I Am Jazz
Juvenile non fiction
A real life superhero (continuing the theme here) is Jazz
Jennings, the young protagonist of I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and
Jazz Jennings. Jazz' favorite color is pink. She enjoys activities
like dancing, singing, soccer, and swimming. She and her best friends
like wearing princess gowns and jumping on trampolines.
Jazz is different from her chums in one way. She was born into
a male body. She confused her family by having feelings and interests
not consistent with her outward appearance.
Fortunately one day her parents took Jazz to a doctor who
explained about the word transgender. Fortunately too her parents
accepted and loved her just as she is.
Fortunately for us, this beautifully told story, greatly
enhanced by Shelagh McNicholas' vibrant and colorful illustrations,
brings this subject to life in a way that is understandable to our
youngest readers and listeners, some of whom may be or have friends
who are transgender. The back page has a very important resource
On a personal note, I first learned about transgender as a school
committee member. Consolidation had joined my town's school with
those of two towns, one of which was involved in a legal case
involving a transgender child. In a beautiful coincidence my then
college student daughter Katie asked me to find her books for a paper
on bullying of transgender students. I read everything I could get my
hands on. I was overjoyed, blown away. I grew up with a sibling who
always seemed to be a male suffocatig under pressures to like girly
girl stuff and dress dainty. It makes me so happy when transgender
people can be their true heart felt selves. I am proud to be an ally.
A great big shout out goes out to transgender people and those who
love and advocate for them.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod