Celebrate strong women during Women’s History Month and all year long!
A creative writing guide for use in the classroom, writing clubs, and future authors!
Books to share with students for supplemental reading this summer!
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Books for curious young readers who always ask why!
Discover a new series from Michael L. Printz Honor and CLA Book of the Year for Children winning author, Kenneth Oppel!
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Top 5 Reasons Platonic Breakups Hurt More than Romantic Ones

When You Were Everything

Ashley Woodfolk Author Essay

Number 5: Platonic toxicity is harder to see.

Toxic relationships take up a lot of space in our zeitgeist. We’re bombarded with TV shows and movies, books and essays about what a toxic romance looks like. We all know what to look out for when examining our own relationships, and even the warning signs to look for if we’re worried our loved ones might be in a troublesome relationship. But there isn’t much time or energy dedicated to having similar conversations around toxic friendships, though much of the behaviors can be the same. As a result, platonic toxicity is harder to identify. You might notice right away if you have a partner who constantly belittles you, but if it’s a friend you’ve known since kindergarten, it’s easier to dismiss the bad behavior as a personality trait. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “Oh that’s just the way they are,” only to later realize that that doesn’t make it okay. Over time, that toxicity, whether it’s emotional manipulation, teasing, codependency or something else, will breed resentment. And because the toxicity is harder to see, we often don’t even know why we’re feeling negatively toward a long-time friend. The time is what makes these breakups so much worse than romantic ones–we can stay in toxic friendships for years longer than we’d stay in a toxic romance. The longer someone’s around, the harder it is to get used to them being gone.

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Featured Resource

Young Adult Creative Writing Guide

In this guide, we’ve given a variety of writing lessons—mini-lessons, mirror lessons, and full-piece prompts—using Holly Jackson’s A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. We’ve highlighted structurally interesting young adult novels and provided suggested discussion questions to help writers think about the effects of each technique or device, and we’ve suggested, organized by genre, incredible young adult novels for writers to read and learn from for their own stories and writing.

Video of the Month

Book of the Month

Not Playing by the Rules: 21 Female Athletes Who Changed Sports

Not Playing by the Rules: 21 Female Athletes Who Changed Sports By Lesa Cline-Ransome

This anthology introduces 21 trailblazing women who have broken through the boundaries set for female athletes. From basketball slam-dunker Lisa Leslie to tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, whose father had onlookers jeer at and taunt the girls as they practiced, to Paralympian Tatyana McFadden, who was a speed demon even at her Russian orphanage before she was adopted, to Olympic gold medalist Ethelda Bleibtrey, who was led off to jail when she shed her shoes and stockings to swim in public, Not Playing by the Rules inspires, informs, and illustrates the strength, determination, and accomplishments of women athletes both yesterday and today.

Author Spotlight

Cheryl Hudson

Cheryl Willis Hudson is vice president and editorial director of Just Us Books, an independent publisher of black-interest books for children and young adults. She has written many books for children, and lives in New Jersey.