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Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen
     

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen

4.2 9
by Jazz Jennings
 

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“Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest champions of transgender equality.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
 
“A role model for teens everywhere.” —Seventeen.com on Jazz Jennings
 
Teen activist and trailblazer Jazz Jennings—named one of “The 25 Most Influential

Overview

“Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest champions of transgender equality.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
 
“A role model for teens everywhere.” —Seventeen.com on Jazz Jennings
 
Teen activist and trailblazer Jazz Jennings—named one of “The 25 Most Influential Teens” of the year by Time—shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths.
 
Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her incredible journey in her first Barbara Walters interview, aired at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or accepting of the transgender community. This groundbreaking interview was followed over the years by other high-profile interviews, a documentary, the launch of her YouTube channel, a picture book, and her own reality TV series—I Am Jazz—making her one of the most recognizable activists for transgender teens, children, and adults.
 
In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn’t all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen. Through it all, her family has been beside her on this journey, standing together against those who don't understand the true meaning of tolerance and unconditional love. Now Jazz must learn to navigate the physical, social, and emotional upheavals of adolescence—particularly high school—complicated by the unique challenges of being a transgender teen. Making the journey from girl to woman is never easy—especially when you began your life in a boy’s body.
 
Praise for the picture book I Am Jazz:
 
“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
 
“Jazz [is] an eloquent spokesperson for transgender kids.” —Katie Couric
 
“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
 
“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.” —New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult
 
“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.” —New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/23/2016
Coming out as transgender, especially as a child or teen, often means declaring oneself in two arenas. The first is the intimate world of one's family; next comes the broader world of school, teams, and other institutions. Fifteen-year-old Jazz Jennings, a transgender activist and reality-show star who transitioned at age five, knows firsthand how much the first world matters: it makes it possible to take on the second. Her memoir doesn't downplay the teasing, the pain of being forbidden to play on the girls' soccer team, or the difficulty of finding romance, but it always circles back to her family's support. Jennings's account of how they listened to her, educated themselves, let her choose her clothes and toys, formed a nonprofit to support trans kids, and let her become a public face of trans life is both touching and inspiring. The upbeat and sometimes humorous narrative moves swiftly through the details of Jennings's upbringing; for readers looking for a candid introduction to some of the issues facing trans children and teens, this book is an excellent start. Ages 12–up. Agent: Joseph Veltre, Gersh Agency. (June)
From the Publisher
“Her story is an important addition to the slender but growing body of transgender literature and belongs in every library.” —Booklist starred review
VOYA, August 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 3) - Loryn Aman
For as long as she can remember, Jazz Jennings has known she is female. Even before she could express herself through words, she gravitated to “girly” things, like playing dress up and her sister’s toys. When she finally learned to talk, she was very vocal about the fact that, while she may have been born in a physically male body, she was female on the inside. Luckily for Jazz, she had a very supportive family who accepted her for who she is and embraced the fact that she wanted to live as her true self. Being Jazz is not just a story of a transgender teen, but a story of acceptance, tolerance, and social justice for a whole group of people. While Jazz will say she is just a normal teen, her actions prove that she is much more than that. She is an activist, an athlete, and a trailblazer to name a few. Through her own words, Jazz tells her life story, touching on major milestones in her life, like her earliest memory, her struggles at school, and her fight to be able to play soccer on a female team. While at times her story jumps around, it reads almost like a diary in which she is confiding and giving readers an in-depth and personal look at her life. She touches on everything: her fight to use the girls’ restroom, her multiple speaking engagements and how they have shaped her, dating, and the issues she faces with her body development. There is an extended appendix at the back where you meet Jazz’s family, resources for education, information for teens or people who might need help, and detailed lists of books and other media for children, teens, and adults. This is a relatable biography that will appeal to teens of all ages, and is a great resource for education on transgender issues and struggles. Reviewer: Loryn Aman; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
07/01/2016
Gr 6 Up—Jazz Jennings has been in the public eye for a long time, drawing media attention when her family allowed her to transition at a very young age. In this memoir, Jennings (now 15) shares stories and experiences from her life as an openly trans girl. Battles to get her on the girls' soccer team, to allow her access to the girls' restroom at school, and to educate the public at large dominate Jennings's story. The memoir shares a varied and anecdotal account of her life, offering a behind-the-scenes look at being an LGBT celebrity, navigating preteen romance, and treating depression. The narrative flow is choppy, but the voice and tone are genuine and provide an incredibly normalizing view of a trans teen's life. Jennings speaks frankly about things like anatomy and boyfriends, but mentions of her depression and struggles with peers are subtle. Subjects of violence against trans people and the high rates of suicide in the trans community are also kept at an arm's length, helping the book appeal to younger or unfamiliar readers who may not be prepared for the less uplifting stories of trans life. The teen's successes and nearly limitless self-confidence and optimism will be reassuring for the family and friends of trans youth, but older teens may find the book hard to relate to. A very accessible resource list is included, as well as interviews with the Jennings family. VERDICT A great introduction to trans life for middle schoolers and a balancing addition to the more harrowing stories available.—Amy Diegelman, Vineyard Haven Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
2016-05-04
Before she was in preschool, Jazz knew she wasn't a boy, and she didn't understand why no one else did. Her parents took her to meet with a well-versed therapist, who told them Jazz is transgender, and they started on a journey with no map.Obstinate school faculty and officials soon made it clear that there was no protocol for someone like Jazz, and the family's necessary activism began in earnest, by way of an article in the local paper. That article got the attention of producers of a national TV show, who pursued Jazz's family until they agreed to take a leap of faith and do an interview. Jazz's mother became involved in public speaking at conferences, and she and Jazz began their outreach and advocacy work, even starting their own organization and agreeing to do a reality show. As Jennings relates, through it all, she manages to keep it apart from her typical teenage life, replete with summer-camp experiences, cute-but-jerky boys, best friends, and ex-best friends and marked with a passion for art and mermaids. Her outlook is bright, even as she struggles with depression—hereditary and unrelated to being trans. Jazz is fearlessly up front with people about being trans, and her gender meter is pinned on GIRL, but she also touches on gender variations and carefully stresses that not all trans people are like her.Jazz's positivity, honesty, frank explanations, and conversational writing style make this an ideal book for trans kids to hand to worried loved ones after they've finished reading it. (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399554643
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
06/07/2016
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
49,799
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile:
1120L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Jazz Jennings is a trans woman, YouTube celebrity, spokesmodel, activist, and author of the picture book I Am Jazz. She has a docu-series about her life also called I Am Jazz on TLC, which started airing in July 2015. She was named to Time’s “Most Influential Teens” list two years in a row, was one of Huffington Post’s “14 Most Fearless Teens,” and was the youngest person ever featured on Out’s “Out 100,” as well as on Advocate’s “40 Under 40” list. In 2014, she was named a Human Rights Campaign Youth Ambassador and received LogoTV’s Youth Trailblazer Award. Jazz also hosts a series of videos about her life on YouTube and is the face of Clean & Clear’s latest ad campaign. You can follow her on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter at @jazzjennings__, or subscribe to her YouTube channel.

