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.Read more...
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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-23
- Reviewer: Staff
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)