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

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  527 ratings  ·  64 reviews
"What effect does [the climate of censorship] have on a writer?....It's chilling.
It's easy to become discouraged, to second-guess everything you write. There seemed to be no one to stand up to the I began to speak out about my experiences. And once I did, I found that I wasn't as alone as I'd thought."
-- from Judy Blume's introduction to Places I Never Me...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Simon Pulse (first published August 1st 1999)
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Melinda Dye - Short Stories

From the introduction (by one of my favorite authors, Judy Blume) to the last punctuation mark, "Places Never Meant to Be" is a stunning collection of short stories from some of today's most highly regarded young adult authors. Walter Dean Myers writes about a Harlem youth who goes to college in rural Pennsylvania to get away from the dangers of the city; David Klass shares a tale of a verbally and mentally abusive baseball camp coach; Rachel Vail writes about a young...more
I first picked this book up on a whim. I heard about it from another source a few years back and saw that it had several authors in it that I read as a child/middle schooler. At the time I had little experience with censorship or banned books (my school district, by in large, held an indifferent opinion towards the reading material of their students) so when I saw that Judy Blume had been censored several times I kind of stared in stupification. It's Judy Blume for crying out loud--she was almos...more
Places I never meant to be, contains a collection of censorable short stories from different authors but edited by Judy Blume. The short stories are all very touching, close to reality and all of them will leave the readers with a memorable lesson, sadness or realization. I love the style of most of the author because I can easily engage in the stories and I can feel the characters from the beginning to the end. Also after each stories you will realize an obvious but deep moral in life.
For exa...more
was really looking forward to it, but the stories were a bit of a let down - most of them seemed incomplete and needing something. the best part was the reflections by each author at the end of each story about their experiences with censorship
A great collection of short stories about real teanagers with real issues.
May 01, 2011 Moira rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Moira by: Brigid
Wow. I picked up the book because of the title, with no real thought behind the subject matter of the book. It didn't matter, I was hooked from the introduction. I've never thought about censorship that much; just never really remember hearing about it, except when some group wanted to ban the Harry Potter series and all I could think was "What kind of moron can't tell the difference between a work of fiction that encourages imagination, and an attempt to turn children into devil worshipers?" Bu...more
With few exceptions, the short stories brought together here seem like half-thought out throwaways. I imagine Judy Blume's siren call beckoned to many authors, but those authors in turn selected stories from discard piles and the whole lot of them were haphazardly thrown together. With all the profits going to the challenge of censorship, I wonder if that plus the name(s) attached were deemed all that was necessary to get it sold? Bully to quality?

Exceptional to this were two stories. David Klas...more
This book, Places I Never Meant to Be, by David Klass, Norma Klien, Julius Lester, Chris Lynch, Harry Mazer, Norma Fox Mazer, Walter Dean Myers, Katherine Patterson, Susan Beth Pfeffer, Rachel Vail, Jacqueline Woodson, and Paul Zindel, is about the authors, their relationships with censors, and examples of teenage stories that they wrote. This book can be defined as quite different than other books because of the fact that not one, but several writters contributed to the publication of this boo...more
Megan Bodwell
This book should not be lent or borrowed from the library. It should be owned, if only to contribute in some small way to making marvelous books available to whomever wishes to read them. Part of the proceeds (or all, I'm not sure) go to help the National Coalition Against Censorship. Each of the original short stories in this book were contributed by an author whose work has been challenged at some point during their career. While not contributing any story herself, the collection was edited by...more
I picked this book up because I had to read a book collection of short stories for a Young Adult literature class. What's really interesting about the book are the comments (short essays) from each author. I really liked the introduction by Judy Bloom because I could see/hear how censorship affected her in her own words. The message from each of the twelve authors was all the same...they wanted to write and to write something they thought that needed to be said; there was no intent on their part...more
I gotta admit this book was a bit of a dissapointment. I opened it with quite a few expectations, since the topic of being challenged and censored and doing something against it seemed amazing to me and so thought the stories would be. Nothing farthest from reality: only a few ones are good, some are lame and almost the majority of them look really, really interesting and awesome from the beginning but then start to lose it towards the end, when the end isn't completely purposeless and pointless...more
Jan 12, 2011 Amancay added it
Shelves: 2004
it's amazing how fast you can get through a book, when it's a bunch of short stories... you just keep picking it up, or simply can't put it down... always figuring it'll just be a bit longer!

I was seriously challenged, merely in the picking up of this book.
How do I feel about censorship? What would I censor? Does that make it ok? What will I read here? Wil it make me all queasy and uncomfortable?
In the end, I was pleasantly entertained and enjoyed most of it from front to back...
Honestly, could'...more
Have you ever been told "You can't read that until you grow up" by your parents or a teacher? It's frustrating isn't it? This is called censorship, and many writers deal with being censored all the time. This book is a collection of stories written by authors who have been censored at one time or another.

