Building girl (and parent) power

Ad-free New Moon is 'Ms Jr.' for young women


Twelve years ago, Nancy Gruver was navigating the choppy waters of middle school with her twin daughters.

“As a mom, I wanted to do something,” she says. That “something” turned out to be New Moon, the Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams.

The award-winning advertising-free bi-monthly magazine for girls ages 8-14 is written and edited by girls. Gruver’s daughters and their friends were the first members of the New Moon editorial board.

I describe New Moon to other moms as “Ms. Jr.,” a magazine that promotes real, positive messages and images of girls. Unlike the “Glamour Jr.” format of so many magazines for girls, there are no blow-dried models, no photos of heartthrob actors, no WB soap opera updates and no trendy product advertisements. Actually, there are no ads at all, which gives the magazine the feel of an educational literature review, such as Cricket or Highlights.

My daughter, Angelica, 10, is one of the 30,000 subscribers to New Moon. “I like that it’s a girl magazine,” she says. “It’s like a manual for girls. You can go to it when you need help with a problem.” 

A regular New Moon department, “Herstory,” recently featured Grace O’Malley, a 16th century female pirate. The 17 girls on the editorial board chose that article after a reader poll showed “Pirates of the Caribbean” is a favorite movie of New Moon readers. That November/December issue also carried an article written by Emily Rose Coffee, an 8-year-old peace activist from Colorado.

Helping girls and their parents is a family business for Gruver of Duluth, Minn. In 1999, her husband, Joe Kelly, founded Dads and Daughters, a nonprofit, Web-based advocacy and education organization. It also publishes Daughters, a bi-monthly newsletter for adults that contains articles, interviews and research findings about issues facing adolescent girls and their parents. 

For more information, or to subscribe to New Moon, visit For information about Dads and Daughters, visit

Sheila Black Haennicke

Kids Eat Chicago

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