On Monday, April 24 – the start of National Library Week and inaugural Right to Read Day, join Unite Against Book Bans partners for a special virtual discussion of the forthcoming Prime Video documentary Judy Blume Forever. Register here!
Leaders from the American Library Association, National Coalition Against Censorship, and PEN America will sit down with the documentary’s co-directors to discuss Judy Blume’s trailblazing work and the unprecedented surge of censorship sweeping across the country today. The full panel includes:
Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, American Library Association President
Christopher Finan, National Coalition Against Censorship Executive Director
Suzanne Nossel, PEN America CEO
Pat R. Scales, author, advocate, and retired librarian
Leah Wolchok & Davina Pardo, Judy Blume Forever co-directors
Produced by Amazon Studios, Judy Blume Forever tells the story of how Blume’s books, which for decades have been challenged and banned in libraries across the country for their radical honesty and frankness about puberty and sex, changed the way millions of young readers understand themselves, their sexuality, and what it means to grow up. Several of Blume’s books, including Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret., Here’s to You Rachel Robinson, and Forever have appeared on list of frequently challenged titles for children and young adults tracked by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.
“I think the kids have a right to read and to get honest answers to their questions,” says a young Blume in the trailer.
The documentary features interviews with an array of celebrities, banned authors, and young readers who have all been impacted by Blume’s work, including comedian Samantha Bee, actress Molly Ringwald, and author Jason Reynolds.
“I don’t think that Judy Blume wrote her books to be timeless,” says Jason Reynolds in the trailer. “I think she wrote her books to be timely, and they were so timely that they became timeless.”
Blume continues to speak out against censorship. At Variety’s Power of Women luncheon on April 4, Blume gave a passionate speech about the right to read. “We are right back where we were in the ’80s except it’s the ’80s on steroids,” Blume said. “This time it’s not the moral majority or only the religious right. This time it is coming from our government. Lawmakers, drunk with power, with a need to control everything. Sure it’s still sexuality, but it’s gender, it’s LGBTQ+, it’s racism, it’s history itself that’s under fire.”
Judy Blume Forever premiers on Friday, April 21 on Amazon Prime. Check out the trailer below, and join us for the virtual discussion on Monday, April 24, at 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT.
Featured Image: Panel invitation via Amazon Studios.