Cover image for I am Jazz!
I am Jazz!
Herthel, Jessica.
Personal Author:
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 28 cm
Presents the story of a transgender child who traces her early awareness that she is a girl in spite of male anatomy and the acceptance she finds through a wise doctor who explains her natural transgender status.
Personal Subject:


Call Number
Material Type
Alfred Box of Books Library 1 J 306.76 H Juvenile NonFiction Book
Cohocton Public Library 1 J 306.76 H New Juvenile NonFiction Book
Little Genesee - Genesee Library 1 J 306.76 H Juvenile NonFiction Book
Penn Yan Public Library 1 E JENNINGS Juvenile Fiction Book
Wellsville - David A. Howe Public Library 1 J 306.76 H Juvenile NonFiction Book

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From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born this way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers. '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 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 '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 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

Author Notes

Jazz Jennings is fourteen years old. She is an advocate, who speaks at schools and conferences across the country about being transgender. Her books include I Am Jazz and Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In 2011, a documentary was released about transgender Jazz Jennings. Now 13, Jennings tells her story. I have a girl brain but a boy body, she explains, portraying herself from early childhood on preferring the color pink and mermaid costumes to playing with trucks or tools or superheroes, along with a typical array of interests in dancing, soccer, and drawing. The book gives a clear explanation, even for the youngest, of how she knew that she was born different and the importance of family acceptance. Aside from a trio of small photos at the conclusion, this draws on bright watercolor illustrations done with casual realism to underscore Jennings' determined femininity. The pictures at time go overboard on the girlishness, but both art and narrative accentuate the positive, though not without commenting on the negative. Jennings is mostly surrounded by smiling, supportive friends and family members (the film tells a similar, but more emotionally charged, story), but there are teasing peers and confused teachers, though most are persuaded into acceptance. I am happy. I am having fun. I am proud! is a reassuring message for other trans or different children and their families, too.--Peters, John Copyright 2014 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-This enlightening autobiographical picture book tells the story of a transgender child who knew from the time she was two that despite her physical body she wasn't really a boy. Young Jazz was passionate about her love of mermaids, dancing, dress-up, and pop stars, as well as her conviction that her gender identity was female. Readers are taken through her journey with upbeat, pink-hued watercolor illustrations that are a good complement to the cheerful tone and positive message of the story ("I don't mind being different. Different is special! I think what matters most is what a person is like inside."). Joining the ranks of new books targeted at young children that examine gender roles, such as Ian and Sarah Hoffman's Jacob's New Dress (Albert Whitman, 2014), this title highlights a topic that has not been well represented in children's literature in an uplifting and empowering way. Jazz's explanation of what transgender means ("I have a girl brain but a boy body") is somewhat simplified. However, for those looking to introduce the concept to young readers or those seeking books that value differences, this illustrated memoir is a solid choice.-Megan Egbert, Meridian Library District, ID (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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