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Judy Blume, James Patterson and other authors are helping PEN America open Florida office

AP National Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Judy Blume, James Patterson and Michael Connelly are among 24 prominent writers who have raised more than $3 million to help PEN America open a center in Miami and expand it efforts to counter Florida’s surge in book bannings in recent years. Other authors contributing money include Amanda Gorman, Nora Roberts, David Baldacci, Suzanne Collins and Todd Parr. The announcement comes in the midst of Banned Books Week, when schools and libraries highlight works that have been subjected to challenges or removals. It follows reports last month from PEN and the American Library Association on school and library censorship.

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