Places I Never Meant to Be
Judy asked prominent authors whose writing has been censored or challenged to contribute an original story to a collection that would benefit the National Coalition Against Censorship. The response was overwhelming.
Featuring stories by David Klass, Norma Klein, Julius Lester, Chris Lynch, Harry Mazer, Norma Fox Mazer, Walter Dean Myers, Katherine Paterson, Susan Beth Pfeffer, Rachel Vail, Jacqueline Woodson and Paul Zindel, with an Introduction by Judy Blume. All authors’ royalties from this book go to the National Coalition Against Censorship.
When Leanne Katz, the first executive director of NCAC, was very ill, David Gale, an editor at Simon and Schuster called me. We were talking about Leanne when David suggested we do something to celebrate her life and work. I’d never edited a book of stories and consider myself a hopeless short story writer, but as soon as David came up with the idea, I knew we had to do it. Not only would the book honor Leanne, it would benefit NCAC. And Leanne was always trying to come up with fund raising ideas. She was smart, funny, and unrelenting in her support for, and belief in, intellectual freedom. She loved the idea of the book, not because it would honor her, but because it was a way to raise much needed funds for NCAC. Sadly, she died before the book was published.
I was talking on the phone with Rachel Vail, one of the authors who contributed a story to the book, and told her I couldn’t come up with a title. She said, “Well, in every story the main character is in a place he never meant to be. How about that for the title?” Perfect!
To Leanne Katz. She was, and will always be, one of my heroes.
“Blume, one of the most honored and most censored authors of books for children and YAs, here presents a purposeful anthology of stories by 12 writers, who also have both been honored and come under censorial attack. Blume’s impassioned introduction sets the stage by noting some of her own experiences with censorship and her discovery of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC).”