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Places I Never Meant To Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers Paperback – June 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689842589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689842580
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this provocative collection, Judy Blume, the censors' favorite target, assembles an all-star cast of young adult writers who have themselves felt the pain of censorship. Each contributes an original short story and some highly quotable observations on their own experiences and feelings when under attack. "Where once I went to my writing without a backward glance," writes Norma Fox Mazer, "now I sometimes have to consciously clear my mind of those shadowy censorious presences." The entries range from Jacqueline Woodson's ironic story of a neighborhood's casual acceptance of arson, to Harry Mazer's touching tale of a tough kid redeemed by a little boy's adoration. Two stories are especially intriguing to connoisseurs of teen fiction: Chris Lynch's "Lie, No Lie"--a selection that appears not to have made the cut for his novel Whitechurch--in which Pauly sets his friend up for embarrassment in a gay bath house; and the late Norma Klein's "Something Which Is Non-Existent," a previously unpublished story written in 1959 when this much-censored author was in college. Other stories by Katherine Paterson, Rachel Vail, Julius Lester, Walter Dean Myers, Susan Beth Pfeffer, Paul Zindel, Norma Fox Mazer, and David Klass contribute to this showcase of stellar talent. (Ages 11 to 16) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Blume introduces 12 stories by distinguished yet sometimes censored writers, including Julius Lester, Katherine Paterson and Walter Dean Myers. Ages 12-up. (June)n

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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See all 12 customer reviews
They're real stories about real problems teenagers face.
Amazon Customer
In this book, it gives you a brief summary of their thoughts and experiences with censorship.
John Gallagher
I am 26 years old, but I love kids books still and an old favorite is Judy Blume.
purpleyoshi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By purpleyoshi on June 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am 26 years old, but I love kids books still and an old favorite is Judy Blume. I have read every word that she has ever printed that I can get my hands on. So when I came across this book, I bought it immediately, especially when I saw names like Norma Klein, another favorite of mine, Julius Lester, a professor of mine at the University of Massachusetts, Walter Dean Myers, Katherine Paterson and others that I used to love to read. All of these stories are engaging and thought provoking and I really believe any lover of fiction, who believes in educating children and not sheltering them, should read this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By LLH on June 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
I loved these short stories. In some of them, I had difficulty understanding why they would be censored. So, okay, my favorite, Paul Zindel's "Love and Centipedes," is a little insane. It was also utterly perverse and simultaneously sickening and hilarious. This one is a real treat and focuses on one girl's infatuation with a popular high school jock with a cheerleader girlfriend. I also enjoyed Walter Dean Myer's "The Beast is in the Labyrinth," a look at the damaging effects of drug abuse (why would anyone have a problem with this story??) Other goodies include Julian Lester's "Spear" and another story called "Ashes," but just about every single one of these stories has something to offer. This book doesn't insult the reader's intelligence by hiding away subjects that it deems you are too immature to handle that exist out there in the world. I highly recommend it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "rookie2k" on August 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Censorship has been plaguing our society for years. I haven't been ignorant to it, but some of the issues that the authors of the stories in this book discussed hit very close to home with me. They help reinforce that censorship can be a very ugly thing that, in some cases, is a worse fate than silencing an author altogether, for it often attacks their judgment and self-esteem. A wonderful read, it's also important to note that all royalties produced from the sale of this book go straight to the National Coalition Against Censorship.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kelcony on August 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Places I Never Meant To Be is a collection of short stories written by censored writers accompanied by each writer's personal experience with censorship. While the stories are mostly good, some of them are a little 2 dimensional simply because they didn't have enough time to develop their characters and/or situations.
I personally enjoyed the commentary more than the stories simply because it introduced me to an issue that I knew very little about. I was a little ashamed when my own hometown was mentioned as being a place where ludicrous censorship has taken place.
If you're not much for short stories, you might do well to simply read the introduction and each author's point of view. If you are, then you will probably enjoy this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Gallagher on June 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
I could not put this book down! This kept me up and reading threw the night. Within this book, authors tell their stories, of why there book was banned, what their thoughts were, and it makes you ask yourself, "Was it necessary for this book to have been banned"? Authors like Judy Blume, David Klass, and Norma Klein all join together to express their feelings in the fight against National Censorship. These authors are all apart of the National Coalition Against Censorship. In this book, it gives you a brief summary of their thoughts and experiences with censorship. Then there is a chapter or two, on one of their own books. It really opens your eyes to the world of censorship.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Suyo on April 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
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 feel fresh and new despite being, for the most part, heavily addressed topics.

The other stories are still good for the most part but fail to hit the high notes of the strongest offerings in the collection. The book is worth reading for inventive and fresh adolescent fiction and great insights into censorship, although it's likely that middle and high school level readers would get the most out of this collection.
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