• Amy Shannon

Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings - I Am Jazz

Shelagh McNicholas (Illustrator)


About the Book:

The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere

"This is an essential tool for parents and teachers to share with children whether those kids identify as trans or not. 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 (who plays Sophia in “Orange Is the New Black”)

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 that 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.

Organization: https://transkidspurplerainbow.org/


5 Stars

A brave and smart young transgender girl

What a remarkably brave story in I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas. Jazz was, as she says, "I have a girl brain but a boy body. This is called transgender. I was born this way!" She seemed to know who she was since she was little, correcting people if they called her a boy. Unfortunately, her parents only let her wear dresses around the house, but had to be a "boy" in public. Eventually, her parents finally understood her, and let her be herself. She became Jazz. This is an amazing story of someone who knew who she was, even if her body didn't. I applaud this child, and am totally shocked at how this could be on a banned book list. If more people read this story, and had an open mind, many children wouldn't feel like they have to hide. I Am Jazz is a definite recommendation by Amy's Bookshelf Reviews. This book is on a list of banned books. After you read the book, visit Trans Kids Purple Rainbow Foundation for more information.