Beloved children’s book author Judy Blume warned during a recent appearance at the San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival that the left’s unyielding effort to create a world where no one is ever offended by anything is a threat to literature.
“After the presidential election of 1980 … it was like the censors came out of the woodwork,” Blume said of censorship pushed at the time by the religious right. “And … the feeling was ‘it’s our turn now, and if we don’t want our children to read these books no children should read these books.’ And it’s going on to this day, not with my books necessarily, but with books in general.”
Even if her books aren’t being singled out by censors today, Blume — the author of such titles as “Blubber” and “Then Again, Maybe I Won’t” — is no stranger to having her works come under the scrutiny of the nation’s literary nannies.
In November 2013, Banned Books Awareness offered this history of efforts to ban “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret” — perhaps Blume’s most famous work of children’s literature:
The number of public libraries and schools where this book has been challenged is astounding, but it was outright removed from the elementary school libraries in Gilbert, Arizona in 1980 and ordered that parental consent be required for students to check it out from the junior high school.
It was challenged in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Fund du Lac, Wisconsin school systems in 1982 because the book is “sexually offensive and amoral.”
Also in 1982, it was restricted in Zimmerman, Minnesota to students who had written permission from their parents. After the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union sued the Elk River, Minnesota school board (1983), the Board reversed its decision.