The September/October issue of New Moon Girls magazine is all about finding YOUR thing — breaking stereotypes, expressing yourself, and making the world better. These books can help.

Taking Cover: One Girl’s Story of Growing Up During the Iranian Revolution

Cover imge for Taking Cover by Nioucha Homayoonfar

Can you imagine the government telling you what you could wear, what kind of music you could listen to, and who you could talk to in public? Nioucha experienced all of these things growing up in Iran during the country’s cultural revolution. She told New Moon Girls in an interview with New Moon Girls that Iranian citizens lived separate “public lives” and “private lives” — and girls found ways to be themselves no matter what the culture told them.

Speak Up and Get Along

Cover image for Speak Up and Get Along by Scott Cooper

Figuring out how to speak up is key to being true to yourself, whether you disagree with something your friend just said or see bullies bothering a classmate. This book includes tips on how to stick up for yourself, end teasing, jump into new conversations, and more.

The Hero Next Door

Book cover for The Hero Next Door by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

You don’t need to save the world to be a hero — sometimes, just being yourself or breaking stereotypes is enough. In this collection of 13 short stories, you’ll read about heroes who are martial arts teachers, sisters, neighbors, camp counselors, and friends. Maybe you’ll even find one who sounds a little bit like you.

Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers

Book cover for Strange Birds by Celia C. Perez

Ofelia, Aster, and Cat are all busy doing their own thing — journalism, books and food, and birdwatching — when they get a mysterious invitation to a lavish mansion. The kid who invited them, Lane, needs their unique combination of talents to stand up against the local Scouts, whose outdated practice of using feathers in their bandanas hurts local birds.


Book cover for Spark by Sarah Beth Durst

Mina’s never been the type to speak out … but that was before she bonded with a lightning beast, a creature of fire and chaos. As she struggles to master the skills she needs as the creature’s guardian, she also discovers that her country’s beautiful weather comes at a steep cost. Along with fellow students, she’s ready to defy authority and spread the truth in this fantasy novel.

More Books to Help You Find YOUR Thing

In Pages and Co: The Bookwanderers by Anna James, books are 11-year-old Tilly Pages’ “thing.” She can even travel into any book she chooses!

On a quest to find her own magic power in Marigold Star by Elise Primavera, Marigold discovers that her one and only talent of making friends wherever she goes might be the greatest magic of all.

If doing your thing involves activism, make sure you know your rights. What Are My Rights? Q&A About Teens and the Law by Judge Tom Jacobs will get you started.

Have you considered, or are you already, vegetarian? Get tips from Living on the Veg: a Kids’ Guide to Life Without Meat by Clive Gifford and Jacqueline Meldrum.

For inspiration from other girls and women who are breaking stereotypes and chasing their dreams, check out the 40+ profiles in We are Makers: Real Women and Girls Shaping Our World by Amy Richards.

If you’ve read any of the books mentioned above — or if you have your own recommendation for books to help you do YOUR thing — leave a comment below!

Lacey Louwagie is an adult writer and editor who got her first editing job with New Moon Girls in 2002. She is currently a freelance writer and editor and stay-at-home parent of 2 little boys. She has been a teen services librarian and coordinates book-related goodies for New Moon Girls. She is the author...

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