Friday, December 29, 2006

Ring in the New Year with New Moon

Girls, what are you doing over the winter break? What is your favorite part of this holiday season? Do you make New Year's resolutions? What are you looking forward to in 2007? Write to to share your thoughts and stories!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Be a Political Journalist!

I'm very excited because yesterday a delivery truck came and brought boxes and boxes and boxes full of the "Letter to Congress" issue of New Moon! I also sent all the web content off to our web designer, so the "Letter to Congress" website should be up at the beginning of January. Make sure to watch your mailboxes for the arrival of this special issue!

Although we've been working on "Letter to Congress" since July, the real excitement is just beginning. We hope the issue will inspire a wave of action around girls' issues. One way to keep the momentum for this issue going is to follow up on the many topics covered in "Letter to Congress"-- from girls' health to animal rights to free speech on the internet.

This is where YOU come in! When you read the "Letter to Congress" issue, pay attention to any issue that really sparks your interest. Then, consider becoming a political journalist blogger for New Moon. As a political journalist blogger, you would pay attention to news and legislation regarding a certain issue. When a bill stalled, got passed, or modified, you'd let New Moon know so we can post it to our blog and keep all our readers updated on the progress of issues addressed in "Letter to Congress." Of course, you'll get a byline (credit) for all your updates!

If you're interested in reporting on political issues, email !

Monday, December 18, 2006

7-year-old Jaedyn writes and publishes to save endangered animals

When we surveyed girls about their political concerns, many of you said you were concerned about the environment, including saving endangered animals. I recently got an email from Jaedyn, age 7, who's written a book about this.

"I wanted to share with you how I am making a difference. When I learned that some animals are in danger of becoming extinct, I knew I had to do something about it. I wasn't sure if other kids knew they could help these animals so I wrote a book to let them know. The best part is that I am going to use the proceeds from the book to help protect animals. My goal is to raise enough money so that I can adopt all the endangered animals. My book is called Last One Left: Saving Endangered Animals. It is professionally illustrated, commercially published and is designed to teach other kids about these animals and let them know there are ways we kids can make a difference! The word is spreading; Last One Left is available in animal sanctuaries in Tampa, Florida; Naples, Florida; and Chipley, Florida as well as in a shop called Essence in Tomball, Texas. But I need your help to make sure everyone knows how important it is to protect our animals and our earth. Will you help me to save endangered animals?"

To learn more, check out Jaedyn's website, Books By Jaedyn. She keeps a blog, too!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ain’t I A Woman?

In 1851, at the Ohio Woman’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner Truth gave her most famous speech on behalf of women’s rights, commonly known as “Ain’t I a Woman?” Last week, the Senate passed a bill that would make Sojourner Truth the first African-American woman honored with a statue in the U.S. Capitol building. Now it’s up to the president to sign the bill.

I’m glad that Sojourner Truth is being recognized, but some people think she should be honored in the Capitol’s “Portrait Monument” instead. Read more about the controversy here, then tell us what YOU think.

Another one of my favorite women from herstory is Fannie Lou Hamer, who stood up for black citizens’ right to vote during the Civil Rights movement. In 1962, Fannie Lou was the first to raise her hand when members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) asked for volunteers from Fannie Lou’s town to go to the courthouse to register to vote. Police beat and jailed Fannie Lou and the other volunteers when they went to the courthouse, but that didn’t stop her from traveling around the country to register other voters.

I have a couple of posters about Fannie Lou by local poet and photographer Sue (Lorenzi) Sojourner hanging in my cubicle. And I learned more about SNCC when I attended the opening of Sue’s Some People of That Place photo exhibit a few years ago. It was amazing--I'm awed by the courage of so many women and men who took a stand!

Who are YOUR favorite women from herstory? Who inspires you? Leave a comment or write to to let us know!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Speak up for the rights of girls

Here in the office, we're very excited because our January/February 2007 issue, "Letter to Congress" is on press RIGHT NOW! Kate, the Executive Editor, will be at the printer's making sure that it looks exactly the way we want it.

When the Letter to Congress issue mails to stores and subscribers, we'll be launching a special section of our website to go with it. I couldn't wait that long to share some of our special content with you, though.

A few days ago, I received a letter from a friend of New Moon who told us about Unicef's Voices of Youth campaign. The Voices of Youth campaign is working to end discrimination and violence against girls, and they want girls' input about where their focus should be. Please check out this website and fill out the questionairre before January 15th, 2007. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

M&M Cookie Recipe (from Hershey's)

Kate brought M&M cookies to the cookie exchange. Try this recipe and let us know how it went by emailing! Happy Baking!

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups M&Ms

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Mix flour, soda, and salt.

3. In separate bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, beat well. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in M&Ms.

4. Bake 8-10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

They're super yummy warm!

Cinnamon-sugar Cookies AKA Snickerdoodles

For the cookie exchange, Catherine brought Snickerdoodles. Make these cookies and let us know how it went by emailing Have Fun!

Makes 48 Prep time: 20 minutes Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes


2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still slightly firm
1 2/3 cups sugar, plus ¼ cup for topping
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and 1 2/3 cups sugar until light, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add egg and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat, scraping bowl as needed, until dough comes together when squeezed (it will appear dry).

2. Make the topping: In a small bowl, mix together remaining ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon.

3. Shape dough by scooping 48 level tablespoons. Squeeze each tightly with fist; roll into balls. Roll balls in topping to coat evenly. Place 1 ½ inches apart on baking sheets; flatten with bottom of a glass. Sprinkle tops with remaining topping (there may be excess).

4. Bake, one sheet at a time, until tops are puffed and crackly, and bottoms are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on sheets; transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Monday, December 11, 2006

More on single-sex education

Here on the New Moon blog, we've been talking a lot about single-sex education lately. People have been writing in with strong opinions on both sides. I recently got a letter from a girl who has gone to both a co-ed and an all-girls school which I'd like to share with you.

"I currently go to an all girls school and I think it is the most fabulous place in the world! I have gone to co-ed schools before but I love the learning environment at my school. Girls are focused on their education, ready to learn, and not flaunting themselves distractingly. My classmates are kind and compassionate girls who are polite, considerate and trusting! We do not lock our lockers and we leave our things lying about without any fear of theft. We share everything, food, notes, cellphones; and sharing is not a sacrifice to us! We talk about our classes, teachers, the condition of the world, technology, our social lives, and how we hate and love boys. Boys are not our enemies or our classmates, but they are a part of our lives as we meet them at other places.

At the co-ed school I was at, we learned nothing because all of our attention was given to impressing boys! There was large amount of suspicion floating around the school like a deadly disease and we couldn't share anything, including thoughts and feelings, because we knew they would be destroyed! Is that the type of environment we want to grow and learn in? Why would we subject ourselves to that?

However, we do not live in a female dominated world and learning how to deal with boys and men is an essential part of development. Some schools enroll both boys and girls but the classes are separated by gender. Is this a happy medium? It is scientifically proven that the brains of boys and girls are physically different and that boys and girls have different learning styles. Daisy, 14
Victoria, British Columbia."

