Friday, March 30, 2007

Photos from Congresswoman McCollum!

I just got an email from Congresswoman Betty McCollum's press secretary, who sent us the "official" photos from our visit last week!

To the right is Saskia and Ashley presenting New Moon's "Letter to Congress" issue to Congresswoman McCollum. Below is Ashley's aunt Carol, Ashley, Congresswoman McCollum, and Ashley's mom (Barb).

Thanks again to Congresswoman McCollum and her staff members, Imee and Meaghan, for listening to girls!

Violence is not Beautiful

Did you watch America's Next Top Model on Wednesday? Although I didn't watch it myself, I've heard a lot about it since it aired. The last episode of America's Next Top Model encouraged aspiring models to pose as "crime victims" -- women who had been murdered, who had overdosed on drugs, even one woman who'd had her organs removed. You can see the images, and the judge's commentary, here. But be warned: this is NOT beautiful, and you should get an adult's permission before you view the images.

These images send the message that being the victim of a crime is glamorous. But anyone who has suffered violence, or who has seen someone she loves suffer violence, knows that there is nothing sexy about it. It's devastating and it destroys lives. Over 1400 girls and women die as victims of violent assaults every year. This number should outrage us -- we should be asking, "Why does our society allow this to happen?" Studies show that kids exposed to violence in the media are MORE likely to commit violence against others and LESS likely to be sympathetic to REAL LIFE survivors of violence. Girls and women who suffer violence do not need a culture that is insensitive to their pain, and America's Next Top Model had no right to turn this nightmare into a fantasy.

If you're as angry as I am about this, PLEASE consider taking one of the following actions.

1. Contact the CW Network, the network that produces and airs America's Top Model

By email:

By snail mail:
The CW Network
Attn: President of Entertainment
4000 Warner Blvd.,
Burbank, CA 91522

By phone: 818-977-6878

2. Contact Tyra Banks, creator of America's Next Top Model:


Snail Mail:
Tyra Banks
c/o Studio Fan Mail
1122 S. Robertson Blvd #15
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Our friends at Domestic Violence Discussion have created a sample letter that can help you get started.

Sample letter (Feel free to personalize):

I am very disappointed with the episode of America's Next Top Model, which aired on Wednesday March 21, 2007.

The images of battered dead women are not only misogynistic but incredibly horrific. In a world that struggles daily with violence towards women, you exhibited the extremely poor judgment in glamorizing it. Have you ever seen a victim of a violent crime? Being a victim is definitely not as glamorous as was portrayed on America's Next Top Model.

I am outraged at how violence against women was trivialized. I think it is a deplorable way to get ratings. I will not watch your show and am encouraging my friends and family to do the same.

[Your name]

Our friends at Teen Voices are also speaking up about this. Let's show the media that glamorizing violence against women is NOT OK.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

"Know Thy Power," Speaker Pelosi's Chief of Staff Advises Girls

The New Moon delegation met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Chief of Staff, Terri McCullough, at 11 am on Wednesday, March 21st. Ms. McCullough thanked the girls for coming and began the meeting by explaining that one of Speaker Pelosi’s favorite sayings is “Know Thy Power.”

“You have a lot to say, and your voice needs to be heard,” Ms. McCullough said. She said that Speaker Pelosi brought all the children in the audience up to the podium with her when she was sworn in because she believes children are important and she wants to make their lives better.

The New Moon girls then asked what Speaker Pelosi is doing to address their top three concerns—the environment, health care, and girls’ education. Ms. McCullough said that those three issues are very important to Speaker Pelosi. She explained what Speaker Pelosi is doing to help provide health insurance for people who can’t afford it and to help students pay for college. She said the Speaker believes it is very important for the U.S. to put more money toward education. She said it’s a big challenge to find a way to provide the funding, but that it has to happen.

In response to the girls’ concerns about the environment, Ms. McCullough explained that Speaker Pelosi is putting together a Select Committee on Energy, which brings expert members of Congress together to work on global warming and energy independence.

“People are really starting to listen to the concerns about global warming, and we’ve got to take action now,” Ms. McCullough said. “We don’t have much time.”

