Judy Blume — the famed author of “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” whose books have been on banned lists since the 1980s — is taking a stand against the recent surge in censorship.
During a screening of her new documentary “Forever Judy Blume,” the YA author, whose 1975 book, “Forever,” was just removed from shelves in Marin County, Fla., in March, told us “This is America. We are supposed to celebrate all the freedoms that we have. One is the freedom to read.”
Florida has passed legislation that has led to confusion over the removal of books. According to a report, more than 350 books have been banned in Florida school districts since last summer.
Blume tells us, “People need different kinds of books. Kids need different kinds of books. Sometimes they need to find themselves in books. That’s not necessarily a book for everyone, but it’s a book for that person. Books can save lives, I know this for a fact.”
In the documentary, out on Amazon Prime, Blume and her readers share their correspondence over the years, with the author helping them through difficult times.
Blume’s 1970 book “Are You There God?” — currently a film starring Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates — has been banned over the years, as have her novels “Blubber” and “Dene.”
She has worked actively with the National Coalition Against Censorship.
There have been several news stories recently about librarians being attacked, a move Blume calls “insane.”
“Librarians help,” she told Page Six. “To berate librarians… the whole thing is insane.”
According to PEN America, recent books that have been targeted are those that feature characters of color or themes of race or racism and those covering LGBTQ characters and themes.
Blume thinks there is a movement to “erase history” amid the book bans.
“Every book about racism, that’s history,” she tells us. “Are we going to stop history because it’s not pretty?”