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

And now, the best for last! Judy Blume, a veteran YA author who’s taken many pot-shots for her ground-breaking novels, has assembled and edited some awesome shorts by other YA authors who have had to deal with censorship. The stories themselves aren’t ABOUT censorship, but showcase some really fine writing that perhaps censors wouldn’t let us read if they had their way. I don’t think there was a story here I didn’t love. Julius Lester writes about the son of a civil rights hero who falls for the only white girl in his African American lit. class. Paul Zindel writes about the revenge wrecked on an evil cheerleader by a lonely fat girl. Rachel Vail writes about a female basketball star who, after having sex for the first time, wonders what all the hoopla was about. And Walter Dean Myers delivers a lyrical, beautifully written story about how hard it is for his main character to reconcile his campus life at a small liberal arts college with his home life in Harlem, where his sister is slowly losing her battle with drugs. And each story comes with a personal note from the author about their thoughts on censorship. Really fantastic stuff. I envy you if you haven’t read it yet, ’cause you’re in for a delicious treat. I ate it all up in two days flat!

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