Sophia, one of the girls in the meeting, asked Ms. McCullough if Speaker Pelosi is interested in increasing women’s studies in public schools. Ms. McCullough responded that the Speaker believes Women’s History Month should be every month.

“It’s great to highlight women’s accomplishments in March, but we should be doing that all the time,” she said.

During the conversation, the subject of a potential woman President of the U.S. came up. Ms. McCullough said that some of our strengths as girls and women are that we like to work in teams and build coalitions to help solve problems. If a woman becomes President, she hopes that is a trait that will help our nation.

“It’s a very exciting time,” she said.

She also cautioned our group, however, that Speaker Pelosi’s party just got back into the majority and that it is going to take some time before girls will start seeing the changes they are asking for.

“You all being here today is a really important way to influence public policy,” Ms. McCullough said. “The most eloquent voice a member of Congress can hear is that of a constituent.” She encouraged the girls to email, write, and call the offices of their representatives in Congress, and to make appointments to see the Congresspeople who deal directly with any particular issue that they care about.

“Leader Pelosi would love to hear more from you,” Ms. McCullough concluded. “Your voices are critical—it’s very important that you influence public policy in the future. I hope you will stay in touch with our office.”

Thanks again to Terri for meeting with us, and thanks for the commemorative buttons!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New Moon's Celebration of Girls' Voices! Photos from the Open House

We were honored that these three talented journalists shared their stories with us at our celebration of girls' voices in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, March 21st at Busboys and Poets. The three women -- Dana Priest, Melinda Henneberger, and Elsa Walsh -- spoke to New Moon readers about their lives in journalism and how their work relates to politics. I hope the girls in attendance were as inspired by their words as I was!

In this photo, Erin Vilardi of the White House Project (on the right) speaks with Saskia, a Girls Editorial Board member (in blue hoodie). Erin energized our group and encouraged all the girls in attendance to Vote, Run, and Lead!

Linda Tyler, on the left in the photo, and Lydia Mosher, on the right, are two tireless leaders who teach girls in the Washington, D.C., area. With them in this photo are several of the New Moon readers who joined our Minnesota group on Capitol Hill and at our celebration at Busboys and Poets. Thank you, Linda and Lydia! Thanks, girls!

Our friend Dawn and her daughters Eboni (on the left) and Ellice (on the right) helped the girls at our event make congratulatory cards for Speaker Pelosi for being the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives! Dawn, Eboni, and Ellice brought cards and all sorts of cool supplies that the girls used to personalize their cards. We can't wait to deliver all the cards to Speaker Pelosi!

Below and to the right are photos of the girls working on the cards at the craft table. The activity was a hit! Thanks again, Dawn, Eboni, and Ellice.

After enjoying pizza, brownies and cookies, speakers, crafts, and just hanging out with other girls who care about politics, these four girls are ready to call it a day!

We were very excited to see Jessica (in front) and Bob again! These two went dogsledding with us in Ely, Minnesota, earlier this year. Here they are with Jessica's mom, Sara, at our event. Thanks for coming, folks!

We actually had not one, but TWO girls who went mushing with us in attendance! Here's Vera and her younger brother.

We'd also like to thank these three girls, who helped us videotape the event. Sasha, age 11, Kehinde, age 10, and Erita, age 11, handled our camcorder like professionals! They interviewed girls and adults at the event to find out what political issues they were MOST concerned about. As soon as possible, we'll post clips from their video here, so stay tuned!

Aili reflects on her trip to Washington, D.C.

You've seen the photos and heard about the trip every step of the way! Now that the girls have been home for a while, the impact of what they've done is starting to sink in! Today, Aili (Ashley) emailed us reflecting on her trip.

"I just wanted to briefly say that Washington D.C. was a blast! I miss being there! It gives you a great feeling when you're in the place where everything happens and where such important history took place. I had so much fun meeting so many senators and representatives! Seeing all the monuments was incredible. I want to thank Kate and Catherine for taking us and thank you to all who helped us and provided such a wonderful opportunity!" -Aili

That thank you goes out not just to everyone on staff who worked on the trip, but also to EVERY girl who wrote letters to Congresspeople, every girl who showed up in D.C., every girl who wrote for or followed our progress on the blog, and every girl who read the "Letter to Congress" issue. You ALL made this happen. Thank you for believing in the power of girls' voices.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Photos from Day Two in Washington, D.C.

