Thanks to Judy Blume, many children of the ’80s never needed “The Talk” about the birds and bees. All a kid had to do then was pick up a book such as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and have all their questions answered about puberty answered. But Blume’s frank writing about topics thought too taboo for children hasn’t come without a price. Although Blume, 75, remains one of the most beloved YA authors in the nation, many of her books have wound up on banned books list. During a recent Q&A with Rookie magazine, Blume discussed why censors have targeted her books and those of rising YA authors today.
Blume on Censorship She’s Faced:
“The people who came after me in the ’80s were religious zealots. After that we went from extreme right-wing religious zealots to some extreme left-wing zealots who wanted to remove Huck Finn [from libraries]. If you listen to all these people, pretty soon you won’t have anything left. When you start telling readers what they can read and what they can’t, or teachers what they can teach and what they can’t, you’re on dangerous ground.”
Blume on Censorship Today:
“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian [by Sherman Alexie] is a book that the [National Coalition Against Censorship] has to defend all of the time these days. Kids like it, and it is fascinating. We don’t have a lot of books about a kid who grows up poor on a reservation and gets beaten up at another school and then makes it. It’s a great story.”
Click here for the full interview.