To read more about the topic of single-sex education, click here. Make sure to read the comments on the posts, too, and to leave your own thoughts!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Chocolate Revel Bar Recipe

For our cookie exchange, Jen brought Chocolate Revel Bars. They are a staff favorite!! Try the recipe below. Then, let us know how it went by emailing


Base and Topping
1 Cup Butter or Margarine (Using those butter-flavored Crisco sticks also works)
2 Cups Brown Sugar (Regular, not Dark)
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 1/4 Cups Flour
2 Cups Oatmeal (Regular, not instant/quick oats)

2 Tablespoons Butter
14 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
12 oz. Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease 9 x 13 inch pan
3. Cream the butter or margarine using an electric mixer, add the brown sugar and cream, and the eggs, vanilla, and salt. Mix.
4. Stir in the baking soda, flour, and oatmeal (you'll need to use a wooden spoon at this stage because it gets very thick)
5. Spread 2/3 of the mixture in the bottom of the pan. Save the rest for topping later.
6. Combine the 'Filling' ingredients in a 4-cup glass measuring cup or bowl in the order they are listed. Microwave on high for 2:30 minutes and stir. Microwave another minute at a time, stirring after each minute until the chocolate chips are melted.
7. Pour and spread the filling over the crust in the pan. Drop small, flattened chunks of the remaining crust mixture over the chocolate filling. You may not have enough to cover the entire pan, so don't worry.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cookie Exchange!

Today was cookie exchange day at our office! And let me tell ya, New Moonies really know how to bake!

Last night I made cinnamon sugar cookies, also known as snickerdoodles, for the exchange, and they turned out fine. Thank goodness! I had never actually participated in a cookie exchange before today, though I've certainly enjoyed my fair share of leftover cookies from cookie exchanges.

The idea behind a cookie exchange is simple: every person makes just one big batch of cookies, but everyone ends up with lots of different kinds of cookies! Many people hold cookie exchanges during the winter holiday season--if you're entertaining guests, it's handy to be able to pull out a beautiful plate of cookies. My parents give cookies as holiday gifts to their neighbors every year. At my house, we'll probably just eat all the cookies I take home from the exchange ourselves!

From reading an article in the Duluth News Tribune last week and from talking to other New Moonies, I found out that people have lots of different ideas about how a cookie exchange should work! Here at New Moon, we each brought two dozen cookies to share. We set them all out on a table and everyone took turns loading up their plates with some of each. Not everyone announced ahead of time what kind of cookies they were planning to bring--I know I made my decision based on the ingredients I had in my cupboards last night!--but only a few people brought similar kinds of cookies, and they used different recipes. It worked out really well!

I wanted to make my signature holiday cookies--chocolate peanut butter balls--for the exchange, but I wasn't quite that organized. My sister usually makes lots of cookies--Russian tea cakes, tassies, thumbprints, gingerbread, and more. What's YOUR favorite holiday cookie? Have you ever participated in a cookie exchange? How did it work? Leave a comment or send your story to

We'll post our cookie recipes later this week, so make sure to check back!

Here's Sandy carrying a good-lookin' plate of cookies--Yum! Didn't Melanie take great photos?!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Big Things

Our friends at YouthLearn recently put together a neat list of 100 Big Things that have impacted youth in the last 5 years.

Here are just a few of the cool things on YouthLearn's list:

24. PBS Kids website
Leveraging the wide portfolio of characters on its TV shows, PBS offers children free games and activities at its website, as well as resources for educators and parents. This site is hugely popular in youth centers and afterschool programs around the country given the safe, educational nature of the content.

33. Global Kids Online Game Project
Can young people design a game that's got some real world substance to it? At Global Kids the answer is "yes," and the Cost of Life game tests the boundaries offun and social conscience.

38. UNICEF Voices of Youth
This UNICEF initiative reorganized itself in 2002 as an international forum for youth to "explore, speak out, and take action."

34. Girls Creating Games
Another program we're fans of--using simple Flash based games to engage young women in technology and personal exploration.

52. Radio Diaries/Teen Reporter Handbook
OK, not new within the last five years, but still a great resource for educators and young radio producers.

53. Youth Radio on The Web
Storytelling and investigative journalism by youth air on a growing list of media outlets, including NPR, PRI, WireTap, etc., but are also available for streaming or podcast off the Youth Radio site.

54. Uth TV
Originally launched as a prime-time local Bay area broadcast, Uth TV has moved to the web and is showing how the YouTube model can me both purposeful and hip.

57. ListenUp!
The premier network for youth media organizations around the U.S. with great resources on production, analysis, and dissemination. Check out their site for a huge archive of youth-produced media that can be viewed right online.

To see YouthLearn's entire list of inspiring organizations and cool websites, go to Then, get out there and create your own media!

Friday, December 01, 2006

What does 'a group like that' mean?

Here is an awesome letter to the editor written by Selene, a Girls Editorial Board member. The letter was printed in the December 1, 2006 issue of the Duluth News Tribune.

This is regarding the Nov. 26 letter about the Minneapolis airport incident in which six praying Muslims scared another passenger and resulted in questioning of the Muslims, having their backgrounds checked, being "free to go," but not being allowed to continue on the same airline ("Passenger deserves praise for response to clerics"). The writer states "when a group like that acts in a strange manner." What does "a group like that" mean? Does it mean a group of people praying on airplanes, or is it a group fitting the American standard of terrorists? I have family members who are Iranian and most of them are dark and have a "Middle-Eastern look," but none of them are terrorists.

What classifies "acting in a strange manner?" There are many different religions that have different times and reasons for praying. In some religions, you must pray at certain times of day or before you do certain things. I suspect if a Caucasian person was praying on a plane in a specifically Christian way, he or she would not be pulled off the plane for questioning and perhaps even arrest.

I agree with the writer on one thing — our world has changed since Sept. 11, 2001, but definitely not for the better. Airlines need to have security measures in place, but racial profiling is not the way to go. Maybe terrorists don’t all wear big turbans and have bushy, black beards; maybe they look like the American ideal of a normal person — maybe.

I think the country has more than enough people like the lady who "warned" the authorities about the praying Muslims. Instead, we need more people who don’t look at every person from the Middle East with suspicion. Suspicion should be reserved for somebody who actually has done something horrible. It’s not for us to decide who looks like a terrorist and who doesn’t.

The writer is 12 years old.

This letter is a good example of a way to let your voice be heard! Writing to New Moon is another! You can also write your mayor, talk to your principal, or start a petition. What are some ways that you let YOUR VOICE be heard? Tell us about it by emailing

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Body Worlds!

Are you one of the 20 million people who’ve seen the Body Worlds exhibit? Writing is my first love, but secretly I’m a science junkie. I often compare scientist to writers—we’re all trying to observe the world and learn something about it from what we see. Body Worlds is a science exhibit that’s been touring the world since 1995 and it features actual human bodies that have been “plastinated,” which means the water and fats in the body are replaced with plastic. The bodies look completely preserved, and you can see all the systems and organs of the human body. I’ve seen pictures in books, on television, and even plastic models of the human body, but I’ve never seen the insides of a real human being. I think it will be amazing!

Of course, maybe you’ve heard the exhibit can be pretty controversial. Some people say that it’s disrespectful to display people’s bodies after they’ve died, even if they’ve given their permission. Also, a lot of the bodies are “in action” and some of the actions are pretty stereotypical of women and men—a pregnant woman lying down, a ballerina, and a woman who looks like she’s wearing stilettos, while the men are featured as strong, smart, and active: “The Runner,” “The Swordsman,” and “The Chess Player.”

The Body Worlds exhibit in Saint Paul, Minnesota closes this weekend and moves to Dallas. The exhibit is so popular that the Science Museum will be open 24-hours a day until it closes on Sunday night. So, this Saturday morning I’m not sleeping in. I’m going on a 4am field trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota. If you’re there, look for me in my pajamas, carrying a notebook in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other—and feel free to give me a nudge if I’m snoring during the Omnitheater movie.

Have you already seen the Body Worlds exhibit in your city? What did you think? Will I wish for my beauty sleep, or will I be glad I braved the wee hours to see the 200 plasticized bodies? What do you think about the controversy around the exhibit?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Is Single-Sex Ed Smart?

In the latest edition of New Moon's Friends e-newsletter, we asked, "Is Single-Sex Ed Smart?"

Meghan O’Rourke, culture editor at Slate, recently pondered that question. “During the last decade, single-sex education has come to seem cutting edge once again, backed by a startling rise of bipartisian support,” she wrote. Meghan noted that there are some significant advantages to girls-only and boys-only classrooms, such as fewer distractions and a greater sense of individuality. But some supporters of single-sex education seem to be advocating classroom techniques that reinforce gender stereotypes, whether that is their intent or not.

Here at New Moon, we strongly believe in the importance of girls-only (and boys-only) spaces. But we’re concerned by some of the “sweeping, untested conclusions” single-sex education supporters seem to be relying on. What do YOU think?

Here's a response from a mother of two:

I grew up in a public school system that had boys and girls together in every grade. I went to college, lived my every day life, got a job, had friends, and so on--surrounded by BOTH boys and girls. I believe it is just a plain fact of life that girls and boys need to learn how to co-exist together in every setting. My children are 11 and 9, and I see their schoolwork. I think schools are much better today at teaching (math especially) in varied ways in order to click with different learning styles of children (male or female). I am much more worried about the effects of school funding and school violence on my children’s education than I am about single-sex classrooms. -Linda
And here's one girl's opinion on the subject:
I don't think single-sex education is smart! You have to learn to be comfortable around boys! The world does not revolve around people of the female sex!!!! Girls like boys (at least I do!), that is why I don't go to an all-girls school. If everyone had to have single-sex education I don't know what I'd do, or what I'd talk about! Look, boys are just as smart and just as funny as girls! If there weren't any boys at school, what would girls do when hormones rolled around? We'd be in even worse shape! We'd crave boys! That is why I think single-sex ed is a bad idea!

Tell us what YOU think!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Winter Wonderland

Winter is on it's way! Week by week the air is getting colder and I have had to dig out my mittens, scarf and hat before going outside. Here in Minnesota, it gets very cold and the lakes freeze over with ice from November through March. Snowstorms blow through and drop lots of snow on the frozen ground.

One of my favorite Winter activities is sledding. When I was younger, I would spend hours sledding down the hill at my parents' house and running back up and doing it all over again. I also loved going ice skating on the frozen lake and pretending that I was a figure skater in the Olympics. I always won Gold!

Does it snow and get cold where you live? What kinds of Winter activities do you like to do?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

New Moon® wins Gold, Silver, AND Bronze!

New Moon recently won three new awards from the Minnesota Magazine Publisher’s Association (MMPA). Our 2006 “25 Beautiful Girls” issue won a Gold Award for “Best Single Topic Issue,” our “Global Village” department won a Silver Award for “Best Regular Column,” and New Moon won a Bronze Award for “Overall Excellence”! Nancy Gruver, New Moon’s founder, graciously accepted the awards at the 10th annual Excellence Awards.
The GEB showing off our new awards.

Last year, our “Body Language” department won a Gold Award for “Best Regular Column” and our 2005 “25 Beautiful Girls” issue won a Silver Award for “Best Single Topic.” When former GEB member Anna and current GEB member Sage accepted our awards, they received a standing ovation!! It was the only standing ovation the whole night!

MMPA has been recognizing New Moon Publishing since 1997, and we appreciate the honors! We’re so proud of all the girls and adults who contributed to New Moon and everyone who has helped New Moon become the best magazine by and for girls. Thanks for being part of our community!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Calling all Movie Makers!

Do you like to make home movies? Play with movie software on your computer? Put together witty or thought-provoking documentaries? Channel your creativity toward environmental solutions, and you could enter an awesome movie contest!

A few days ago, I got an email from the organizers of the Endgame International Film Festival, a "new festival focusing on fresh and serious solutions to global environmental problems." The following is from the press release:
"Our planet is poised on the edge of catastrophic climate change and mass extinctions and none of the proposed solutions match the scale of what’s at stake. We’re asking filmmakers to answer the question: what if this culture isn’t going to make a voluntary change to a sane and sustainable way of living. What does that mean for our strategy and tactics?

The festival was inspired by author Derrick Jensen (A Language Older than Words, The Culture of Make Believe) and his latest work Endgame, which also addresses these themes. Derrick will also be part of a jury of writers, thinkers, filmmakers, and activists who will select the winners of festival awards. We’re offering a one thousand dollar grand prize (US dollars). We seek inspirational and original films, so we are also offering prizes of $250 for originality, inspiration, and for a film by a filmmaker under 25."
I think it's awesome that this festival has a category especially for young filmakers. It could be you! To learn more about the festival, visit And let those cameras roll!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Size 00 ???

Ever wonder about clothing sizes and how some name brands sizes seem to differ from other brands? The sizes, although they say they are the same, never seem to be the same. Now there is a trend to have size 00 ! Does this seem right to you? Do you and your friends worry about what size you wear? Or are you happy with your body whatever the size? Check out this interesting article about the new size 00 and what some young women have to say about it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Blast From the Past

A couple of weeks ago, New Moonies teamed up and gave the New Moon basement a good cleaning. We went through old boxes and recycled a lot of paper and old computer parts! While I was going through a box, I found three 5 ¼ inch floppy disks. I hadn’t seen 5 ¼ floppies since I was really little. I was excited to see them because it brought back memories of my very first computer.

Chances are, some of you have never seen or used a 5 ¼ floppy disk! It’s amazing to me how quickly technology changes and becomes outdated. Here is a brief history of the 5 ¼ floppy disk from Wikipedia

The first 5 ¼ floppy was introduced in the 1976 to replace the larger and more cumbersome 8 inch disk. By the end of the 1980s, the smaller 3 ½ floppy disks took over. By the mid 1990s,5 ¼ disks and drives disappeared from the market. At the end of its life, the 5 ¼ floppy was able to hold 1.2 MB of information. The 3 ½ disk that replaced it, held 1.4 MB.
5 ¼ compared to 3 ½

The storage capacity is a hard idea for me to grasp, but this “visual” helped.

A CD-RW, that I found in our office, holds 700 MB of information! That means if the CD was holding all the information it could, it would take 584 5 ¼ floppies OR 500 3 ½ floppies to hold the same amount of information as the CD. WOW, have times changed! Can you imaging going to school with 584 disks in your back pack?

If you are interested in taking a trip into the past, check out this site. It is dedicated to vintage computers! Just think the computer you’re using right now might be on this site in 20 years!! ;)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Party Animals

Cats, dogs, snakes, lizards, horses, fish...Lots of people have different types of pets. At New Moon Publishing, we have 10 staff members and most of them have at least one pet. Between all of us we have 6 cats, 2 dogs, a gecko and a guinea pig. Some New Moonies have even brought their pets to work with them!

I have two cats and a leopard gecko and they are more than a handful to take care of. The two cats are very friendly and playful, especially at night. That's Kala in the photo to the right and Moxie down below!

The gecko loves to come out of her aquarium to explore my apartment floor and crawl on the furniture. Some people are scared of her, but she's actually very sweet and tame.

What kinds of pets do you have in your home? Write to us at and let us know!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cut - the book, the movie, the reality

A few days ago, I received the following book review from Zoe, age 12.

"I'm reviewing a fantastic book called Cut by Patricia Mcormick. It is a wonderfully descriptive novel about a girl named Callie who cuts herself. She is a 'guest' at a psychiatric hospital called Sea Pines, and she doesn't understand why she should be there. She goes through emotional difficulties with her family, environment, and friends. Her mother is paranoid about everything that could possibly endanger Callie's brother, and Callie struggles with the fact that the attention is always on him.

Patricia Mcormick's ability to develop characters and emotions draws you so far into the book, you can't stop reading. In Cut the writer puts you in the perspective of Callie's therapist, which makes you feel her different attitudes as if you are actually talking to her. The book is so detailed that when Callie cuts herself you feel the stress being released within your body, too. This book takes you on a journey through the depression and the troubles of a 15-year-old girl. I highly reccomend this book to whoever is interested in novels with this particular feel to it--sad but great. This book is one I will definitely read again. Don't miss out on it."

This review reminds me of the most important things books can do for us: they can help us understand others, or they can show us that others have the same struggles that we do. I read Cut when it was first published about 5 years ago because I was trying to understand self-harm. I've learned so much since then, mostly because more people are talking about it. There's even a new documentary about teens and self-harm coming out. If you see it, I suggest going with parents so you can have a conversation about it afterwards.

Self-harm is when someone hurts herself on purpose. There are a lot of myths about self-harm, such as that people who do it want to commit suicide or that it's a "cry for help." Thankfully, most people who do it don't want to commit suicide. It can be a cry for help, but it's also a coping mechanism. That means people do it to help them deal with stress or emotional pain in their lives. For some people, physical pain distracts them from emotional pain.

Some people don't take self-harm seriously because they think girls do it "just to get attention," "to be cool," or "to fit in." But if a girl needs to hurt herself to get attention, be cool, or fit in, that's a sign that she needs help. If someone self-harms, it doesn't mean she's sick or crazy. It just means she needs to find healthier, less dangerous coping mechanisms.

Even though it's scary to talk about, I'm glad self-harm has been getting so much attention, because that means self-harmers are less likely to suffer alone. If you have ever self-harmed or thought about self-harming, talk to an adult right away. If you're not sure who to tell, your school counselor is a good place to start. She'll likely understand self-harm and help you find ways to talk about it with other people who can help, like your parents. I also hope you will check out these websites: and The more we understand, the stronger we'll be.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

We voted! Did you?

Here at New Moon Publishing and Dads and Daughters we showed our commitment to speaking up and letting our voices be heard... WE VOTED! We hope you voted, too!

Everyone in our office is proudly wearing their red "I Voted" stickers today. However, some of us were camera shy! :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Should Kids Vote?

Tomorrow is Election Day--would you vote if you could? New Moon's September/October 2006 "Voice Box" asked readers that very question:

1. At what age should people be allowed to vote? Why?
2. Should kids’ votes count as full votes or partial votes?
3. Would you vote in national elections if you could? Why or why not?
4. Do you think politicians would treat young people differently if teenagers could vote?

The GEB already chose their favorite answers, which we'll publish in the January/February 2007 issue. But we got a TON of great responses from readers! Here are just a few:

"Not long ago, my class was talking about the election of George W. Bush. It turned out that if we kids had the right to vote, the current president wouldn't be in office. Kids and adults have different opinions. If kids could vote as early as 16, maybe it'd bring better, more responsible presidents into the White House."
-Dina, age 12, Colorado

"I find that there are more irresponsible children out there than not, who would throw away their vote (if they had one) in exchange for a candy bar. But, on the other hand, there are many far more irresponsible adults, and also many responsible children, and so I would be willing to take risk of allowing voters Kindergarten through death if it was up to me. I think it only fair, because children are affected by elections as much, even more, than adults. For example, suppose the Government passed a law for shorter recesses. That, in my opinion, would affect children’s health drastically. If children could vote, however, the government might pass a law for longer recesses, in order to get more votes if they ran for re-election – like the way the gas prices are going down as we near November 7th."
-Sorcha, age 10, California

"I don't think that kids should be able to vote. A 14-year-old probably wouldn't know enough about how exactly each president would affect the nation. Also, a parent could take advantage of the child, by grounding them or punishing them if they didn't vote for a specific person. This would give people with children who could vote more votes than people without children. People might start to have more children so that they could get more say in the presidential election. The elections would become unfair, and would become much more chaotic than they already are. This is why I think kids under 18 should not be able to vote."
-Monica, age 11, Connecticut

"Politics don't just affect adults. They affect everyone, from a teenage girl considering an abortion, to an elementary school student taking a standardized test, to a young family without health insurance. So if the best way to voice our opinions about the kinds of politics that affect our everyday lives is to vote, why is voting limited to people over the age of 18?
I know that not all kids or teens--or even some adults--might understand politics and government well enough to make the 'informed decisions' that voting involves. But I think it would be fair to give those under age 18 who do care about having a say in politics a chance to have that voice. I know that if I could vote in elections (local, state, or national), I would do so without hesitation. As singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco says, we have to understand that 'the personal is political.' If only everyone understood that!"
-Natalia, age 15, Wisconsin

"I think the voting age should be 16 because if you can drive, you are obviously ready for some responsibility. I think people under 16 should vote, but their votes should be counted as partial votes. I think teens’ votes (above age 16) should count as whole votes, because some adults don't know much more than kids about politics.
I would vote if I could, but I know people that wouldn’t. But not everyone has to vote!
I think politicians would change their campaigns if kids could vote, but they shouldn’t. Kids can be very well-informed. The politicians wouldn’t need to sugar-coat everything."
-Sarah, age 13, New Jersey

"I think that the voting age now is fine. People know what they think when they are 18. Kids usually take the opinions of their parents. Kids’ votes should not count in the real election. I will vote in national elections when I am 18 and my opinions are thought out and my own."
-Sarah, age 12, New York

"Voting is something I think is very important, I would like it if 16 year olds could vote. If they could vote there would be more say in whose president and we can let our voices be heard! I also think since we’re a whole person we should get a whole vote, why not? I would love to be able to vote, because I feel it helps us be supportive of our country. I know though, that if I was allowed to vote, the politicians would end up changing their whole campaign to stupid stuff like teen pop stars and fashion. That doesn’t seem right! I don’t care if Paris Hilton is on their t-shirts, it’s what they promise to do for our country that matters! So, do I think teens should vote? Yes! But I don’t think politicians should change their campaigns to suit us!"
-Jessi, age 12, Pennsylvania

"The voting age is a huge issue that can’t be addressed by a simple yes or no answer. For one thing, as I am sure we’ve all realized at some point in time or another, pre-teens and teenagers all mature at different rates, and we all come from different backgrounds that affect our maturity. Giving a 14 year old the right to vote might not always be the best solution. Even 16 and 18 year olds might not be mature enough to shoulder such a responsibility as voting. After all, we are talking about our country’s management. It is also unquestionable that politicians, parents, teachers, and other mentors would treat young people differently. At this time in our lives, we are still learning right from wrong and are highly impressionable. It is even a fact that the decision-making part of our brain is not yet fully developed. So, while we might not be altogether naive, it wouldn’t be hard to alter our votes to suit someone else’s opinion either.
This is why I have come to the conclusion that the best solution to this issue would be a test. Knowledgability in the voting process is key. However, age does not determine maturity, and so, giving this test to only the youngest members of our voting community would be foolish. The test would require the voter to provide the basic facts on a measure, congressmen, or whatever was being voted upon. These questions would have bubble in answers, and the results of the test would lead to a custom ballot suited to the voter’s knowledge.
In addressing exactly what age a voter should be, I believe that best to be left open ended--but not completely. I think the best answer to this question would be that that any young person with a driver’s license should have the right to vote. After all, the fuel economy is affecting everyone else as well as them, and if you’ve passed a test to be out on the country’s roads, you should be able to make decisions about how it’s run as well. "
-Sarah, age 14, California

Friday, November 03, 2006

It's a fine month for writing

I know a lot of readers of this blog are also writers -- I am, too! If you've ever felt like there's a novel inside of you dying to get out, this month is the time to write it. That's because November is National Novel Writing Month, and every year, NaNoWriMo puts out a challenge to all those budding novelists in the world to write a WHOLE novel (well, at least 50,000 words of it) in one month. This is my second year taking up the NaNoWriMo challenge, and I'm thrilled! NaNoWriMo even has a special section for young writers where you can feel right at home.

Feel nervous about writing a whole novel in one month? Me too. But since I did it last year, I know I can do it again. When you break down the words into 30 days, it means you have to write about 1700 words a day -- that's about 6 pages in a word processor. You don't have to worry about whether what you write is good (although I'm sure it is!) as long as you pound out enough words. So even though I'm an editor, I tell the little editor inside of me to be quiet during the month of November and let me JUST write. There will be plenty of time to edit during the rest of the year.

Not ready to tackle a novel? Or thinking, "been there, done that, now what about PUBLISHING?" Ah, I'm glad you asked. I've been wanting an opportunity to plug the fabulous book A Teen's Guide to Getting Published by Jessica and Danielle Dunn. I've read a lot of books that have tips for getting published, and this one is definitely one of the best. It's written by former teen authors and reading it is like having a conversation with an expert who just wants to share all her secrets with you. There are also whole sections about different markets that welcome kids' and teens' writing and there are tips for being a teen writer for adult markets as well. The book covers writers' guidelines, starting writing groups, copyrights, and more. It includes interviews with successful teen authors and editors who share their secrets. What's more, the book is so well organized that you'll find exactly what you're looking for without trouble. Check it out!

Happy writing and publishing!

All the way from Arizona!

New Moon reader Kathryn from Arizona visited the New Moon office a few weeks ago! Kathryn, her mom, and her grandma--who lives in Duluth--stopped by to see where the Girls Editorial Board magic happens and to learn more about the magazine. We had just rearranged our office space when they arrived, so things were a BIT messy. Kathryn and her family didn't seem to mind, though. It was really fun for me to hear Kathryn's feedback and explain how the submissions and editing process works. Thanks again for visiting us, Kathryn, and thanks for sending the photos!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Election Day 2006!

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th. Are your parent(s) voting? If you don’t know, ask them. If they’re not, encourage them to vote. If they are planning to vote, ask if you can join them in the polling booth! You will get to see how the voting process works and realize that it’s quick, easy and important!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Collage of YOU

Do you ever have those days when you just can't put a finger on how you are feeling? Not really sad, but not quite happy, not scared, but have a strange feeling in your tummy? Or just so happy and excited, but you're not sure why? Here's an idea that may help you to sort some of those feelings and discover something new about yourself:

Make a Collage of YOU. Get old magazines, articles, (anything you can cut out that has pictures and words), a large piece of poster board, glue or tape. Look through the magazines, focus on pictures, single words or phrases, or even colors that have some meaning to you - happy, sad, zany, funny, serious, adventurous - whatever strikes you. Do the same with the pictures, put them in a random order all over the poster board. Make drawings if you love to draw, write your own poem if you love to write. Whatever expresses your feelings and thoughts - who you are. Post this on the back of your door and when you're having one of those days - sit and look at the many things that make up the special person you are AND BE PROUD!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Write all about it!

Have you ever had an experience that you just wanted to hold onto forever? Have you ever been so upset with someone that you couldn't even talk to them about it? You should think about keeping a journal!

The first time I ever wrote in a journal was the first day of 5th grade. My teacher announced that we would be spending the first 20 minutes of every school day writing in our own personal journals. We were each given a small notebook to decorate and personalize as our own. She said that there were many benefits to putting our thoughts into writing. Many of her students, including me, thought that journaling would be boring and a waste of time.

Each morning, I dutifully wrote about things that I had done the day before or what I was going to do that day. By the end of the school year, I realized that I looked forward to writing in my journal every day. Somewhere along the way, I had started writing about my own thoughts, feelings and dreams for life.

After that school year, I began to keep my own journal at home. I would find a spot outside under a tree or curl up next to a window. Finding solutions for my problems was so much easier when I wrote things down. I saved some of the greatest memories from middle school, high school and later on in life. Keeping a journal helped me get through some tough things in school and later in life.

What do you think about journals? Do you keep a journal? How did you start? Click here for tips on starting your own journal. Email to let us know what you think!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How can you submit to New Moon's blog?

I got the following question in New Moon's blog email account yesterday:

Hey New Moon! I love your magazine! I've been reading it for about two years, and it's so cool to see how it's progressed. Your blog is awesome, too. I'd like to submit a story, and I was wondering if there was a word limit. Thanks! --Alex, 13

This is a good question. We haven't set a specific word limit on blog submissions, but I think we don't want anything TOO long because that's hard to read online. I think 600 words, the length of an average New Moon article, is a good maximum length for a blog post. But blog posts can also be much shorter -- even 50 words are so is long enough to be a blog post!

The type of work we accept for the blog is a little different than what we accept for the magazine. For the blog, we like posts that address things that are going on right now in the world. What's cool about the blog is that we can publish stuff right away. In the magazine, it takes a minimum of 6 months to publish news, so that makes it trickier to stay on top of current events! Our themes list on the side of the blog lets you know which categories interest us most.

And speaking of submissions, I got some great poetry submissions from Emily, 12, today. I'm posting one below:

Low Fat Water: No Sugar Added
It started with lip gloss
As simple as that
Then all kinds of make-up
Cover up baseEye liner, too
To disguise our little faces
But that's not all...

Plastic surgery
Botox and injections
Take away my wrinkles
I don't want to get old
All I want them to see me is

Then I need to watch my weight
I need to appear healthy
Slim FastWeight Watchers
SplendaLow fat from A-Z
Soon they'll even edit water

And software
You know what they do?
Let's take off half my body weight
Blur the forehead
The world could rotate on that pimple!
And it's all cuz I wanna appear

I can't show I'm sad
People might think something's wrong
So I smile and I laugh
I won't show that tear
And it's all cuz I wanna appear

We're so edited out
To make a perfect impression
But is there room for living?
Is there time for being human?
Amidst all this editing?
Amidst all this editing out mistakes?
Is there time for learning and growing?
Having fun?
But we don't really care
Then again, there's no time for caring

Step back and look at us
Look what we've done to ourselves
And the world
Things are hardly real
They're so edited out

Look at us now
Then come back in the future
When we'll see life passing on a computer
All the tragedies will be deleted
Come back in the future
And I swear
There'll be low fat water
No sugar added

You can read more of Emily's work at!

Monday, October 23, 2006

New Moon Travels to Wisconsin!!

Yesterday was the one week anniversary of New Moon's trip to Wisconsin, where we gave a keynote address and a writing workshop at the Learn, Earn, and Prosper (LEAP) conference. The conference was an opportunity for high school girls to check out different career options. Nancy Gruver, New Moon's founder, Carly, a former Girls Editorial Board Member, and me (Lacey, assistant managing editor!) were the lucky women who got to go on the trip.

The conference was fun, but the HIGHLIGHT of the trip was getting to meet Natalia and her family. Natalia has been a long-time reader of New Moon and has written several great pieces for us, most recently "Disobedience" (Sept/Oct 2006) and, coming soon, "No Sweat!" (Nov/Dec 2006). She's also been a member of the CAB (Computer Advisory Board) since it started in summer of 2004. CAB members know her by the name of Nati.

I've admired Natalia's writing for so long that when I was on my way to her house, I felt like I was about to meet a celebrity! I felt a little nervous when we arrived, especially since I'd been driving for over six hours and felt a little disoriented. But her family was so warm and welcoming that my nervousness went away in about 15 minutes. In fact, by the end of the night, I felt as though we'd known each other for years. Considering how much work Natalia and New Moon have done together, that's kind of true.

I wish all of our readers and writers could have the chance to meet each other, but for now, I'll take you on a quick tour of our trip. (I admit I didn't take many pictures because I was having too much fun to think of the camera!) . When we first arrived, we saw this lovely dinner place setting. The bowls contain YUMMY carrot-pumpkin soup.

After a lovely vegetarian dinner, Natalia showed me the computer room where she works on her writing and also where she works during the online CAB chats. I told her that my CAB workspace is MUCH messier than hers. Maybe I'll post a picture of my CAB space sometime, complete with kitty hair and drafts of all my stories and and about a million pens without ink!

Speaking of CAB chats, Natalia recently told us in a chat that her story, "Disobedience" was actually part of a trilogy she wrote about mother-daughter relationships in Mexico, Iran, and China. Stone Soup published the Mexico and Iran stories. So I took a picture of her with all three published stories. It was interesting to see the way different magazines designed the stories. I also talked to her a bit about what it's like to work with other publications. She says that the biggest difference between Stone Soup and New Moon is that New Moon works with the writer to edit the piece, and Stone Soup publishes everything as is.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and after about four hours of wonderful food and conversation, we New Moonies finally (reluctantly!) decided it was time for us to head back to our hotel. So, we took one more group picture before we said our goodbyes:

Nancy, Natalia, Carly, and me!

We got to see Natalia's family again at the conference the next day and then we headed home. It was tons of fun, and I hope to meet many more of New Moon's readers and writers in the future!

Thanks for an awesome Teen Read Week!

Thanks to everyone who sent reviews of great reads during Teen Read Week! I loved reading about what YOU had been reading, and I hope everyone keeps discovering (and telling us about!) great books even though the week is over.

As for my Teen Read Week, I didn't get through as many books as I'd hoped, unfortunately. (I admit it, I caved and did the dishes and took out the garbage.) The one book I did finish, Private by Kate Brian, I would definitely UNrecommend. The whole book is about a girl who keeps trying to win the approval of a group of popular girls who don't treat her well. She also keeps going back to a boyfriend who doesn't respect her. The reason she keeps doing these things is because she thinks it's important for her to get in "good" at her new boarding school so she doesn't have to go back to her stress-filled homelife. But the most irritating thing of all is that she has OTHER friends at the school who treat her well, but she keeps snubbing them in favor of the friends who don't respect her. Not cool at all. It's also one of those books that's part of a series, so even at the end of the book, you don't find out what's "really" going to happen. Grr.

I'm also almost finished reading White Midnight by Dia Calhoun. White Midnight is a fantasy novel about a slave girl who agrees to marry "the Thing" -- a monster in her master's attic -- in exchange for her family's freedom. The book has panned out differently than I'd expected so far, and I can't make a good review until I'm done (sometimes the last page of a novel can make me change my opinion about the whole thing!). But it's definitely an interesting read and the main character's motivations are much more believable and sympathetic than the main character's in Private.

Has anyone out there read these books or their sequels? Have a different opinion than mine? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment or email blog @

Friday, October 20, 2006

Emma, 14, Reviews books 1 & 2 of the Alice McLeod Trilogy

Alice, I Think by Susan Juby

July 18
I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, and I’ve decided that maybe the helping professionals are right. Maybe I haven’t seen enough of life. Maybe I’m not growing enough, or in the right areas. I’m not one to take on a challenge, but it could be that my life could use some direction. But I don’t need goals for therapy. What I need is goals for my life. So that’s what I’m going to get…

Alice is not doing so hot, and she knows it. Never having been to a regular school or participated in a normal-kid-type activities, she is a social misfit. Her counselor at the Teens In Transition (Not In Trouble) Centre has just had a nervous breakdown, and her personal style leaves something to be desired. Matters are complicated when the new counselor decides Alice wants to go back to school. A serious makeover is in order, and preferably one that does not include helmet hair, tie-dyed muumuus, or contact with humans outside Alice’s immediate circle. This is gonna be good folks!

Susan Juby is the Canadian author of the Alice MacLeod trilogy, of which Alice, I Think is number one. The second and third books in the series are titled Miss Smithers and Alice MacLeod, Realist At Last. I recommend these books to kids (mostly girls) age 12-16.

Welcome to the life of Alice MacLeod, an unusual place for those not so pathetically maladjusted or cynically inclined. Here, a day-in-the-life is a cause for alarm, the first day of school is a life-changing experience, and a walk through the town a life-threatening one. From the Wonderbread-free zone that is the MacLeod household to the Wonderwagon that is their vehicle, from Irma’s Salon (Smithers) to MacGee’s Frolic (Prince George), from Corinne the Boss in her non-offgassing purple plastic jumpsuit, to Death Lord Bob in head-to-toe undertaker black, Alice’s world is a breeding ground for misunderstandings, bad taste and cannibalistic angelfish.

Miss Smithers by Susan Juby

January 10
I am a special girl. It was my mother's suggesting that I'm not that decided me. I mean, really, that's not the kind of thing that you want to let pass unchallenged.
I already suspected that this would be the year I would bloom, the year I would graduate from the ranks of the marginal into the realm of the practically normal (or even slightly above average), and today's events confirmed it...

Alice's life is just rolling along. She has entered the infamous Miss Smithers pageant, and spent the resulting $400 sponsorship money on her new, hopefully winning look. She has begun writing articles for her own 'zine, and is convinced she is a journalistic genius. She even has two real friends. But if she really wants to win the pageant, she's gonna need everyone's help, so she had better shut up, smile for the cameras, and community curl like she never has before...

Susan Juby is the Canadian author of the Alice MacLeod trilogy, of which Miss Smithers is number two. The first and third books in the series are titled Alice, I Think and Alice MacLeod, Realist At Last. I recommend these books to kids (mostly girls) age 12-16.

Miss Smithers is a hilarious look into the rather frightening mind of a teenage misfit. Alice is quirky, strong-willed, and unknowingly sweet... sometimes. Other times she's a bit unkind. But always, Alice's unique fashion sense, questionable grip on reality, and ever-changing morals, clashing spectacularly with the ditto, ditto, and ditto of the people around her, all come together in a hilarious novel that might just be too much for underachieving, unassuming, and totally underprepared Smithers, BC.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Zara, 11, Reviews The Two Princesses are Bamarre

The Two Princesses of Bamarre is by Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted and many more. In high school, Gail Carson Levine didn't want to be a writer. As an adult her interest in painting led her to a class for writing and illustrating for children.

Next thing you know, her fist book for children, Ella Enchanted, won a Newbery Honor in 1998! Since then, Levine has been busy writing the Princess Tales series. She explored other genres with her historical fiction novel Dave At Night and the latest in popular fiction, The Wish. Her newest book is Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg.

The Two Princesses of Bamarre definitely fits into the fantasy genre. It has dragons, specters, swords, fairies and almost everything needed for a good fantasy novel. It is about two princess sisters, Addie and Meryl. Princess Addie is shy, meek, and fearful (even of spiders!). She is content to stay inside the safe castle walls. Princess Meryl is brave, fearless, courageous and unafraid. Meryl dreams of fighting dragons, protecting the kingdom of Bamarre and finding the cure to The Gray Death, the mysterious illness that killed their mother. The Gray Death eventually catches up with Meryl and Addie must put her fears aside to travel to Mount Ziriat for the cure: a drink of water from the fairies' waterfall. On her long and dangerous quest, Addie meets up with ogres, specters, an unusual dragon named Vollys and much more.

The Two Princesses of Bamarre is a wonderful book about a girl who must overcome her fears to save her sister. I highly recommend this adventurous, exciting story with a happy, sad, and unpredictable ending.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

14-year-old Emma loves reviewing books!

One of my favorite things to do at New Moon is to open mail that we get from girls. From time to time, I get an email with several book reviews from Emma in British Columbia. I love reading her book reviews because she often writes about books I've read or thought about reading! Below are a few of her reviews in honor of Teen Read Week. :)

All-American Girl by Meg Cabot
Reviewed by Emma, Age 14

Gwen Stefani can get any boy she wants. Well, maybe not ANY boy, but she could probably get the boy I want. Who sadly is my sister's boyfriend. But whatever. And if Gwen chose to wear black every single day, people would just accept it as a sign of her great genius and no one would make ninja comments, like they do about me.

Samantha has problems; Her sister, Lucy, is perfect. Her sister's boyfriend, Jack, is even more perfect, but in a different way. Her German teacher hates her, and is giving her a C-minus. This of course has NOTHING to do with her secret business drawing and selling celebrity portraits in class. This business did not of course stay secret. Thanks, Lucy. As punishment, Samantha is being forced to take art lessons. Oh, and did I mention the Pineapple Incident...?

Meg Cabot is the American author of All-American Girl. Some of her other work includes The Princess Diaries series, Haunted, Nicola and the Viscount, and Victoria and the Rogue. She is also a ghostwriter, meaning she writes under other names. I recommend All-American Girl to kids (mostly girls) age 10-16.

All-American Girl is a story about a regular teenage outcast, labeled something different by everyone, and never really understood. Samantha's world is well-orchestrated and amusing, with many interesting characters. The plot is outrageous, and the tone hilarious, as we see into Samantha's world through her own eyes. From capitalized nouns to Capitol Cookies, from Wite-Out daisies to the White House, Samantha's life is about to take some crazy turns!

* * * *

Sun Signs by Shelley Hrdlitschka.
Reviewed by Emma, Age 14

From: cosmicgirl
To: distantstudybuddies
Subject: calling all science 10 victims

Who else thinks science projects should be outlawed?? Have any of you started It yet? My horoscope this week is right on, as usual. It says I can't continue to ignore the project that's been left undone. Can you believe it? It's like it's directed exclusively at me. Do all geminis have science projects they haven't started yet? I don't think so.

Cancer-stricken Kaileigh Wyse (aka cosmicgirl) explores the future as well as the cyberworld around her when she starts a term project on astrology. Kaileigh is part of distantstudybuddies, for kids unable or unwilling to attend regular school. She soon meets starlight, blondie, and 2good, who become her Leo subjects, her guinea pigs. They report to her on the accuracy of their daily horoscopes, and she begins to learn who they are, or at least, who they say they are...

Shelley Hrdlitschka (that's her-dah-LITCH-kah) writes from her home in North Vancouver, BC, where she lives with her husband and three daughters. Shelley is the author of Dancing Naked, as well as several other books for teens. She is also a Cancer.

Sun Signs is different in that it is written all in the form of e-mails between Kaileigh, her teacher, an astrologer, and the Leo subjects. It is also on two levels. One, the e-chattering and mystery of the studybuddies, focused around her project; And two, the moving e-mails and weekly diary entries of a sick teen, as Kaileigh pours out her soul to the non-replying astrologer, and her own "Immortal Gemini Twin." I recommend this book to kids age 10-16.

* * * *

What do you think? Have you read either of these books? Have the reviews made you interested? I'm personally interested in picking up a copy of Sun Signs! Leave a comment or send your own book reviews to

Category: books, events
Posted by: Lacey

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Olivia, 15, reviews the Pendragon Adventure Series by D.J. MacHale

One of my favorite book series is The Pendragon Adventure series byD.J. MacHale. The books are about an average teenager named BobbyPendragon—at least, he thinks he's an average teenager. One day he findsout that he's really a Traveler, and that he must embark on a journey through space and time to help save the universe! The books are fast-paced, funny, original, and well-written. I also really like thatalthough the main character is a boy, there are plenty of important female characters, and they're almost all portrayed very positively. In many male-centric books, women are stupid, weak, or just plain evil. In the Pendragon books, the women are smart, resourceful, strong, and just as important to the story as the men. The first book is called The Merchant Of Death—go pick it up, I promise you won't be able to put it down.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Our First Review of Teen Read Week!

Witch of the North
by Courtway Jones
Reviewed by Morgaine, 13, from Oregon

One of my favorite books is Witch of the North by Courtway Jones. This is an adaptation of Le Morte d'Arthur--the story of King Arthur. The main character is Morgan Le Fay, Arthur’s half sister. I have read many books about Morgan Le Fay and this book does not exploit her in the same way that most books do. Most people who write about Morgan portray her as an evil seductress out to get Arthur, but this is not so in Witch of the North. Jones portrays Morgan very well, making her a highly intellectual and interesting character.

The way Jones describes Morgan’s anger was absolutely amazing, and I would recommend the book just for that. Still, I would not recommend this for anyone under 12. When reading this book, I would start with the introduction (which is very funny). Jones explains that this is not like Le Morte d'Arthur--Jones changes some things so that it turns out differently.

This book is copyrighted 1992, so you might have to look for it. You might also notice that this is the second book in a trilogy. I have not read the first or third in the trilogy, and Witch of the North still made sense. Overall, I strongly suggest you read this book for its amazing detail, strong characters and wonderful perspective.

Girls, have YOU read a good--or bad--book lately? Send your review to! We'll post a review every day during Teen Read Week!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Greetings from the Girls Advisory Board!

Hi girls!

Today we are at the office for our Girls Advisory Board meeting! We wanted to take a time out to say hello, and tell you a few things that are on our minds!

First of all, we'd like to congratulate the UMD Bulldogs on winning their hockey game last night! "I was at the game and it was a lot of fun. In the last half, the Bulldogs scored four goals and the final score was 7-3. It was a ton of fun! From Hannah, 11.

Hi Everyone, this is Shelby,12! I'd like to share my thoughts with you about women's rights.
Women are not dolls. People think they are, but they have minds. I think they should be able to go to school and vote. You should take time to help women and girls in your own communities, because it is very important. I think we should help build a safe place for every girl and woman in the world. What do you think about it?

Superchic[k] "Beauty from Pain" from Karla, 13.

Known for their upbeat sound, and positive lyrics their third CD comes as yet another hit. This CD is the most diverse sounding yet to date, with in depth lyrics that face issues that all teens can relate to. It is also the most relatable disc Superchic[k] has ever conjured. It's contents will surely not disappoint you.

Be sure to send us your blog posts to! We'd love to hear from you!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Gear up for Teen Read Week!!!

Do you know what next week is? (Hint: check out the subject line!) The American Library Association (ALA) designates October as Teen Read Month, but the week of October 15 - 21st is Teen Read Week. And I am TOTALLY psyched.