Click on any of these photos to see a larger version!

We started the day on Wednesday, March 21st, in the Hart Senate Office Building, where we met up with a group of New Moon readers from the Washington, D.C. area, assembled by our good friend Linda Tyler. First, everyone donned "Listen to Girls" t-shirts, then we listened to Kate, Ashley, and Saskia give a brief lesson on lobbying our representatives in Congress.

Here's the group waiting for New York Senator Hillary Clinton to arrive! A Senate photographer will send us the official photos of the group with Senator Clinton soon, so stay tuned!

After Saskia and Ashley presented New Moon's "Letter to Congress" issue to Senator Clinton, Amber from Congressman Keith Ellison's office took us on a tour of the Capitol. Here's Kate getting on the tram in the cool underground tunnel that's exclusively for Senators!

After our tour, we met with Terri McCullough, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Chief of Staff! Terri spent a generous amount of time with us and answered all of our questions. She also gave everyone a commemorative button from Speaker Pelosi's inauguration.

Next, we met California Senator Barbara Boxer. Senator Boxer took a photo with our entire group, then two girls presented New Moon's "Letter to Congress" issue to her (below).

In the afternoon, our large group split up into three smaller groups. The girls from Maryland met with staff from Senator Barbara Mikulski's office, the D.C. girls met with staff from Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's office, and our Minnesota group headed over to the office of our own representative, Congressman Jim Oberstar.

First, we sat down and talked with two of Congressman Oberstar's Legislative Assistants, Jonathan Rucks and Melody Hamoud. Then, Ashley and Saskia presented the magazine to Congressman Oberstar!

Tomorrow, we'll post photos from New Moon's open house at Busboys and Poets.

Photos from Washington!

Here are some photos from our first day on Capitol Hill--March 20th!

In the morning, Saskia and Ashley presented New Moon Magazine's "Letter to Congress" issue to Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman. Below are photos taken before, during, and after the meeting.

Later that day, the girls presented the magazine to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (center) and her daughter, Abigail (left of Senator Klobuchar). It was a great discussion!

Here's a snapshot of Abigail, Senator Klobuchar, Saskia (in back), Ashley, and Kate in Senator Klobuchar's office.

Next, we headed over to Congresswoman Betty McCollum's office. Saskia and Ashley presented her with the magazine, but the Congresswoman was on her way to the Capitol for a vote, so she couldn't talk long. She apologized for her busy schedule and gave us passes to the House gallery so we could watch the voting! One of her staff members, Meghan McHugh, walked us over to the Capitol and explained what was going on.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to take photos in the gallery--there was a lot to see!

Friday, March 23, 2007

They've Returned!

GEB members Aili and Saskia, as well as Adult Editors Kate and Catherine, have returned from Washington, D.C. ! They're resting today so we haven't yet seen them "in the flesh," but Kate sent us this great report that we wanted to share with you!

"What a great week! Here are the numbers:

75 New Moon supporters came to the open house at Busboys and Poets!!
22 girls lobbied Congress to listen to girls' voices and hand delivered the "Letter to Congress" issue
27 letters of Congratulations written by girls to the first woman speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi
15 major monuments and museums visited by GEB girls

10 New Moon Congressional visits in two days!!!

There were so many people at the Celebration for Girls' Voices and the time went by in a flash, but here are the highlights:

-Girls videotaped each other talking about the political issues that are important to them
-Erin Vilardi from the White House Project talked about women in office
-Pulitzer prize winning journalist Dana Priest from the Washington Post, Elsa Walsh from the New Yorker and Melinda Henneberger from the Huffington Blog all spoke about their experiences becoming journalists

Guests of Honor:
-Abigail and John Bessler, Amy Klobuchar's 11-year-old daughter and husband
-Libby Sproat, one of the founding GEB girls
-April Osajima and Alison Harms from Girls Inc.
-Laurie Westley from the Girl Scouts
-Former New Moon dogsledding adventure participants

-CAB members!

