I Am J

I Am J

Book - 2011 | 1st ed
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J, who feels like a boy mistakenly born as a girl, runs away from his best friend who has rejected him and the parents he thinks do not understand him when he finally decides that it is time to be who he really is.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2011 (Printed in the United States of America)
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316053617
Call Number: y BEAM 2011
Characteristics: 326 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Compelling story of a transgender teen. Beam makes the character of J and his circumstances come alive, while also giving much information on transgendered people and some resources for them.

J was born a girl, but feels like a boy. J's struggles include non-supportive parents, finding a transgender role model, and sympathetic friends, and navigating laws that give him little rights as a seventeen year old. A sensitive, realistic novel that portrays the difficulties transgender teens ... Read More »

J was born a girl, but feels like a boy. J's struggles include non-supportive parents, finding a transgender role model, and sympathetic friends, and navigating laws that give him little rights as a seventeen year old. A sensitive, realistic novel that portrays the difficulties transgender teens ... Read More »

From the critics

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Aug 20, 2020

What? This book is not an accurate representation and a lot of the things J did were very dangerous but were still shown in a way that fantasized them. J was very self-absorbed and didn't think about how his actions were affecting others.

Jan 15, 2019

I read this book a few years ago in 7th grade. I was new to the understanding that people actually wanted to change their sex. I enjoyed trying comprehend what J went through etc. etc. Many people really didn't enjoy the cliches and such but me, being in one of the most liberal high schools in Chicago can understand so many other people's perspectives. I have friends who are uncomfortable with who they are because of how they were born and at this age right now, so many people are questioning their sexuality.
Because of this book, I had a better understanding of who people are. of course this book isn't perfect, but I found it to be informational in its own way.
I mean, to this day I think about this book occasionally and think about rereading it.

Oct 10, 2018

I love this book, but want to note that it contains some mature content and is for older teens and adults. (There's a part where they talk about a freshmen giving sexual favors for money, and a friend who does self harm on a regular basis.) If you're younger teen or tween wants to read it I highly recommend the parent reading it first and discussing it.

Ennis R. Tulloch
Aug 19, 2017

I found this book incredibly upsetting. When a book leads me to great emotion, I would rather it be the result of powerful storytelling. This book not only lacked in a powerful voice or subject matter, but was utterly revolting in its depiction of a transgender teen.
This teen was incredibly antagonistic from the get-go, and had no problem demeaning and preying on girls around him, without a shred of any redeeming quality. He was not simply depressed, but completely depraved. He is built entirely out of mangled stereotypes of teenagers, with an occasional dash of sexist and predatory flair that is endemic to an angst-driven male character written by an unskilled author. Even if a character is irritated by their body, must they refer to every single other character with expletives? Essentially, he acts as a sympathy dumpster for people that have no idea what an actual trans teen experiences in day-to-day life. I found myself rooting for his enemies, who cared about the well-being of themselves and their friends more than ambiguously-rooted rage.
The author makes it painfully obvious that she has no clue what it is like to be assigned a gender you don't identify with by stating that the main character was "born in the wrong body", when real transgender people are far more likely to feel that the people around them are simply treating them as something they are not. The issues that transgender people face are rarely caused by their own body, and usually caused by their cisgender peers and superiors imposing strict roles upon them. Cisgender people are uncomfortable with this stinging truth, and like to pass on the blame on biology, like this willfully ignorant author has. Not only that, it conflates transition with sexual perversion. The misconception that being transgender gives one an obsession with their genitalia and incompatibility with sexual partners does little to separate real trans and nonbinary people from sexual fetishists in the minds of cisgender audiences, and this harmful representation is given service by this novel over and over again.
I want people to know this is not representative of transgender people. It is not an acceptable way to view them. Cisgender people should embrace writing about transgender characters, but they should not write books ABOUT being transgender. What I find most unfortunate is that the author's child is. It makes me wonder how a parent could be so blind to their child's experience through a journey such as transition while patting themselves on the back for writing such a mediocre-at-best chunk of fiction. I should have known to read the back cover, on which T Cooper's review had referred to the main character as a "tranny Holden Caulfield". The fact this was listed like a badge of honor on the book should be enough to tell you that this book is an absolute travesty that should be expunged from memory as soon as possible.

Jul 26, 2016

I am J was a pretty good book. It showed what some transgender people go through, and how some people support them, while others are totally against the idea. I liked this book

May 08, 2016

Incredible , amazing story . J is born a girl but inside herself has always been a boy . This is her / his story of this struggle with emotions , parents , friends , school and just an enlightening , heart wrenching story of all the problems and conflicts . Personally and with all others . Gave some insight on how trans feel and how they may cope .

Mar 30, 2016

this is one of my favourite trans* teen books. It is so accurate, and it full of amazing messages and themes. Highly, Highly recommend this book for anyone that is questioning their sexuality, gender identity, or even someone that wants to learn more about what trans* teens go through. Its an amazing book all around.

Dec 06, 2015

An extremely realistic story.

corey_s Aug 18, 2014

The book has an in-your-face message, and I like that. It's not every day you find a book about transgender and transsexual youth. I'm glad I found the book.
Its only drawback, in my opinion, is that sometimes, I'm as stuck in J's head as he is. But it's written for everyone, to educate people who have never heard the word "transgender", but also to reach out to people like J and tell them that there is a word for what they are, that there are others like them and there are people to talk to.
(I would recommend this book for anyone about 14 or 15 years or older, since it has some sexual themes. It is written about a 17-year-old.)

Jul 19, 2013

This Book was amazing, When I saw it at the library I read the first page and it immediately caught my attention. Once I took it out of the library I could not put it down. Usually it takes me about a month to finish a novel but this book took me 2 weeks. This was one of the best books I have read so far.

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Mar 23, 2014

its a great book about one person life, family , friends. plus....ah just read the story its the best. i would read it again someday!!


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Jul 01, 2014

I can be who I want to be


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