Friday, May 25, 2007

The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake

This Friday's weekend reading comes from Isabelle in Utah, who's reading The Skin I'm In. New Moon featured Sharon Flake's book as our February 2006 Book Club Selection. You can read a chat our book club members had with the author here.

Now, on to the book review!

"I'm reading a book about a Black girl named Maleeka Madison who has low self-esteem because most kids tease her. Then she gets a new teacher named Miss Saunders whose skin is blotched with a rare condition. Kids tease Miss Saunders, too. Miss Saunders is like a reflectonof Maleeka. I like this book because it proves that just because you look different than other people on the outside, it dosen't matter. What matter is what's on the inside.

Monday, May 21, 2007


This poem by Maria, age 12, got me thinking about summer picnics in the park! Thanks Maria.~~Melanie

I take a bite of watermelon
inside pink outside green
infested with seeds of snow
and seeds of bark black bean

yes it tastes swell I must say
in my mouth it is good and crunchy
this little bit of heaven
so sweet and munchy

It smells so wonderful
this sweet smelling fruit
the bees come in swarms
to steal my precious loot

When I squeeze it into pulp
This crisp treat goes pop, pop, pop!
The green part though, when I feel
Seems to become hard as a cop

The my sister comes along
And asks, "What is that thing you're eating?"
I hear crunch, munch, buzz, pop!
I say, "That is a food you can't go beating."

It's Watermelon!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Weekend Reading: Stargirl

This Friday's weekend reading comes from Katie, 14, in Virginia.

Do you ever feel like you have to fit in with a group? Do you ever wonder what other people think of you? Not Stargirl Caraway, the title character of this novel.
Leo Borlock, the narrator and classmate of Stargirl, never broke free from the crowd, and neither did anyone else. No one at Mica Area High School tried to be different. They followed everyone else, until one day, when a particular student joined the school and shook things up.
On Stargirl's first day at MAHS, she comes wearing a long white peasant dress. She covers her school desk with a colored cloth and a daisy in vase. At lunch, she hands out cookies and serenades people for their birthdays. She has a pet rat. No one knows quite what to make of her.
Somehow (you'll have to read the book to find out) she becomes popular. People find her entertaining. The high school hallways become filled with smiles, color, and originality. But her popularity is only shortlived. When Stargirl's crazy actions become too out of hand, people start disliking her. What does she do next? Does she stay true to herself or try to fit in? You'll have to read the book to find out.
I loved this book because Stargirl is such a sweet character. She believes in herself and doesn't care what other people think of her. She knows who she is and doesn't try to let others change her. I wish she were a real person, because she would be a perfect nomination for the 25 Beautiful Girls!
Read it!

New Moon Meets with Local Advertising Executives!

Wednesday night, New Moonies and area girls met with local advertising executives to celebrate Turn Beauty Inside Out Day. Executives from H.T. Klatzky & Associates(HTK) and Art Direction and Advertising (pictured at left) took time out of their evening to speak to girls about the business of advertising. Marsha Hystead Senior Vice President and Senior Creative Director from HTK gave an awesome keynote speech and was an inspiration! The thing that inspired me the most were her “Rules to Live By” and I wanted to share them with you.

The most important person in your life is you.
Realize now that you can either be your biggest fan or your worst enemy. If you believe, inside, that you are the coolest person in the world, that will come across to others.

You deserve to be happy. But it’s your responsibility to share your happiness.
You do deserve to be happy. Everyone does. And, you have to do your best to make others happy around you. Let others know they’re cool, too. You will be amazed how that happiness comes back to you.

Live your life as if no one is looking.
This is really important. And it’s really hard. Don’t worry what others think of you. Be yourself. Funny. Serious. Smart. Crazy. Kind. Caring. Whoever you are, be that person first. It will be infectious.

Everyone is beautiful when we see with our hearts instead of our eyes.
It is so important to open your heart to people who may be different. To accept people for who they are and how they look. Where they live. What they wear. If you don’t want to be judged, don’t judge others. Everyone has a story. Be open to hearing it.