The event was huge, the Congressional visits really successful, and the days LONG. Saskia and Catherine arrived at midnight Monday, we lobbied from 9:30 to 6:30 on Tuesday, did event prep Tuesday until midnight, did our "Day on Capitol Hill" from 8:30 to 3 on Wednesday, headed to Busboys and had a blowout party (pizza, soda, desserts, balloons, and NEW MOON GIRLS!) until 6. We were out touring D.C. until 12 and then yesterday we hit the Sewell-Belmont house and the Native American Smithsonian before we headed to the airport. Whew!

It was a little miracle that we were able to meet with Senator Clinton on Wednesday--her staff was super organized and she was so gracious. We weren't allowed to take pictures because it creates chaos, but they promised to send photos to us. Hillary said, "Well, we'll see if they'll Listen to Girls in 2008!" She was engaged and excited about the issue and listened intently as Saskia and Aili presented it to her.

Here's a brief rundown of the congressional visits and how they went:

We met with Norm Coleman first and we were planning to meet with three of his staff people, but they were so excited to see Aili and Saskia that they pulled Senator Coleman out of one of his meetings to listen to the girls for a few minutes. Coleman was humble and kind. His advice to girls running for office is, "there's no substitute for hard work."

In the afternoon, we met with Senator Amy Klobuchar, her daughter Abigail, her husband John, and her legislative correspondent, Simone. We were excited to hear a lot from Abigail--she's a huge proponent of education and says that kids who have it hard at home should not have to go to school in a chaotic environment. In her old elementary school in Minnesota, she could really see how difficult it was for kids who have hard home lives to learn in school because there simply weren't the necessary resources. She also wore a "Save the Penguins" button. Senator Klobuchar told girls to keep speaking up about the issues that are important to them--she says that youth are really why global warming is at the forefront of congressional discussion these days and when young people care about an issue, they really have the passion to carry it forward.

We finished our meeting with Klobuchar at 5:26 and we had a 5:30 meeting with Representative McCollum at 5:30, so we cabbed it across Capitol Hill and rushed up to her office. She didn't have a lot of time because the House was required to be on the floor for a vote, but she did visit with us for a minute and was really excited to meet Aili, who interviewed her a few months ago over the phone. Rep. McCollum asked her staff to escort us to the House so we could see the vote and so we headed over through the member entrance and watched four votes on the house floor! Betty McCollum waved to us from below!

Thanks to everyone--this was truly, truly a team effort and I think it was a great success. -Kate"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Aili and Saskia Meet Senator Clinton!

I just heard from our Washington, D.C., delegation, and it sounds like it's been an exciting morning! This morning, GEB members Aili and Saskia met with Senator Hillary Clinton AND Speaker Pelosi's Chief of Staff, giving each of them a copy of our "Letter to Congress" issue. When Aili and Saskia told Senator Clinton how excited they are that she's running for president, she told them to "make sure to keep speaking up to elected officials" and that she hopes more people in government will "listen to girls."

I can't wait to see photos and to hear more! We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New Moon girls report from Washington!

Aili and Saskia had a great day in our nation's capital today! One of the highlights was seeing the House of Representatives voting in the Capitol. They also presented New Moon's "Letter to Congress" issue to several Congress members, and they plan to meet with 6 more Congresspeople tomorrow! Below is a brief report from each girl. Check out the Duluth News Tribune's website tomorrow for more from these two Girls Editorial Board members.

My mom and aunt and I got to Washington, D.C., on Saturday. On Sunday and Monday, I saw all kinds of monuments—the Lincoln, the Jefferson, the Vietnam War Memorial, and the Theodore Roosevelt. I also got to see the White House. On Sunday we went to church at the National Cathedral, which was a really neat experience. We also went to the Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian, and then we went to the National Gallery of Art. We were hoping to see the only original DaVinci in the country, but unfortunately they were cleaning it so we didn’t get to see it, but we got to see some Monets and stuff so that was really fun.

I’ve always wanted to come out here—I love all the politics and history, and I just love being here. This is where it all happens! I’ve just seen so much, it’s been incredible. We're having a short meeting with Senator Hillary Clinton tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, and I’m really excited about that.

