Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I AM JAZZ

I Am Jazz
written by Jazz Jennings
& Jessica Herthel
illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

From a very young age,  Jazz knew that she wasn't a boy.  She was a girl with girl thoughts.  On a trip to the doctor, Jazz and her family finally learn that there is a word for all her feelings.  Jazz is transgender.

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One of the things I loved about this book is the voice in it.  It's real and it shows in the writing.  I like the fact that Jazz gets to share her story with readers.  I think that's important - her being able to tell her own story.  It's powerful and I think it will resonate.

I like that the book takes us on a journey through Jazz's thoughts and frustrations.  You get to see how not being yourself can be tragic and isolating.  A really cool bit was seeing a small bit of her parent's journey to understanding as well.

The art is pretty and the text is short and simple.  A great book to read together and a great book to practice reading with.

I really enjoyed this one. I know this isn't the first picture book to concern itself with the topic of transgender people.  I hope it won't be the last either.  We need books like this, which represent the different experiences of being human.


In the video below, the real Jazz explains the book and how it is based on her real-life experiences as a transgender girl.  It's really interesting to hear her talk about it so click play!