cover image Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen

Jazz Jennings. Crown, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-399-55464-3

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%E2%80%93up. Agent: Joseph Veltre, Gersh Agency. (June)