(click here to read Aili's Duluth News Tribune report)

On Monday, we had a really rough day because of plane delays and mechanical problems. We got here at midnight on Monday, and we were supposed to get here at 4:26 p.m. So, that was pretty interesting.

Today we met with Senator Norm Coleman, Senator Amy Klobuchar and her family, and Congresswoman Betty McCollum. We also went to lunch at Busboys and Poets, the restaurant/bookstore where we’re holding our open house tomorrow, and that was really good. I’m really excited about the event tomorrow because we’ll be meeting a lot of other girls and hanging out.

(click here to read Saskia's Duluth News Tribune report)

News from Washington, D.C.!

This morning, we heard from the New Moon editors who are in Washington, D.C.! They're very busy, so we didn't get to talk for long, but they did tell us that they had their first meeting with a Senator this morning! GEB members Saskia and Aili visited Senator Norm Coleman's (R-Minn) office this morning. Although they expected to just meet with his staff, Senator Coleman himself showed up for the meeting! He'll be posting photos of the meeting on his website later today. We'll be checking back for them often!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Power to the (young) people

Yesterday, the Duluth News Tribune published a very nice article about Ashley and Saskia's upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.

“We want the government to actually read one of these issues [of New Moon magazine] and take some steps toward what girls want,” Saskia told reporter Will Ashenmacher. “We thought it would make a big impact if they could do some things about issues girls want changed.”

The article explains that while in D.C. this week, the girls will meet with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Representative Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), U.S. Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), and staff members of Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman and U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). New Moon Executive Editor Kate Freeborn -- with help from friends of New Moon in Washington, D.C. -- is still trying to set up meetings with Senator Hillary Clinton and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“I’d love to meet Hillary Clinton someday,” Ashley told Will. “I did a research project on her.”

From the article:

For Ashley, the trip will be a dream come true.

“I do think this is just so up her alley,” said Ashley’s mother, Barb. “This is just what she’s always wanted to do.”

Ashley said the prospect of going to Washington with New Moon was part of what got her interested in joining the magazine’s editorial board.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I really want to do that,’ ” she said. “And now I get to.”

Check back to the blog later this week to find out what the New Moon delegation has been up to in Washington, D.C.!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Through Animals' Eyes

I don't understand it
About humans
The way they look in the mirror
And obsess about eating
The way they need their reputations to be perfect
And judge others if they're different
I don't understand
It's not like they only see the outside

Can't they see through anyone's eyes
And know what they are feeling
Don't automatically assume they're happy just cuz they're laughing
Can't they look at the mouth
Not at the frown or smile kinda thing
But at the posture
And see what their thoughts are
Can humans not look at their overall stance
And clothingAnd see others' moods?

I'm beginning to think they can't
They don't have the ability
Because if they did
They'd be like us
We don't judge
We know that we really are the same on the inside
What does it matter if it's plaid or Burberry?
If it's Slim Fat or regular?

Or maybe they can
Maybe their eyes will allow it
But their strange mind won't
Because they're too busy obsessing over
That stuff
And so they don't realize that they could seek truth
And actually live
Without being so perfect

I don't understand
I thought humans were supposed to be the smartest
The most advanced
Is there something wrong with me?
That I don't understand why they seem to be the dumbest?
And the ones that need the most help from us?

I guess I'll never find out
Because I'll never be a human
And even so
I wouldn't want to be

Emily, 12

Thursday, March 15, 2007

New Moon's "Feed Me!" Recipes

Click here to download a copy of all the recipes from our March/April 2007 issue, "Feed Me!"

In one of the feature articles, “What’s on YOUR Plate?”, 11-year-old Clara of Kansas explains why she prefers to eat organic foods. Clara also sent us her favorite organic recipe for Pocket Burgers. Try it yourself!

Pocket Burgers

Remember to get permission from an adult before using the stove or oven.

You'll need:
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Package veggie crumbles (I recommend Light Life Smart Ground, available at natural foods stores)
1/4 to 1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon each of onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepr
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 heaping Tablespoons yellow mustard
2 heaping Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
4 or more slices of cheddar cheese
4 or more whole wheat hamburger buns

Heat oil in a skillet. Cook the veggie crumbles over medium-low heat until lightly browned. Add water, spices, Worcestershire, mustard, and relish. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Spoon onto buns, top with cheese.

