Parents' Guide to

I Am Jazz

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Sweet, straightforward story of young transgender girl.

I Am Jazz Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 12+

Not appropriate for elementary kids

I’m shocked to see this book being rated for appropriate for children 4 and up. They are exploring words and concepts that deal with a persons identity. Children at this age need to understand the importance of inclusivity and the realization that people come in different shapes and sizes. Anything beyond that is both confusing and too mature. By introducing these concepts at such an early age, we’re predisposing that a girl who dresses like a boy is transgender or vice versa. This is clearly not the case.
5 people found this helpful.
age 3+

Surprisingly sexist

There are some great trans picture books out there, but this one is surprisingly sexist. In the story, Jazz says she has a "girl brain in a boy body" and illustrates that by saying her favorite color is pink, she likes makeup, and loves mermaids. I would never want my kid to think that their interests, the clothes they wear, or the colors they like have anything to do with gender identification, and you don't need to teach kids about trans identities by being sexist. Give this one a miss and keep looking.
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (2):

I AM JAZZ straightforwardly explains to very young children a topic that can confuse even adults. It isn't particularly dramatic -- to the contrary, and this is partly the point, Jazz is depicted as a rather ordinary (if unusually confident) young girl. It's that ordinariness that helps make this book special. Jazz's story will resonate both with families discussing gender identity and with children who feel different from their peers in other ways. Jazz's assertive positivity is a terrific model for children learning to be confident. Warm watercolor illustrations add to the cheerful tone, and photographs at the back show Jazz dressed as a young boy, as a girl, and as a mermaid.

This is an excellent choice to jump-start a conversation about gender, identify, compassion, and honesty. One small quibble: With lavish pink and purple hues and an emphasis on how girly Jazz is, the story may alienate some boys and parents who don't want to reinforce gender stereotypes.

Book Details

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