focus group showed me that they not only "get it," but they are much more open to these concepts than many adults.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As transgender narratives go, it's alright. However, I got this hoping to help explain being transgender to my nephew, and I found it very politically correct and preachy, and very out of touch with my own transgender narrative. It was basically sounding like some LGBT advocate wrote it for her, to make it fit in line with a certain perspective. But not all transgender people identify with the "born in the wrong body" narrative.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
During my five-year stint as a preschool teacher, I observed more than a handful of very young children who struggled with gender-identity issues, so certainly, this book is timely and necessary. But Jazz's story is more than a meaningful and identifiable tale for children whose brains don't match their bodies; it is a critical read for (or to) everyone. Like all good children's books, I AM JAZZ encourages conversation, open-mindedness, empathy, and kindness. I applaud Jazz's courage and Jessica Herthel's compassion and foresight in creating this book. It is my hope that every school, library, and bookstore keeps copies on hand.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for explaining transgender children to transgender children. It is about a biological boy, who at the age is two, realized he felt like a girl. As a mother of a child exactly matching this description, this book is perfect for sharing with his (now her) classmates and other young folks about why my kid says "I'm a girl". I do wish it wasn't about such a stereotypical girl that loves pink and mermaids - but my kid does love pink and ladybugs so I guess it's not all wrong. And I bought two copies for my kid's school so that should tell you something! I think it's probably good for about ages 4-8 but my three-year old still enjoys it even if she doesn't fully get it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. My fourth and fifth grade students want me to read it over and over again. So many of them could relate to the message of being yourself, and were in awe of Jazz and her beautiful story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 cute and appropriately support the directness behind the message.

This is not a social discourse of transgender science or ethics. Jazz, along with all trans people, has faced judgement and discrimination for who she is. Jazz is a person and can expect others to use the name and pronouns she identifies with; one's personal belief is irrelevant to treating others with respect. Hopefully Jazz's book can help others see that.
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