My heart just broke when I heard about the Orlando shootings. I was at work when I got a news alert on my phone. Luckily, the library wasn’t open yet so I was able to jump online to find out what was going on. I sat at the desk just crying until I finally had to turn it off and open the library.
I am so appreciative that Crown Books for Young Readers reached out to me to work with Jazz Jennings during this very difficult Pride Month. I will be at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando and Jazz is one of the keynote speakers. I’m hoping to get to meet her there and thank her personally for sharing her story.
Crown Books for Young Readers recently released BEING JAZZ: MY LIFE AS A (TRANSGENDER) TEEN by 15-year-old Jazz Jennings. The release of the book coincides with the second season of the TLC docu-series I Am Jazz, which started airing on June 8, 2016.
BEING JAZZ is the story of an ordinary teen living in extraordinary circumstances. As soon as she could talk, Jazz Jennings—who everyone assumed was a boy when she was born—let her family know that she was really a girl. Now one of the most prominent transgender rights advocates, Jazz Jennings is also the latest featured Author Ambassador on ReadProudListenProud.com.
In her memoir, Jennings shares her very public journey and reflects on how these experiences have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. Now in high school, Jazz also addresses the physical, social, and emotional upheavals of adolescence, complicated by the unique challenges of being a transgender teen. This is a story that has the power to make a difference in the lives of children, teens, parents and families nationwide.
Read Proud Listen Proud, a joint effort by Listening Library, Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books, is an online resource designed to spark discussion in the classroom and at home and to encourage understanding through storytelling, celebrating everyone for who they are. The website recommends LGBTQ books for young adults and provides kids and teens, parents, educators and librarians thought-provoking discussion guides, inspiring author interviews, and audio clips, all hosted at www.readproudlistenproud.com.
Read Proud Listen Proud was inspired by the work of the We Need Diverse Books movement. Since its launch in June 2015, Read Proud Listen Proud has received an enthusiastic response from the publishing community, educators, and librarians and was nominated for an Excellence in Marketing Award by the Audio Publishers Association.
Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings. Crown Books for Young Readers (June 7, 2016). ISBN: 978-0399554643. 272p.