Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen

Jazz Jennings, read by the author. Listening Library, unabridged, 4 CDs, 4 hrs., $30 ISBN 978-0-7352-0742-4
Jennings, the 16-year-old YouTube star who is one of the nation’s youngest and most outspoken transgender activists, narrates this brief memoir of her life so far. What’s particularly refreshing is how evident it is that she is still a kid—irrepressible, fearless, and at times charmingly immature. She is a very fast talker, whose performance is long on passion and implied italics. The listener can discern her intensity when she discusses some teachers’ and coaches’ discomfort with her gender identity. Whether she’s relating her family’s crusade to allow her to play soccer on the girls’ team or her frustration at not getting a starring role in a theater production, she is, by her own admission, outspoken and dramatic. She can also be tender when relating the stories of other transgender individuals who have not grown up with the unflagging support she has had from her parents and siblings. But if the performance ever gets too serious, Jennings always brings it back to the bright, upbeat zone of a confident teenager. Overall, this is an entertaining, rapid-fire performance. Ages 12–up. A Crown hardcover. (June)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2016
Release date: 06/01/2016
Genre: Audio
Hardcover - 272 pages - 978-0-399-55464-3
Library Binding - 272 pages - 978-0-399-55465-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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