Clara says, "These veggie burgers go great with oven-baked fries. To make the fries, cut up two or three russet potatoes, toss with 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil, and bake for 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees. Turn the fries halfway through, and sprinkle with salt at the end. Enjoy!"

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

“The Higher Power of Lucky,” by Susan Patron--BANNNED

Our local newspaper “The Duluth News Tribune” ran an article this morning that caught my eye. In fact, it tied in nicely to my recent post about using the word “vagina.”

The DNT article talks about how the Newberry Award winning book, “The Higher Power of Lucky,” by Susan Patron is being banned in some libraries because the book uses the word “scrotum.”

From the article:
Many school librarians have decided to ban “The Higher Power of Lucky” from their shelves, either because they feel that it is inappropriate to expose young readers to the word “scrotum” — even though half of them possess one — or because they anticipate angry calls and letters from parents. There are so many troubling things about this attitude that it’s hard to know where to begin.

But I’ll begin with the facts of life. What, exactly, is the purpose served by insulating children from the words that refer to their own bodies, by shrouding those bodies in mystery?
Well said!!

Has anyone read the book? If so, tell us about it or send in your book review and we'll post it on the blog!

Girls' Letters to Congress!

In New Moon Magazine's January/February 2007 issue, we asked girls to send us their letters to Congress. Here are just a few that we received:

Dear Congressman Lantos:

I wanted to express my feelings about the Iraq war. I think that there are too many innocent people being killed, both Iraqis and Americans, for no good reason. There must be some other way to end the war besides marching in with guns and killing people.

Thank you for your time,
San Francisco, CA
Dear Senator Salazar:

I am very concerned about our ozone layer. The layer all ready has two holes and if any more holes show up, deadly rays from the sun are going to melt our ice cap faster and ruin all our crops. By destroying our crops it will cause a shortage of food to several countries. So I think something should be done about aerosols and air conditioners that harm this layer. Thanks for listening to my concerns!

Hayden, CO
Dear Congressman Hank Johnson:

I think that you should change the law so that people cannot kill or harm wild horses in any way. They should run free that's my dream.

Decatur, GA
Dear John Yarmuth,

I am very concerned about the environment. I want to be an environmentalist/marine biologist when I grow up. I care about the rainforest, pollution, and especially the ocean! I love sharks very much; however, most scientists estimate that by the year 2040 nearly 147 species of sharks will become extinct. Because of the destruction of the rain forests, many other animal species are being destroyed as well. In a single rainforest alone, there may be 300 different species of trees, but once the forest is destroyed, those 300 unique species are destroyed as well. Adding to the problem is pollution. Not only is pollution affecting every animal species, it may make us extinct one day.

I would really like to hear what you are doing or intend on doing to protect our environment.

Jessi (5th grade)
Louisville, KY
Dear Representative Ellison:

I think the libraries should be open more. Because I go there every weekend, and sometimes I want to go more. I LOVE reading. I love the library.

Minneapolis, MN
Dear Congressman Price:

This morning I was reading an issue of Audubon, and I read about the "Kittlitz's Murrelet," a tiny bird, barely as big as its name, who's a tiny sea-bird found in the glacial regions of Alaska. There are only 15,000 to 30,000 of these birds left, and yet they're not listed on the Endangered Species Act! Please be aware of these little birds. Their population is one of the fastest declining in the country!

The way the Murrelet is going to live is if you stop habitat loss in that area, but oil spills and drilling are also major threats to this littel bird. Please consider doing something about them. Please! From what I can tell, nothing is being done to protect these sea birds, and they are completely innocent and defenseless! This is not fair. The birds can't vote! Please help protect these birds for the good of them and the ones who love them.

Please consider what I've said. I want you to know that we kids really do have opinions that are valuable to everyone.

Thank you,
Hazel, age 9
Chapel Hill, NC

New Moon GEB members Ashley and Saskia will be hand-delivering these letters and many more next week in Washington, D.C.! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Help Ashley and Saskia plan their visit to D.C.

