I Am J


Author: Cris Beam

Title:  I Am J

Genre: Realistic Fiction, GLBTQ

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 352

Geographical Setting: New York

Time Period: Early Present Day

Plot Summary:  J always felt different.  He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was; a boy mistakenly born as a girl.  Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a “real boy” and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible, from his family, from his friends, from the world.  But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he’s done hiding, it’s time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.  This is an inspiring story of self-discovery, of choosing to stand up for yourself, and of finding your own path.

Subject Headings: Transsexuals, Rejection(Psychology), Emotional problems of teenagers, Identity (Psychology), Friendship, Transgender teenagers, Female-to-male transsexuals, Seventeen-year-olds, Teenagers

Appeal: Character-driven, Issue-oriented, Emotionally intense, easy, dramatic, evocative, moving, thoughtful, inspiring, lifelike, realistic, sympathetic, well-developed, inspirational, though-provoking,
contemporary, urban, engaging

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Character-driven, Issue-oriented, Emotionally intense

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Transitions – A Guide To Transitioning for Transsexuals and Their Families by Mara Drummond

Having a gender identity that conflicts with one’s physical gender is a huge emotional burden. The anxiety, stress and depression that can result from having such a conflict can push a person to the point where everything in life that is held dear is risked to undertake one of the hardest challenges a human being can make: transitioning from one gender to the other. Anyone with interests in transgender and how they deal with the transition should pick up this book.

Helping Your Transgender Teen: A Guide for Parents by Irwin Krieger

According to the author, “Today’s teens have access to a wealth of information on the internet. Teenagers who are wondering about gender identity soon find out what it means to be transgender or transsexual. Parents, on the other hand, know little about this topic. When a teenager declares he or she is transgender, parents fear that their child is confused and is choosing a life fraught with danger. I wrote this book to help parents of transgender teens gain an understanding of this complex subject.” “Helping Your Transgender Teen” begins with the basic information you and your family need.  Another good source for anyone wanting to know more about what J goes through in the book.

Letters For My Brothers by Zander Keig

In today’s fast paced world, the internet can provide quick answers to personal questions. But when an individual raised by society to live, breathe and look at the world with female eyes transitions to male, some of the most enlightening, helpful and profound advice can only come in retrospect. Letter to my Brothers, features essays from respected transmen mentors who share the wisdom they wish they would have known at the beginning of their journey into manhood.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

f2m (the boy within) by Hazel Edwards

School-leaver Skye plays guitar in her all-female Chronic Cramps band. Making her name in the punk/indie scene is easier than FTM (female to male) transitioning: from Skye to Finn, from girl to man. Uncovering genetic mysteries about family heritage tear the family apart. Trans gender identity is more than injections and surgery, it’s about acceptance. Going public, Finn sings ftm lyrics on TV. With a little help from bemused mates and family who don’t want to lose a daughter, but who love their teenager, Finn is transitioning.  Anyone who finds the subject matter of I am J interesting will fall into this book’s story.

Almost perfect by Brian Katcher

Logan Witherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Sage Hendricks befriends Logan at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won’t tell Logan why. One day, Logan acts on his growing feelings for Sage. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy. Another realistic portrayal of teens and sexual identity that fans of I Am J will like.

Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger

Angela Katz-McNair has never felt quite right as a girl, but it’s a shock to everyone when she cuts her hair short, buys some men’s clothes, and announces she’d like to be called by a new name, Grady. Grady is happy about his decision to finally be true to himself, despite the practical complications, like which gym locker room to use. And though he didn’t expect his family and friends to be happy about his decision, he also didn’t expect kids at school to be downright nasty about it. But as the victim of some cruel jokes, Grady also finds unexpected allies in this thought-provoking novel that explores struggles any reader can relate to.  Fans of I Am J will find this novel interesting for the emotional journey the main character takes from female to male.

Name: Jason Rock


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: