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Children's Fiction Girls & Women


Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls

edited by Deb Loughead & Jocelyn Shipley

Three O'Clock Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2008
Girls & Women, General, Short Stories
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2008
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 13 to 15
  • Grade: 8 to 9


Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls is a brash new collection of fifteen original stories about girls who stand against convention, and girls who wish they could. In turn hilarious, edgy, comforting, intense, the collection is about holding back and letting loose, about sex and glamour and common sense. Here are heroes that strike a chord and make us think. Just like all of us, the girls in these stories have to deal with whatever life decides to throw at them. Some approach their challenges in startling ways. An academically gifted girl tries to apply logic to love and puberty. Another young girl shocks her bunkmates in a bible camp when she confides that her mother is waxed completely bare 'down there.' A teenager sees her own body in a new light when partygoers come across a portrait of her mother's post-mastectomy figure. A high school student offers a peek inside the change room, where bras are either not made small enough, or are mortifyingly like body armour that only your grandmother would wear. The innovative stories in this collection are all about taking pride in wearing our bodies just the way they are. They're about hating our mothers and loving them, fitting in and breaking out. These characters articulate ways of looking at the world, of looking at others and of seeing life's possibilities. Touching on a range of issues from cosmetic surgery and makeup, and unhealthy attitudes toward eating, to sexuality and teens' impressions of their own and others' bodies, these stories challenge stifling mainstream notions of beauty and femininity.

About the authors

Deb Loughead is the author of more than twenty-five books for children and young adults. She completed an English degree at the University of Toronto before working as a copy editor. She turned to creative writing after deciding to stay home to raise her three sons. Deb's books have been translated into seven languages, and her award-winning poetry and adult fiction have appeared in a variety of Canadian publications. In addition to having extensive experience with educational writing, Deb has conducted workshops and held readings at schools, festivals and conferences across the country. She has written and directed children’s plays and taught creative writing classes for adults in Toronto. Deb likes to spend her non-writing time reading, knitting or hanging around horses as a therapeutic riding volunteer. Deb lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, visit

Deb Loughead's profile page

Born in London, Ontario, Jocelyn always knew she would be a writer. She has attended The Humber School for Writers, and writes for both children and adults. Her award-winning stories have appeared in anthologies, newspapers and magazines. Her books for teens include Getting A Life, Cross My Heart and Seraphina's Circle. Getting a Life and Cross My Heart were Canadian Children's Book Centre "Our Choice" selections. Seraphina's Circle was nominated for the 2007/2008 BC Stellar Award, listed in Resource Links Best of 2006, and featured in the Anne of Green Gables Book Club.

Jocelyn Shipley's profile page

Librarian Reviews

Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls

An edgy new collection of 15 stories about girls who challenge convention and those who wish they could. Hilarious, comforting and intense, these stories make us think more about taking pride in wearing our bodies just the way they are.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

Other titles by Deb Loughead

Other titles by Jocelyn Shipley