BookBrowse Reviews I Am J by Cris Beam

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I Am J

By Cris Beam

I Am J

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This inspiring young adult novel talks about deciding to lead the life one is meant to, no matter the cost

Chris Beam's poignant novel about a teenager's struggle for identity, approval, and self-acceptance is a welcome addition to the relatively small genre of novels featuring a transgender youth as the main character. Her story of events during several months in the life of 17-year-old J - female by birth, but with the unquestionable knowledge that his body should have been male - fictionalizes many of the trials faced by real young people who are already navigating the social quagmire of high school, the angst and rebellion of the teenage years, and who must also deal with the confusion and isolation of knowing that their physical gender and gender identity do not match. Without lecturing, criticizing, or patronizing, Beam uses the fictional J's story to, as she puts it, "portray the history, culture, and challenges in the young, urban trans community." Beam does this admirably,...

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Beyond the Book:
  Transgender Teens and Bullying

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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

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