The 2nd Annual 2012 Girls’ Choice Book Award Winners!

New Moon Girls has what no other book lists do: the top books for girls, chosen by girls. You voted for your faves, and now we’re announcing the winners in the January/February 2012 issue!

This year, instead of announcing the top 20 books, we split the winners into four lists: Fiction, Nonfiction, Fantasy, and Mystery. Click here to check out the new winners of the Girls’ Choice 2012 Book Awards, get great ideas for new books to read, and more! Did your faves make the cut?

(You can buy these books and support New Moon Girls at the same time. Just click on the link of each book you want to buy on the lists and add it to your cart at Amazon (you need to use each separate link). New Moon gets a small reward from Amazon for each sale. Thanks!)

If you want to know more about these books, just search the title at NewMoon.com—you’re sure to find great girl-created book reviews, fun quizzes, and more. Have you read some of the books already? Submit your own reviews and tell other girls what books you recommend! You can even create your own character quizzes and polls and share them.

You can also see what books won last year at the very first GC Awards!

We know how much New Moon Girls love reading, and we hope you love this year’s winners. Don’t see your favorite books on the lists? Tell us what you think should have won in the comments below!

Love,

Luna

New Year Traditions From Around the World!

Did you know that New Years is one of the oldest holidays celebrated in the world? It has been celebrated for around 4,000 years!

New Years marks the first day of the year on the modern calendar. It is observed on January 1. Since so many people follow this calendar, it is the closest holiday considered to be a “world holiday.” However, there are many different New Years traditions followed by different cultures.

How do you celebrate the new year? Below are some New Years traditions from different cultures around the world:

  • The Thai New Year is called the Songkran is celebrated from April 13-15. Some Thai traditions include cleaning all the statues of Buddha and soaking each other by using water guns, garden hoses and dumping buckets of water!The water is thought to bring good rains in the new year.
  • The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. It is usually celebrated in the fall. It is considered to be one of the holiest days of the year in Jewish culture, and it is a time to look back on the past year and plan a better future. Learn more about Rosh Hashanah here!
  • The Chinese New Year will be celebrated on January 23 this year. It is celebrated for 15 days and is considered the most important Chinese holiday. In Chinese culture it is the year of the dragon, which represents power. Check out Serena, 13, Minnesota’s awesome poem about Chinese New Year traditions!
  • The Ethiopian New Year is called Enkutatash, or the “gift of jewels. It will be celebrated on September 11 with dancing and singing. It is not considered a religious holiday, but some people may celebrate with religious traditions.
  • The Islamic New Year, also called Hijri, will fall on November 14, 2012, which will mark the first day of the Islamic calendar. It is usually a quiet holiday celebrated by special prayers and marking the appearance of the new moon. See what New Moon Girl member Husnaa shared with Luna about Islamic New Year traditions!

What are your New Years traditions? Check out Phoebe, 13, New York’s story about New Years to learn how others celebrate the holiday!

What will you be doing for New Years? Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?Tell us all about them in your comments below!

Emily

New Moon Intern

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Holidays From Everyone at New Moon Girls!

Happy Holidays to all New Moon Girls, from Luna, the Spirit of New Moon!

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or another holiday, Luna would like to wish you happiness, peace and love this holiday season.

How will you and your  family be celebrating the holidays?

Do you have any family traditions, like Jane, 12, New York, who will be celebrating the Jewish Holiday Hanukkah? Will you put out your stocking and leave some cookies for Santa Clause like Kati the Kitti, 14, Connecticut writes about in her Christmas story? Or, will you be celebrating the African American culture throughout the week-long Kwanzaa celebration?

Whatever holiday you will be celebrating, its a wonderful time of year for love, friends, family and giving. It is a time to share your love with others and give back to those in need. It is also a time for rest and quality family time.

Will you be giving or receiving gifts?

We know that the holiday season isn’t really about gift-getting or even gift-giving. However, it is a very common tradition that a lot of families take part in! Sometimes it can be hard to give gifts to your friends and family, but New Moon Girls have a lot of great last-minute ideas from New Moon-themed gifts to homemade crafts.

