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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

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  683 Ratings  ·  86 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
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Simon & Schuster (first published August 1st 1999)
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Apr 29, 2012 Melinda rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 29, 2009 Lexie rated it really liked it
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
Aj Sterkel
Aug 18, 2015 Aj Sterkel rated it liked it
Places I Never Meant To Be is a collection of young adult short stories and essays that contain material that is often banned by schools and libraries. The stories deal with issues surrounding love, race, class, sex/sexuality, illness/dying, abuse, bullying, homelessness, and moral dilemmas. All of the stories are tastefully done. The authors aren’t pushing boundaries just for the sake of pushing boundaries. Even the fantastical stories deal with issues that real teens face.

The anthology also co
Jan 24, 2009 Polly rated it really liked it
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
Oct 03, 2012 Dee rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2012
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
Feb 04, 2009 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
A great collection of short stories about real teanagers with real issues.
Elizabeth Kuhns
Sep 06, 2016 Elizabeth Kuhns rated it really liked it
It was a unique perspective to see some writing from authors with censored books. The stories all felt very genuine and real, but yes because of this there were some mature themes.
May 08, 2017 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great short stories plus fascinating reflections on censorship in the United States. Though this book was published in 1999, don't think for one moment that it isn't still important today, and maybe even MORE important. If you're of a certain age (like me!) and remember Judy Blume as THE author you read for honesty about life, then you'll recognize the other authors in this book, too. Aside from just enjoying these dramatic short stories, you should read it just to remember how important these a ...more
Stephanie A.
Jan 23, 2017 Stephanie A. rated it did not like it
Across 4 years of handwritten high school reading lists, this is the only book I ever gave 0 stars. I didn't even consider zeroes to be valid ratings, but that is how much I hated this. My takeaway was basically, "So you're a banned author? If this is what you're like, then good riddance."
Jan 29, 2010 Emily rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2010
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'
Renee Hall
Jun 02, 2011 Renee Hall rated it liked it
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
Nov 01, 2009 Jamie rated it really liked it
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
Karen Sterling
Jan 22, 2016 Karen Sterling rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Okay. Before you read this review I need to clarify. While the short stories included here were fine, they were not what earned my star rating. My rating is specifically for the additional informatsion included with each entry, specifically, an assawy by each contributing author about what it meant for them, as an author, to deal with being censored. Authors fielded the question in different ways, some taking a broader look at censorship in general, while some labelled some the the groups they h ...more
Megan Bodwell
Jul 10, 2012 Megan Bodwell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
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
May 01, 2011 Moira rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 14, 2011 Denise rated it really liked it
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
Oct 17, 2010 English315/educ510 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sex, drugs, runaways, death
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
Kailyn Gilliam
This collection of short stories would be interesting for a middle school classroom; however, some may be necessary. By teaching the power of voice and letting someone knows their voice matters, there are topics discussed in this collection that some students need to hear. The place of censorship brings in an interesting binary in the place of how voice can be used in writing, however still not be accepted.

For using this book in a middle grade classroom, I would work to have the permission of p
Mar 06, 2012 Miguel rated it really liked it
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
Cayden Kelly
Oct 27, 2016 Cayden Kelly rated it really liked it
Places I Never Meant to Be, by Judy Blume, is a short story book where all authors have had expirence with censorship. The book is very intereging at first because the reader is exposed to language and activitys, such as curse words and substance abuse, that differs from other materials read before because other authors censor themselves. I give this a 4 star rating because while the book starts of interesting and inspiring to read more but the storys become longer and less interesting by the en ...more
Mar 10, 2008 Lisa rated it liked it
(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
Christine (KizzieReads)
I was going to read this over several days, but decided to power through and finish it, as I really wanted to stop reading it. The first couple of stories were ok, but the last several were not so good. I found that a few left you hanging. The lead up to something, and you are left wondering what the hell did I just read, and where is the rest of the story. One or two of them didn't even make sense, and I found that a few were just trying too hard to be something great and meaningful, but failed ...more
Danny Regan
Nov 24, 2014 Danny Regan rated it really liked it
A great short story book that tells good stories without the writers worrying about censorship. This entire book had stories written by authors whose books were banned due to people getting overly butthurt about topics for bullcrap reasons. The stories do cover topics some might consider "offensive" but, they are good stories, and they treat the serious topics as serious topics and don't try to sugarcoat it. An overall good book that I'd reccomend to a lot of people
Teri Dona
Mar 12, 2015 Teri Dona rated it really liked it
I learned a lot from reading what censored authors think and feel about censorship, not just for their own works but as a concept. Some of the short stories were pretty dark. One in particular had me laughing most of the way through up until it turned sinister but then ended peacefully. I recommend this book for anyone who sees no only the injustice of but also the condition of lack set up by censorship.
Kristy McRae
Jul 26, 2011 Kristy McRae rated it it was amazing
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!
Jul 01, 2010 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jenn-curless
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.
Mar 22, 2010 Evarrn rated it it was ok
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.
Jul 21, 2009 Aneri rated it liked it
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
Jun 29, 2013 Sonya Huser rated it really liked it
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!
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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.” 20 likes
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