I am Jazz has been challenged every year since it's release due to the portrayal of a transgender child. It has also been challenged for offensive language and for religious reasons, and challenged for misrepresentations. Banned Book Week.org posted a feature which also includes a story about how a school stood behind the policy allowing the book to be read in class despite parent complaints.
Read for: Children's Book Challenge & Banned Book Week
Synopsis: "The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere.
From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers."
My Review: I picked this book up for Banned Book Week after noticing it has been in the top 10 list for a few years now. I found this to be a really cute book and it was a great conversation starter with children. I have seen some argue that the terms used in this book could be offensive to transgender individuals, but I think it does a very good job using the easiest terms for kids to understand and still convey the message, as kids get older you can educate them more on proper terms and less labels. It was a great way to start a conversation about how we are each individual and should strive to be our best selves no matter who that is.
My Rating: This was a great book to start the conversation with Munchkin, he has questions and this is a great way for me to learn more and also him. It is such a great thing to see how kids are so open and accepting. I give this one a rating of Four Paws.
Again, there is absolutely no reason this book should be removed from shelves. Not only did I read this for the blog but I also read it with my 6 year old son, it is never too early to expose them to controversial books. Of course I read it first to be sure it conveyed the message in a way that I felt he could understand but in the end it was a great moment to share with him.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!