Why am I so psyched? Well, last year I decided to mark teen read week on my calendar and then celebrate it. It's the one week a year when I put other things aside (you know, like doing the dishes, answering emails, taking out the trash, reading "grown up books") and put all that extra time and energy into reading Young Adult Novels. I LOVE young adult novels and read part of a young adult novel for about 15 minutes every night before bed. At that rate, it takes me weeks to get through one novel. So I love giving myself the luxury of reading YA novels for several hours a day for a whole week.

This year, I'm kicking off teen read week with Private by Kate Brian, which is about a girl who wants to go to boarding school to get away from home, where things have been stressful since her Mom survived a traumatic accident. My thoughts so far? It feels like one of those "movie books" -- you know, a book that really would rather be a movie, where the author pays WAY too much attention to what the characters are wearing (wardrobe) and what gadgets they have (props). I personally prefer books that feel like books, but hey, maybe that's just me. I'll give a full review by the end of the week when I've finished the book.

In the meantime, I'm inviting all of YOU to celebrate Teen Read Week with me -- whether you're a teen, a pre-teen, or finished being a teen (like me!) I've already got some book reviews from girls, and I'll be posting teen book reviews all week long, so send your recommendations (or "unrecommendations) to Now, head to the library or the bookshelf, make yourself a pile of books, and step on the garbage to crush it way to the bottom of the bag so you don't have to worry about it until AFTER you're done celebrating.

Happy Reading!!

55802--The Move.

Tuesday, October 3rd New Moon Publishing celebrated our first year in our new office. We had a party. A MOVING party that is…literally we moved. We didn’t switch buildings, like we did last year, but three New Moonies changed offices. We did this in an effort to create more girl-friendly space for the Girls Editorial Board and Girls Advisory Board that hold meetings here.

We thought that you would like to see how hard we worked celebrating our move, with a move. Plus, we wanted you to meet the rest of the staff! (Since you know me and Jen already!)

The first things that had to be moved were several large file cabinets. What better person to do this than Sandy, our Chief Operating Officer. She helped move the office from Nancy and Joe’s house, to our office on Superior Street and from Superior Street to our current location. We consider her an expert in all things moving.

Since Sandy was busy moving file cabinets all day, she didn’t have much time for supervising the rest of us. So she left my dog Flash in charge. The New Moon office is a dog friendly place and I happened to have him with me on move day. He’s a great dog and a great supervisor, too!

Becky, our bookkeeper, is a New Moonie that relocated her office. She is also the newest member of the New Moon staff. We are glad that she joined this happy bunch of women.

Catherine helping Becky move to her new office.

To create a more open space for the girls, we had to move a lot of cubicle walls around. Here’s Kate, Executive Editor, moving one of the walls.

As you might have guessed, we are NOT an all work and no play kind of office! While everyone else was working, I caught Jen and Crystal, our Online Store Manager, playing catch with the rubber band ball. Looks like they had lots of fun!

Kate moved her office, too. She used to have the office with lots of windows, but gave it to Ann, so she could be closer to her fellow editors Lacey and Catherine.



Ann is a little camera shy.

“You have to make a mess to get organized,” I always say…and here’s the proof!

Everything came together and our office is a lot more girl-friendly. We ended our moving celebration with two large pizzas! Yummy!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

We Are Family

Today is National Coming Out Day, a day when Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) people everywhere stand up to be counted, so to speak. It's also an opportunity to encourage people to live open and honest lives.

It's an important day for many girls who have GLBT parents. Quite a few girls who took New Moon's online political survey said gay rights is the political issue that most affects their lives:

“My parents are lesbian and they have been married for 22 years. However, to get registered, they had to go to Ontario because Colorado is against gay marriages.” -Girl, age 13-14

“My mom can't marry her life partner because of the laws that say gay people can't marry.” -Girl, age 11-12

“I live in Wisconsin, where a law is being voted on in November than would ban gay marriage. It would also ban a lot of LGBT rights. The law would be really hard on many gay and lesbian friends of my family, including some couples with children. It would mean that one member of a couple might not be able to visit the other in the hospital, inherit their property, or have decision-making power over their children--just because they can't legally be married!” -Girl, age 15-17

“My parents are Lesbian and when the government passed the law against same-sex marriage, it made me feel insecure!” -Girl, age 13-14

Sadly, according to the Human Rights Campaign, kids as young as 5 or 6 use "gay" as an insult:

“By sixth, seventh and eighth grades, the words become all-purpose put-downs. While some children may barely even think about what these words mean when they use them, the children of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents cannot help but think about them, as they are implicitly directed at the closest people in their lives.”

That's one reason it's so important to New Moonies to make sure our magazine is a safe place for ALL girls, no matter what type of family they live in. We celebrated families of all kinds in our "We Are Family" issue (March/April 2005). Check it out! And please join us in commemorating National Coming Out Day today, and every October 11th.

Friday, October 06, 2006

School Violence

You may have heard about some of the recent school shootings that have happened across the United States. School shootings are one of the most drastic examples of violence at school, but, unfortunately, almost every person has experienced school violence. It’s called bullying. Just because the national news doesn’t report on bullying, doesn’t mean that it’s not harmful or traumatic for the people involved.

What are some things you can do to help prevent school violence? Here are some helpful tips from

Teachers and parents have a special responsibility for looking after kids – especially helping you if you’re being bullied at school. It’s not so easy to identify a bully. Is the bully really being hostile and aggressive toward you or are they just having what they call ‘fun?’

When someone is bullied at school, your friends and acquaintances usually know what is going on. Even though they’re not involved they know it’s happening. Adults can’t always tell and need your help in order to help you or your friends.

All members of a school community — whether they’re kids or teachers, have a responsibility to help kids who are being bullied. You and your friends must speak out against the bullies.

  • Nobody has the right to hurt anyone else by hitting them, calling then names
    or doing anything which is hurtful.
  • Bullying is wrong – no matter how old you are.
  • If an adult is bullying you or trying to make you do something you think is
    wrong, it is imperative that you tell someone immediately.

New Moon is a place for girls to feel safe and free to talk about what is on their minds. Bullying and school violence are scary, but they become less scary when we talk about them. We invite you to share your thoughts or fears about school violence, whether it is someone bringing a gun to school or someone stealing your lunch money. School should be a safe place for every student, but schools won’t become safer unless we all start talking about it! Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment or emailing

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Underweight Models

Earlier this month organizers of a top annual fashion show banned 5 models from the show because they were underweight. The models were examined by medical doctors and based on the standards of the World Health Organization were not allowed to walk the cat walk. Organizers wanted the show to “project an image of beauty, elegance and health, so we also banned makeup that makes models appear sickly.Clearly we don't want walking skeletons.”

The news of the banning created a lot of buzz.

Our friend Audrey Brashich received an inspirational post on her blog.

Magali Amadei and Claire Mysko shared their opinion about too thin models on the CBS website.

An article in the September 25th edition of USA Today explored the effects underweight models have on girls’ and young women’s body images. According to the studies sited in the article, being surrounded by an image of beauty that most girls and women can’t attain, has negative consequences.

The list of blog posts and articles about this subject goes on and on.

All of the buzz is great! Unfortunately, most of the talk is from adults. We want to know what girls think about this issue! Girls, how do you feel about the ban that was put on the models in Madrid? Do ultra skinny models have a negative effect on your body image? Whose responsibility is it to determine the body type of fashion models? The fashion industry? The consumers? An outside organization? Do you think the ban is discrimination?

Send your comments to