Being Jazz

by | Read by Jazz Jennings

Published by Listening Library

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.

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AudioFile Review

Being Jazz

In 2015, the picture book I AM JAZZ, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, about a transgender girl, was No. 3 on the American Library Association’s Top Ten Banned Books. Now Jazz Jennings gives voice to her story in a new way by narrating what she calls her memoir on growing up transgender. Jennings’s youthful enthusiasm and her acute memories of the difficulties posed by being different from most of her peers make her the perfect choice for telling her own story. She reads quickly, with the familiar cadence and inflection of a teenager, and her story gives new insight into the current conversation on transgender issues. S.G. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine


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