Fearless Storyteller (And Most Banned Children’s Author) Turns 72

Feb 12, 2010 • Books, Culture

blumeJudy Blume’s children and young adult novels have covered everything from racism to menstruation to religion and sex. Her dedication to writing about difficult issues for the younger set has resulted in her fair share of controversy. She is one of the most challenged children’s authors of all time.

On her site, Blume writes about censorship:

I believe that censorship grows out of fear, and because fear is contagious, some parents are easily swayed. Book banning satisfies their need to feel in control of their children’s lives. This fear is often disguised as moral outrage. They want to believe that if their children don’t read about it, their children won’t know about it. And if they don’t know about it, it won’t happen.

Today, it’s not only language and sexuality (the usual reasons given for banning my books) that will land a book on the censors’ hit list. It’s Satanism, New Age-ism and a hundred other isms, some of which would make you laugh if the implications weren’t so serious. Books that make kids laugh often come under suspicion; so do books that encourage kids to think, or question authority; books that don’t hit the reader over the head with moral lessons are considered dangerous.

Since the 1980s, when she found herself the target of censorship, Blume has been reaching out to other writers, as well as teachers and librarians, under fire, and working tirelessly with the National Coalition Against Censorship to protect the freedom to read. She is the editor of Places I Never Meant To Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers.

Thanks for telling it like it is, Judy. Happy birthday.

Image via Answers.com.