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Jazz Mergirl: The True Story of Jazz Jennings, a Transgender Girl Born in a Boy's Body Paperback – September 4, 2015
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About the Author
Bruce Edlen is a credentialed teacher with a Masters Degree in Education. He taught for over 20 years, but says, “Once a teacher, always a teacher.” That natural inclination to inform and educate led him to write Jazz Mergirl. Working with students and grownups gave him the background and skills necessary to present this story in a way that is accessible and engaging to both teen and adult readers.
In his spare time, the author enjoys keeping current on issues in education, reading, listening to an eclectic mix of music, photography, traveling, gardening, and feeding a bunch of feisty backyard hummingbirds. He also spends quiet time at his mountain cabin retreat. Bruce Edlen resides in Southern California.
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Top customer reviews
The 200-page biography section of this book shows this "gender dysphoric" child growing to be a lovely, competent speaker and teen activist. But this book is more than the story of one family. It includes eight appendices (advice for educators, discussion questions, general information about transgender people, human sexuality, etc.), as well as extensive glossaries to explain the nuanced language of this topic, along with bibliography and many resources for families and others. Taken together, all these sections make this a valuable tool for teachers, therapists, medical and health care workers, and even the legal system, in understanding the complicated issue of gender in the lives of children, families, and society.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, as well as a former classroom teacher and school counselor, I learned more about this subject in the pages of this book than in any class or other readings in my education. I highly recommend Jazz Mergirl to my colleagues and others, as we are all likely to encounter people who do not fit into our former limited categorization of MALE or FEMALE.
Jaelline Jaffe, PhD, LMFT
Since you are reading this review, you know the subject is the life, so far, of a trans-gender child and the difficult early decisions encountered by her parents. As a privacy advocate, I liked that the author was careful writing about sensitive information, pointing out that the book only includes facts Jazz and her family had already discussed in a very frank and open manner in various interviews and speeches. I liked that the author reached beyond mentioning the support of long-time friends and family. He gave a “face”, as well as credit to each individual in the family. Certainly, Jazz would not be the confident girl she is today if her siblings, as well as her parents, had not been behind her. A lesson for all families.
When I first realized the content was that of already available information, there was a fleeting second of – “Oh, he "only" pulled together available facts”. Immediately, I was struck by the opposite feeling. What a genius! He pulled together available facts from many sources --- Ones that most people would not be able to find, or be patient enough to swim through to make such sense with such understanding of what it means to be a trans kid.
I liked the chapter organization and how sometimes a point was only mentioned, but it was noted that it would be addressed more fully in an upcoming chapter.
Best thing about this book. It not only sprinkled various websites or services here and there, to make readers aware of them, while not slowing down their reading, but an extensive resources list is included. As does the author, and Jazz, herself, I hope this kind of information turns confused and anxious children and young adults away from thoughts of suicide.
So many of my friends and family members were interested in my own enthusiasm, that I have already given all my copies away, and need to purchase more for school or library donations.
This book is highly informative and would be an excellent read for children, their parents, and educators alike. I feel that with Mr. Edlen's easy to read style, children struggling with their gender identity, would realize that they're not alone. Parents would learn that there are many resources available to assist them with the challenges of raising a transgender child. As a former teacher, myself, I was impressed with the"Advice for Educators" that Mr. Edlen's included in Appendix 5.
This is a great book! The resource section in the back is truly amazing, listing Organizations, Books, Blogs, Camps and Hotlines. Fantastic!