New Moon Girls
June 29, 2009 § 7 Comments
When my sister turned 11 in February, I had a hard time thinking of a decent gift. She’s a ravenous reader (often a book a day), so I wanted to get some feministy lit to supplement her Twilight-heavy library. I was looking for something in a similar vein as The Daring Book for Girls, which my parents gave her at Christmas.
Somehow or other I heard about New Moon Girls magazine, browsed their website, and ordered her a subscription. I just wanted to share it as an awesome gift idea for (and by!) young girls because it comes chock full of global awareness, self-love, and a solid introduction to feminism.
Here are some of my favorite components of the magazine in general:
- The Ask a Girl column, where readers write in with advice on other girls’ social queries and anxieties.
- Book reviews submitted online by youngsters.
- Publishing opportunities for girls’ creative writing and visual artwork.
- How Aggravating!, “where we voice our opinions about what’s unfair to girls and women,” and its sister column, Howling at the Moon, where girls write about “moments of power” and “mak[ing] life better for girls.”
- Discounting plugs for the magazine’s free website, the total lack of advertisements!
And some specifics from the latest issue (July/August 2009):
- Rootin’ & Shootin’, an article on an environmental awareness program in Tanzania written by a 12-year-old living there.
- When Things Get Hairy, a primer (again, written by a preteen) on body hair as well as why and how some women choose to remove it. I agree with Holly, a member of the Girls Editorial Board, who writes, “I thought [the article] was pretty good because it has lots of different information about hair removal options. I’m just starting to shave my legs, so I liked reading it. I also thought it was good that the author stated you can remove hair but you don’t have to.”
- The back page, a feature called The Last Word, is a profile of Alice Walker. It includes details of her anti-war activism as well as an admittedly brief intro to womanism: “Alice calls herself a womanist, a word she created to describe an African-American feminist.”
What I like best about this publication is the sense of connection and sisterhood it fosters. My sister adores the magazine and spends time almost every day on the community website; many of the regular columns feature readers in conversation with other readers in a touchingly supportive spirit.
In short, this is a fantastic gift idea for any young girl. Its staff, both preteen and professional, are committed to representing a broad range of young women’s voices, and it pays off.