If you are wondering about those book that you were not allowed to read then this is the book for you.
Each story is different and talks about things like: the death of family members, running...more
Renee Hall
Being an anthology, it has the usual mix of stories I liked and other I didn't connect with, but on the whole, this a sharp, fresh, memorable collection by masters of their craft. I really liked Judy Blume's introduction, which blended personal experience with wider perspective, but I wished that more of the authors had used their end commentary to discuss more specifically how censorship had impacted them and their books -- some did, of course, but others stayed more general, and I'm not sure i...more
This book has a fantastic message with great insights from censored writers about how censorship affects their writing and the literary landscape, however the short stories which it contains are hit or miss, but more hit than miss.

The Mazer (well, both Mazers'), Lester, Vail, Myers, Pfeffer, and Zindel pieces are extremely strong addressing issues about race, body image, adolescent love and sexuality, and parental conflict in extremely unique ways. These stories really make their various themes...more
Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy any of the stories. Though I found it interesting to hear from the authors about their views and experience with censorship.
(Young Adult Short Stories) Each one of the writers in the compilation had been censored at some point in time in their life and alongside each story, they share their personal struggles with censorship and their hope for the depletion of it. Sometimes I found their personal statements more interesting than the short stories. Some of the stories I really enjoyed and some were just okay. All in all they provide an ecclectic depiction of the life of a teenager, the strife and the hope that comes w...more
I read Places I Never Meant to Be mostly for the notes about their experiences with censorship that the authors wrote along with their stories, and for Judy Blume's editor's note on censorship. The stories actually didn't really entertain me at all.

I've never really been a fan of most published teenage writing because it always seems like it was written by an adult who can either not relate to the situation at all, or has forgotten what it's truly like to be a teenager.
A collection of short stories from authors who have all found themselves on the banned list for one reason or another. Judy Blume does an amazing job at tackling the topic of censorship in essay form and invites the authors of each story to talk about censorship after their story is showcased. The stories are great, some of them laugh out loud funny--and have amazing coming of age themes that even adults can appreciate. Good good good.
Kristy McRae
There are some great short stories here, by some amazing young adult authors (all of whom have been censored in some manner). But even more enjoyable, for me, were the essays following each story. Each author wrote regarding their feelings and/or personal experiences with censorship. And Judy Blume's introduction was also a very moving and thought-provoking look at censorship. Overall, a terrific compilation!
I was surprised that this book was published in 1999, it felt pretty dated. I liked the idea - stories from censored authors, coupled with commentary about censorship, but found the execution less interesting. Many of the stories felt truncated. I would have liked just a non-fiction examination of the issue of censorship and why it is critical to allow teens to read what appeals to them more.
I was shocked that I was actually shocked by the stories in this anthology. I don't believe in censorship and I do believe that kids should read about being kids, which sometimes involves violence, curse words, and even sex. And then I read this book and have to admit that some of the stories (not all... not even the majority) made me uncomfortable. And that is why I liked it.
Jill Madsen
Unique book edited by Judy Blume. I appreciate all the insight from Blume and other authors of the impact or experiences they have had on censorship. It is amazing to every time I think about some of the books people have tried to take away from readers... really??? The short stories included were also really good and encompassed such a wide range of genres and plots!
This collection of short stories is incredibly varied. There are funny stories and sad stories; stories that make you angry and others that renew your faith in humanity. That being said, the book can at times get boring, depending on your reading taste. However, it is a quick read and each of the authors writes very passionately about their views on censorship.
Sonya Huser
This is a really nice collection of short stories; some of the stories are funny, some disturbing. They're not necessarily stories that would invite censorship, but the authors are all writers who have been the target of censors in their careers.

I've been introduced to some great writers. I can't wait to read something else by Rachel Vail or Chris Lynch!
Love short stories, and these were pretty good, although some of them were very dated. One that was included was copyright 1959, but I think written even earlier, with references to music from the musical "Carousel" as being popular, contemporary music. A little slice of history that might not be all that appreciated by today's teen.
Screw the YA label. Judy Blume writes that in her day, there was no such thing as young adult fiction - there was simply fiction. Adolescents were expected to read books written for adults and rightly so. Likewise, I expect adults to read this magnificent challenge.

Let Harry Potter fill up the YA shelf.
A good, thought-provoking read, especially for those who work with kids or are in LIS. The stories in this book range from "this isn't that bad" to mildly disturbing. Although the stories are interesting, even more fascinating are the short essays from the authors on how they feel about censorship.
Jan 13, 2008 jacky marked it as to-read
Shelves: short-stories
This is a collection of short stories by frequently challenged YA authors. My librarian has mentioned it to me more than once. I have it in my room at the moment as part of a frequently challenged book display. I'm not a big fan of short story collections, but maybe if I read it spaced out?
Jun 10, 2010 Becca added it
I have loved Judy Blume's books since I was young and she is a writer one can grow up with. I trusted her as an expert when picking up this collection of short stories and was correct in doing so...many of these stories changed the way I viewed the world and thought about myself.
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Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We're Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fu...more
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“In this 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.” 2 likes
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