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

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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  773 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Judy Blume asked prominent authors whose writing has been censored or challenged to contribute an original story to a collection that will benefit the National Coalition Against Censorship. The response was overwhelming and the results are simply extraordinary. The main characters of these stories find themselves in places they never meant to be: trapped in a basement with ...more
Hardcover, 198 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Melinda
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lexie
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dee
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aj Sterkel
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 c
...more
Polly
Jan 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Melissa
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
A great collection of short stories about real teanagers with real issues.
Elizabeth Kuhns
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kate Stango
This is a pretty unique piece of literature: a collection of short stories written by writers who have had their previous work censored, and this work contains not only the stories, but also notes from each author on why they believe censorship of literature is wrong and unnecessary. When I first picked up the book, I was skeptical of the message, typically because when I hear people saying they don't like being censored, I usually assume there's a good reason for that censorship, such as racism ...more
Jim Woolwine
This book took me in a different direction. It is a collection of short stories by authors whose works primarily directed at middle and high school age audiences have been censored. Censored either by a publisher, a purchasing agent, school district or library, parents, the public or self-censored.

The authors convey that real or perceived censorship has a claustrophobic effect on their artistic creation and expression. The result is real: books don't sell and authors aren't paid for their work.
...more
Branden Markevich
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick easy ready that includes short stories that would otherwise be examples of censored writing, glad I picked this up because there is a few stories in this book that really caught my interest. A few of the other stories did not. However it’s insane to think how many of these authors could have been or have been stunted just by angry butthurt parents that are ashamed to talk about basic issues like sex, masturbation and menstruation. Authors try to open the door to these issues and allow pa ...more
Karen L.
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Brynn
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This anthology was pretty good. I enjoyed that it did not have a true theme and it was a bunch of fairly random stories all put together to promote the abolition of censorship. Overall a cool read. Some of the stories were rather weird though.
Liz
Several different voices throughout the different stories. I especially enjoyed the author's note regarding their views about their story and/or censorship.
Patricia
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent collection of short stories by authors whose books have been banned/censored. Interesting to read their opinions on censorship and how it feels as an author. Mature content.
Isabel Willems
I absolutely love the theme of fighting back against censorship but most of the stories were sort of dull.
Wendopolis
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hello, old friends.
Emily
Jan 29, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Amancay
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
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
Jamie
Nov 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Moira
May 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
English315/educ510
Oct 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Denise
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Miguel
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
...more
Cayden Kelly
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa
Mar 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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
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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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