I Am J

…opens your eyes to a whole new world that most wouldn’t even know exists

Written by Cris Beam

Meet J. She’s your typical teen living in New York with her parents: a great photographer, was on the swim team, has a best friend named Melissa. The only thing is, J thinks she’s a boy. His whole life he knew he was a boy and his whole life he’d been called a freak for trying to look like a boy. Now it’s J’s time to become who he knows he is. Once he finds out about Testosterone shots, for the first time he see’s hope in his future.

Cris Beam’s book I Am J really opens your eyes to a whole new world that most of us wouldn’t even know exists, a world were you can be accepted and loved even though you may be different. She shows you should never be afraid of who you are!

Review by Marie Orton, Skyline High School
Rating: ★★★½✩ (3.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 10-12

Cris Beam – Official Website

I Am J
Written by Cris Beam
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
326 pages
Release Date: March 1, 2011
ISBN: 9780316053617 (hardcover)

Publisher’s Blurb

“Hola, Jeni.”

J spun. His stomach clenched hard, as though he’d been hit. It was just the neighbor lady, Mercedes. J couldn’t muster a hello back, not now; he didn’t care that she’d tell his mom he’d been rude. She should know better. Nobody calls me Jeni anymore.

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.

An inspiring story of self-discovery, of choosing to stand up for yourself, and of finding your own path – readers will recognize a part of themselves in J’s struggle to love his true self.

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