Showing posts with label Jazz Jennings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jazz Jennings. Show all posts

Monday, October 1, 2018

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel, Jazz Jennings

Rating: WORTHY!

This was on the commendable 'banned books' display at my local library - daring readers to take one of the banned or challenged books on loan! Great idea! Based on a true story (you may notice one of the authors is named Jazz!), this picture (and text!) book for younger children is very well-written and gorgeously illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas.

Thirteen-year-old Jazz (when this book was published) had always been a girl where it matters (in her brain!), but unfortunately was born a boy on the outside. This did not please her, but over time, this crucial difference was understood by her parents and overcome by them as a family so Jazz could be who she honestly felt she truly was. Not every child in these circumstances has that advantage which is why books like this are so important.

This book also had its problems, not in terms of writing or illustrating, but in terms of being listed by the American Library Association as number four among the top 10 most challenged books in 2016. That's how it came to my attention because of the 'banned books' exhibition. This was one of them. It's amazing, amusing, and very sad how people can find books like this so terrifying that they try to banish them so no one can read them. Those are the very people who need to read a book like this, and I'm glad this book exists and I commend it for everyone and anyone to read.