Ashley and Saskia, two 12-year-old members of New Moon Magazine's Girls Editorial Board, are headed to Washington, D.C. next week to deliver New Moon's "Letter to Congress" issue to Congress members! Yesterday, we sat down to talk about the trip, and I asked the girls a couple of questions:

Why do you think it’s important for girls to be in touch with their government leaders?

“Because Congress members might use ideas inspired by girls.” – Saskia

“So government leaders are aware of what topics are important to girls.” – Ashley

What do you hope Congress members will do with New Moon’s “Letter to Congress” issue?

“I hope that after they read the issue, they think about girls’ opinions the next time they decide on a new law or are thinking of changing something.” – Ashley

“I hope that they take notice and consideration for what we’re writing about.” – Saskia

Saskia and Ashley will work hard to bring girls' voices and opinions to as many Congress members as possible while they're in D.C., and they'll also host a party for girls in the area. But in their free time, they want to see the sights. What would YOU want to do and see in Washington, D.C.? What museums, monuments, or other attractions would YOU visit? We asked Ashley and Saskia to do some research and rate their top three attractions. If you'd like to help the girls decide, leave a comment with your recommendations!

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Book Thief
By Markus Zusack
Reviewed by Marion

The Book Thief takes place in a small town in Nazi Germany before and during World War Two. The main character is a girl named Liesel Meminger whose experiences are narrated by Death.

Although times are very hard for Liesel and her foster parents and the shadow of war looms over the town, Liesel remains strong throughout constant pain and suffering. Over the course of the book, Liesel struggles to find her place in her new life and later, keeping the secret of the Jew who is in hiding in her basement.

The Book Thief appears to be a very long book, but when I read it, I wished that the story would never end. The characters Markus Zusack has created in The Book Thief are believable and unforgettable. The thoughts, feelings and emotions also weaved into this story make it a poignant, but worthwhile read. The Book Thief was also chosen as one of the best books for young adults 2007 by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).

Read this book!

Edina, Minnesota

Friday, March 09, 2007

Using the word "Vagina"

I saw The Vagina Monologues for the first time last night. I read the play a few years ago, but had never seen it performed. During the play I laughed, I cried, I felt vulnerable and I felt empowered. I left the play pondering why or how the word "vagina," a body part, can evoke so much emotion and controversy. I also wondered if a play were performed about any other body part, would it have the same effect?

So, I thought it was ironic, or timely perhaps, that this morning on the Today Show there was a segment about three girls who were suspended from their high school for using the word "vagina" in an excerpt from Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monolgues during an open mic night at their high school. Check out the video for the whole story.

New Moon dealt with similar controversy when we printed “Break the Silence” in the September/October 2006 issue. In the article, Carrie Rethlefsen tells how she was suspended from her high school for wearing a pin that said, “I ♥ my vagina.” We received a lot of negative comments about the article and in response to those comments; we created this post on our blog.

However, we want to keep the conversation going.

Have you seen The Vagina Monologues? How did the play make you feel?

Do you use the word “vagina”? Why? Why not?

Why do you think “vagina” evokes so much emotion and controversy?

Use your voice and send your comments to!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Become a charter member in the New Moon Club!

Only $5.00 for a whole year of fun!

Our mission at New Moon is “Bringing Girls' Voices to the World,” and we want to hear what you have to say! We created the New Moon Club to give girls more opportunities to share their voices!

Member Benefits include:
*USE YOUR VOICE! New Moon will ask members for feedback on special projects!
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Climate Change: A Groundwork Guide, Reviewed by Emma, 14

Climate Change: A Groundwork Guide
by Shelley Tanaka
Reviewed by Emma, 14

"Soggy northlands, heat-related deaths, water shortages, heavy precipitation, power blackouts. Is this the way of the future? Many experts are saying Yes." -from Climate Change: A Groundwork Guide

Groundwork Guides are books on important and controversial social and political issues. So far, the series also includes Empire, Being Muslim, and Genocide, all by different authors. Shelley Tanaka is the multi-award winning superauthor behind Climate Change. She is also an editor, and writes both fiction and non-fiction works very successfully. Climate Change, is appropriate for anyone twelve and up. Read it in short bursts, when you are in the right mood, and after a good night’s sleep.