Another great alternative to gifts is volunteering your time and talents to those in need. See how some New Moon Girls have given back to people and organizations that are always grateful for a little help.

There are many ways to spend the holidays and Phoebe, 13, New york is wondering what are your holiday plans? Many girls plan to spend the holidays at home with family and friends.

So, how will you and your family be celebrating the holidays? Share your stories, traditions and last-minute gift ideas with us in your comments below!

Happy holidays from everyone here at New Moon Girls!

Sister to Sister: What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

In less than two weeks, we’ll be approaching the New Year (January 1, 2012!). For the New Year, many people like to make resolutions – and sometimes, they’re hard to think of. Here are some ideas about resolutions you can keep all year long!

 

  • NoisemakerTry to talk to someone you’ve never talked to before every day. I don’t mean to talk to strangers, but maybe there’s a quiet girl in your math class who’s always seemed really nice, or you see your school librarian every day but you’ve never introduced yourself. Often, people who seem really cool turn out to be! Going out of your comfort zone, especially if you’re shy, and meeting someone new can have awesome results.
  • Post an Operation Beautiful note every day! Operation Beautiful, as many of you know, is an organization that leaves Post- It notes saying messages about inner beauty that are left anonymously, frequently in public restroom or dressing room mirrors, to brighten someone else’s day. Get more information and see what other New Moon Girls have posted here.
  • Spend time outside every day. Everyone is so very busy, which can prevent us from playing outside with friends and getting exercise. Taking a walk in a local park or even down the street can help take your mind off of stress. Even if you only spend 15 minutes outside every day, you can get more exercise and often can feel more peaceful overall.
  • Try something new that makes you happy. Have you ever wanted to try something new that maybe you’ve been afraid or nervous to try? Whether it’s auditioning for a school or community play, trying out for a sport, or learning to play an instrument, take a chance on something new this year!

 

What New Year’s Resolutions are you all making? Post them here, and ask others for suggestions too!

 

It’s so wonderful working with all of your girls here on New Moon. Have a lovely New Year, and never hesitate to ask us for advice on the Sister to Sister message board in Shout Out!

 

Love,
Alexa

New Moon Girls Is Giving Back This Holiday Season!

New Moon Girls is giving back this holiday season, and we asked you to choose which deserving organization to donate to. Well, you voted and we are donating 5% of every membership ordered until Dec. 29 to Room to Read!

Room to Read is an organization that works in developing countries such as Cambodia, Laos, India and South Africa among many others. Their mission is to create the opportunity for every child to get an education and make a difference in their community and world.

Room to Read works closely with communities and local governments to help children learn to read and write, and develop these and other life skills to girls. Room to Read works with both girls and boys, but has a special program just for girls called the Girls’ Education program.

Did you know that 42% of girls in developing countries do not attend school? Room to Read is working to change that. As of now, 234 girls have graduated from the program and over 10,000 are working hard to follow.

Check out the stories of  Dang from Vietnam, Anita from India and Aradhana from Nepal to see how their lives have changed after gaining an education. For more inspirational stories, check out the Girl Graduates 2010 yearbook!

Giving girls an education is one of the most powerful things that can be done to reduce poverty. It gives girls the skills to build healthy families, lower the rate of disease and earn higher wages. The cycle of poverty can be greatly reduced by educated girls and women who can make positive life decisions.

 

Help Room to Read get the most out of our donations. Here are some easy things you can do:

  • Create a poster about how much you love New Moon. Get permission to hang them up around school, church or area businesses to spread the word!
  • Host a New Moon holiday party for your family and friends. Check out these awesome tips on decorations, food, activities and more.
  • Design your own New Moon t-shirt, give your old issues of New Moon to friends or host a “snowy day read.” See these and other ideas here.
  • Donate to the New Moon Girls Scholarship fund.
  • Order a membership for your school or local library.

By voting for Room to Read, you are helping girls worldwide by ordering or renewing your membership to New Moon Girls. Thanks to you, Room to Read can continue to help even more girls receive a quality education and reduce poverty!

What are some other ideas you have to help Room to Read? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!

Emily

New Moon Intern