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Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What is your guys problem. Jazz is a girl and only a girl. She always has been. It dosent matter what she was at birth. All that matters is now and rigth now she looks happy the way things are. This isnt a phase or a sick addiction. No, its her way of expressing how she feels. She is probably one of the bravest people on this earth. Just think in a rural universe what if you were transgender? It makes no sense to say rude and awful things to a human being. And remember your as human as she is. We all are. What joy do you get for making others feel bad about themselves. You wouldnt like it if people did these rude things to you. And i know it. So dont say anything about Jazz or anyone you may think is different then you in any way. Because everyone is unique. There are so many poepl in the world who want to be something or somebody. And they cant becuase of people like you who beat them down for know reason. Make them feel horrible. Make them not want to wake up in the morning. You make them feel like outcast. What makes no sense is that no parent would ever raise there child to be cruel and cold hearted. What pleasure is there in knowing that kids around the world are phisicaly hurting themselves because of cyborbulling. Its like you want bad things to happen to her 'cause she isnt like other girls. So what. Like i said before. Jazz is a girl and always has been.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth reading! A complicated topic for a very lovely young teen to be explaining. Jazz's voice comes through authentic and honest. Can't wait to see her continue to do great things!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am the grandmother of two Transgender grandchildren ages 14 and 20. This was a great read for me, it was amazing how each family member loved and supported Jazz through her transition. I wish the best for my grandchildren and am going to recommend that they read Jazz's books and watch her show on tv. I enjoyed the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Books like these everybpdy should read!
Anonymous 6 months ago
To all the people who actually like me. I hope you live a good long happy life and for the person who actualy lectured all of yall on my life and how i have always been a girl. Let me tell you somthing i havent always been a girl and it is painfull to have that done to you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jazz might be transgender but she is still a human being even if she use to be a boy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guys plz use peoples preferred pronouns. Plz!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Depression is serious we all know that and I hope he ( not she) recovers from his emotional challenges. I think that someone like this who change their physical body in hopes of macking life better is doing so in self pitty almost like an alcoholic