Climate Change lays out the facts on global warming: what it is, how it is happening, what researchers know and how, the effects, short-term and long-, and what we can do to make a difference. Complete with graphs, maps, and shocking stats, Climate Change is out to educate…

Though Climate Change was far more engaging and enjoyable to read than many books of its genre, it is still non-fiction. This book tries to be more intriguing through visuals, sidebars, and interesting language, but it is hard to completely distract the reader from the fact that they are reading a textbook (practically).

Climate Change was a very educational read, and did a better job of warding off the bore factor than I ever would have expected. However, if you really want to find out about this pressing world topic, don’t look here, or don’t look ONLY here. Find many different sources, and take action. I love books, but I also love movies, and though it feels like sacrilege to say it in a book review, don’t read this book. Rent Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth instead. The two works have all the same information, but the movie is far more interesting, shocking, and moving. If you are looking to find out about other environment-related movies, Who Killed the Electric Car? is also very good, but I’m off topic.

I’m giving Climate Change a "Don’t Read It", because it could have been a lot worse, but it also could have been a lot better than it was. I would have liked to have seen more visuals (in colour), less repetition, more stark stats, and a little more shock value. I would also love for any movie, book, or article about global warming to devote less time to information that we’ve all heard before, and more time to the ways we can change to help our Earth.

Don’t Read It

Emma, 14
North Vancouver, BC CANADA

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Girls and Sled Dogs--A Great Combination

Last week, Kate and I got to go on a New Moon Dogsledding Adventure in Ely, MN! Two groups of parent/daughter pairs spent 3 days dogsledding--and 4 evenings writing about their dogsledding adventures. We had a lot of talented writers in my group--the girls did an especially good job of writing from their dogs' perspectives. Kate said her group did some excellent writing, too!

Here's the girls who were in my group--Maddie, Isabella, Jorie, and Addelynn--with three puppies! Paul Schurke of Wintergreen Dogsledding gave these girls the special honor of naming one of the pups. They named it Whimpers "because he whimpers!"

Each parent/daughter pair had their own sled and their own dog team. Some of my group's favorite dogs were Clark, Daisy, Prairie, Steve, Fennel ... the list goes on and on! My personal favorites were Clark and Jens because they pulled my "zip ship"--a smaller sled for one person. These dogs are strong!

The photo below shows two of the teams enjoying the beautiful scenery around Ely. We had three very different days, weather-wise--the first day was overcast, the second day was snowy, and the third day was sunny. Our group had lunch out on the trail the second day--that was the only time that the girls got REALLY cold--brr! Luckily, they had a piping-hot meal prepared by Chef Bernard waiting for them back at the lodge.

Kate and I would like to thank all the girls and adults who made the trip to Ely, and our fabulous Wintergreen guides--Dave, Jessica, Amy, Lynn Anne, Jason, and Lisa. It was a wonderful adventure!

Friday, March 02, 2007

More Recognition of Women . . . and More Days Off School

If you've noticed that the blog has been a little quiet lately, that's because Duluth has been hit with one blizzard after another! It's been fun watching all the snow outside my window, and I don't think I've ever seen the roads this quiet. I'm writing this from home -- even my internet connection was affected by the blizzard! Luckily, it's back up now, because I have something I want to share with you.

New Moon is closed today, and that got me thinking of snow days and other days I used to get off of school, like Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, and President's Day. And THAT got me thinking of the article "Where are the Women?" in the January/February 2007 issue of New Moon, which talks about how there are no nationally recognized holidays to honor women in the U.S.
13-year-old Madeline from Illinois agrees with the need for more women's holidays:

"I agree strongly that women should have more holidays to celebrate. This fact had never even crossed my mind until I read the newsletter sent to me. Why do not women have holidays as men do? I believe that this is a good topic, and one to put some thought into.

I'd like to see Rosa Parks, or Susan B. Anthony earn a holiday. I feel that they are long deserved, and that in this case anything is better late than never. These were both strong women. Just as strong as many of the men who have earned holidays for their accomplishments. Do not they deserve a day of remembrance just as men of our history have?

If Martin Luther King Jr. is important enough to miss school over, (which I do believe he is) then why is not the woman who helped him begin the Civil Rights movement?"

What do you think? Which women would YOU like to see have their own holidays? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment!