*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

"I am Jazz" by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings

Top Ten Most Challenged Books


Top Ten Most Challenged Books

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials in 2017. Of the 416 books challenged or banned in 2017, the Top 10 Most Challenged Books are:

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why written by Jay Asher
    Originally published in 2007, this New York Times bestseller has resurfaced as a controversial book after Netflix aired a TV series by the same name. This YA novel was challenged and banned in multiple school districts because it discusses suicide.
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian written by Sherman Alexie
    Consistently challenged since its publication in 2007 for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality, this National Book Award winner was challenged in school curriculums because of profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.
  3. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    This Stonewall Honor Award-winning, 2012 graphic novel from an acclaimed cartoonist was challenged and banned in school libraries because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”
  4. The Kite Runner written by Khaled Hosseini
    This critically acclaimed, multigenerational novel was challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”
  5. George written by Alex Gino
    Written for elementary-age children, this Lambda Literary Award winner was challenged and banned because it includes a transgender child.
  6. Sex is a Funny Word written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth
    This 2015 informational children’s book written by a certified sex educator was challenged because it addresses sex education and is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee
    This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and its use of the N-word.
  8. The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas
    Despite winning multiple awards and being the most searched-for book on Goodreads during its debut year, this YA novel was challenged and banned in school libraries and curriculums because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug use, profanity, and offensive language.
  9. And Tango Makes Three written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole
    Returning after a brief hiatus from the Top Ten Most Challenged list, this ALA Notable Children’s Book, published in 2005, was challenged and labeled because it features a same-sex relationship.
  10. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    This autobiographical picture book co-written by the 13-year-old protagonist was challenged because it addresses gender identity.

I am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings tells the story of Jazz, a girl who was born in a boy's body. Jazz always knew that she was a girl and once her family understood this, they embraced her exactly as she was. Jazz is like many girls. She likes the color pink. She likes to dance. She likes to play soccer. She is just your average kid. Through her book, Jazz is teaching other kids that it is okay to be who you are and that there are people who will support who you are, no matter what.

I thought this book was very sweet and perfect for it's audience. I did some research on the true story behind the book and found Jazz to be an incredible young woman. She has overcome so much and has made many positive changes for others going through the same things. Despite the negativity surrounding this book, I am so proud of Jazz for writing it. I am certain that it has helped many children; both those transitioning themselves and helping other children to understand the process. This book is so child friendly. It uses simple vocabulary that be understood by young readers but it still very impactful. I don't feel like the subject matter is "dumbed-down" as often happens in these kind of books. I can see how it would be so useful in a daycare or school environment with young child. I can even see it being a great discussion starter for teens and adults, not just for children. 

Happy Reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...