Censored Writers Share Stories

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Places I Never Meant to Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers

Edited by Judy Blume

Young Adult, 198 pages

This book is a collection of short stories by authors whose work was either challenged or banned. After each story the author provides their censorship beliefs and personal experiences.  The stories are diverse from losing virginity, being mugged, education struggles, family responsibilities, and more. Each character finds himself or herself in a place they weren’t meant to be. The book provides resources to contact if a book becomes threatened and censored. Also, there is a note from the director of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC). The book’s sales benefit the NCAC. I think this is a great book for a sneak about censorship at a personal level from authors themselves.

In the age of censorship I mourn the loss of books that will never be written, I mourn the voices that will be silenced – writers’ voices, teachers’ voices, students’ voices – and all because of fear. How many have resorted to self-censorship? How many are saying to themselves, “Nope…can’t write about that. Can’t teach that book. Can’t have that book in our collection. Can’t let my student write that editorial in the school paper.”

– Judy Blume

Authors featured:

Judy Blume
Norma Fox Mazer 
Julius Lester
Rachel Vail
Katherine Paterson
Jacqueline Woodson
Harry Mazer
Walter Dean Myers
Susan Beth Pfeffer
David Klass
Paul Zindel
Chris Lynch
Norma Klein

9 thoughts on “Censored Writers Share Stories

    pix & kardz said:
    September 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    One of my favourite novels of all time has been deemed banned – for ironically the same reason as the point the author is arguing for: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Apparently some parents took offense at the language and terms in the book – which were common at the time – and so a beautiful book which cries for equality while demonstrating that bigotry and prejudice are both cruel and pointless, is being removed from school shelves, and silenced.

      Caroline responded:
      September 28, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      To Kill a Mockingbird is also one of my favorite books. I highly agree, because I think it’s a book everyone should read. It’s almost funny that many of my favorite books have been ‘forbidden’ by others. Everyone should celebrate their right to read. Thanks for the comment.

    didta7 said:
    September 29, 2011 at 3:25 am

    nice book, cant wait to read it

      Caroline responded:
      September 29, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      Normally, I’m not a fan of short stories but it was a fresh perspective. Thanks for the comment.

    creativeisthmus said:
    September 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    What an amazing reminder to speak our own truths…I love the Judy Bloome quote and realized, I’ve found myself guilty of that as well–self censorship. I agree, censorship is one of most tragic things in society–self-censorship feels like the most basic form. Such a loss! Thank you for the reminder to free the mind and voice! I’m going to have to check this one out!

      Caroline responded:
      September 29, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      It’s unfortunate that writers second guess themselves whether their work will be appreciated by others. It’s not possible to please everyone, since we all have different tastes and opinions. Writers should express themselves freely and give their full talent. Thanks for the comment.

    Dayle Fraschilla said:
    October 1, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Another one that is definitely on my list now!

      Caroline responded:
      October 1, 2011 at 10:09 am

      I don’t really like short stories, but I liked hearing from authors about their ideas with censorship. Often those books may not even be written if there’s fear that the book may be challenged and not read by others. Even Judy Blume’s editor mentioned it when writing a book. Thanks for your comment.

    […] at Children’s Books and More has been discussing various banned books. She also highlighted Place I Never Meant to Be, a collection of short stories written by censored […]

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