Customer Reviews for

I Am J

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Well worth the effort

    A young man who calls himself 'J'. In high school but struggling to find out who he is and his place in the world. His parents only make his life more stressful. Pressure to make the right choices and decisions seems to come from everywhere. Friends try to understand and help. Can J trust anyone?

    Oh, and J was born Jennifer, a female. The body he inhabits does not reflect the reality of his life. He is a boy. Add to all the other pressures of adolescence that J is transgendered. Female to male. Not gay/lesbian. Not a phase. Is there no one to turn to. He feels so alone.

    From a composite of transgendered teens the author has worked with, Cris Beam delivers a truthful, emotionally wrenching and totally believable look into a heretofore mostly unexplored world.

    J is bright, resourceful, determined and driven. With only himself to rely upon, he navigates school,family and friends (even a girlfriend) in his quest to become as God truly made him, a male.

    I recommend this book to anyone seeking an insight into the lives of transgendered teens (FTM), parents, teachers and counselors, clergy and most importantly teens themselves. Not only trans teens, but all teens. It truly is an eye opener and will trigger many areas for discussion.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    A great book about a trans guy!

    I was a little scared of this book. I knew that Beam had it in her to realistically portray the transgender experience, so my expectations were super high. I also knew that a book like this has the potential to be filled with well-meaning stereotypes in order to present the most inclusive picture: of trans folk, of Puerto Rican New Yorkers, of the dream of being a "real boy," and more. But my fears were unfounded; I loved this book. J really rang true to me as a character and as a transguy, and his experiences, though not universal (thankfully not everyone has to move out or change schools in order to transition, though some undoubtedly do), were realistic. I Am J was everything I hoped it would be.

    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! I loved I Am J, and I applaud Beam for taking on the issue of transitioning in the context of cultural and familial expectations, and the fallout from not meeting those expectations, in an accessible and authentic way. Not to mention that she wrote a pretty great story of a teen trying to find his direction and place in the world, regardless of all the issues that J has to deal with. I think this is a must buy for libraries serving youth; it's Luna for the guys.


    Book source: ARC provided by the publisher.

    *Quotes and page numbers are from an uncorrected proof and may not match the published copy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

    Really good book

    I was facinated by the title whn i saw this at my library. I checked it out and fell in love with the book. I can feel for J while also understanding how his friends might feel, just by reading. Very powerful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo

    J has always known he was different. Now almost eighteen, he has decided it is time to commit to who he really is and make the fact clear to his parents and his best friend, Melissa. J was born Jeni Silver. His parents have always seen him as their little girl, but J knows deep inside that though his body may be female, he is truly male. Transgender to be exact. After spending most of his life attempting to ignore the betrayal of his body, J is determined to take the steps necessary to become his true self. He wants his parents and his best friend to come to terms with and accept him as transgender, but even if they don't, he will find a way to get the injections of the testosterone that will lower his voice, stimulate facial hair growth, and help him develop the male attributes that will make him be the person he believes he truly is. Author Cris Beam takes a difficult subject and creates a book that will help readers understand the physical and emotional turmoil of one transgender boy. She is able to explain J's gender frustration from an early age, his secret crush on his long-time friend, the constant jeers and taunts from fellow high school students, and the fear of disappointing his parents, who sacrificed much for their daughter. Readers will experience J's self-discovery, his courage, and his determination in facing the long, hard path before him.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2014

    AMAZINGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!

    I absoublutely loved it. A must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    Help

    I am lost!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    It was very interesting.

    It was a good book that really helped me see into strange and complicated world of transgender teens.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 17, 2013

    Wish it would had ended differently, but other then that it was

    Wish it would had ended differently, but other then that it was pretty good book.

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  • Posted September 15, 2012

    The end was not meet to my expectations but the starting pulls y

    The end was not meet to my expectations but the starting pulls you in her mind of a normal transgender but then during the middle it carefully pieces her feelings for the world and her needs, lust for a boys body. I love Cris Beam, their writing opens the eyes of people going through this. It helps to realize people that want what J wanted with parents like hers can carefully get their wanting to be trans.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    To: iluvvideo

    Just to let u know iluvvideo, j was born a girl but then starts feeling like a male later on. He/she later decides to have a sex change. The reason y u were probally gettin confused is that in the book, they call J a he wen he was a girl.
    Try to get ur facts right next time.
    Definetly not recommended for children under the age of 12. Has lots to do with sex. Really really really good book tho.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    I wanna read this

    *stomps foot* but idk if its worth $10

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

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    Posted December 4, 2011

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    Posted May 10, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2011

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