Masquerading as a normal person is exhausting!
What is normal anyway? This statement says be you and don’t be afraid to show people who really are. Anyway, it’s much more interesting to be different.

Each night ask yourself: Did I make someone’s life better today?
This is important. Noticing someone who needs a friend, or a listening ear, or just someone to walk home with‑and offering to help‑may just make their day a little better. It can be a small thing, it may take only take a second, but it just may change their life. I guarantee it will change yours.

“I ain’t much, baby, but I’m all I’ve got!”
Learn this now. You’ve been given many talents and gifts. Learn to appreciate them. When you do, they will become evident to others. Trust me. This stuff is true!

You are the most amazing person alive.
If you believe that, you will be successful in everything you do.

After Marsha spoke, the girls got a chance to ask the panelists thought provoking questions and we were able to get a glimpse into the advertising world. We learned a lot! Then, the audience was able to break into small groups to work with the executives one-on-one to analyze ads from commonly read magazines. Each small group shared with the larger group at the end of the night and we had a lively discussion!
Some comments that were made about the advertisements were:
“That’s too showy”
“I wouldn’t buy this product because I don’t even know what it is!”
“She doesn’t look real”

Russ Stover, President of the Duluth City Council proclaimed May 16, 2007 TBIO day in Duluth!! We are so honored that the City of Duluth recognizes all the hard work and dedication our staff (both girls and adults) put into bringing girls’ voices to the world!

I hope you had a wonderful TBIO day! We certainly did!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Happy Turn Beauty Inside Out Day!

Turn Beauty Inside Out Day (TBIO) is a grassroots celebration of media images that promote healthy behavior for girls and boys. We invite you to celebrate inner beauty--the beauty of conviction, caring and action. We need a definition of beauty that focuses on who we are and what we do, not how we look.

This year TBIO is focusing on the portrayal of women and girls in advertising. The New Moon family will be celebrating TBIO Day by meeting with local advertising executives to discuss the images of women and girls in advertising. So, how will you celebrate TBIO day? Visit the TBIO website for ideas!

Check back tomorrow for pictures from the event being held tonight! And tell us how YOU celebrated TBIO with your friends, family and community.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Weekend Reading

This Friday's book review comes from Jennifer, 12, in Bethseda, Maryland.

"Hi! I love to read and The Golden Compass, which I just finished, really caught my attention.

Philip Pullman’s first book in the His Dark Materials series is about a girl named Lyra who lives in a parallel universe. Lyra, lives at Jordan College, in Oxford. She does not know of her parents or anything about her family. One person she does know of is her Uncle Asriel. He is always on journeys north so she sees him very little over the course of her life. Lyra is curious to find out what her Uncle is doing on these trips. Lyra is very anxious to go north and have an adventure or two like her Uncle Asriel. Read about her adventures and true fate to see what the world Lyra lives in is all about!"

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Girls and Technology

The National Science Foundation has funded a new after school program in some Santa Cruz, California schools in the hopes of getting girls interested in technology. From the Santa Cruz Sentinal article:

The students will spend 18 months, including intensive three-week sessions this summer and next, engaged in setting up a computer game business in Whyville.

In addition to designing games, they'll learn how to run a business, from hiring to marketing. They'll earn salaries in Whyville's currency, the clam. They'll also be paired with mentors and tour UC Santa Cruz and the headquarters of Google in Mountain View and game-maker Electronic Arts in Redwood City.

I think that this is a pretty cool after school program. What do you think? Would you participate if your school offered it? Are you interested in computers, video games, and design? What are your favorite video games? Tell us what kind of technology YOU are in to!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

How do you feel about popularity?

Girls write to New Moon a lot with their ideas of popularity. Do girls become popular because they're genuinely nice and a lot of people like them? Do they become popular for having the right clothes, the right looks, or being bullies? Does it depend on the school or the neighborhood? Madeline writes:

"I don't understand why people want to be popular. Is it because they want people to like them? Perhaps boys? If anyone has an idea, tell me! I mean, if I was popular, I would be singing about it by now!"

So, what do you think? Are you popular? Do you wish you were? Or wish you weren't? Is being popular a blessing or a curse? Leave your comments -- let's discuss!