Celebrating Youthful Curiosity and Discovery Through Books and Reading

Mind-Body-Spirit / Self-Esteem

From books about loving oneself, to books about loving others, the Moonbeam Mind-Body-Spirit/Self-Esteem medalists will teach children to face every day with a greater sense of self. These books focus on empowering ways to solve problems, developing an emotional awareness that will guide them through their encounters with others and bolster their own self-esteem. 

2015 Medalists

Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters

Author: Laurie Ann Thompson
Publisher: Beyond Words
ISBN: 1582704643

Empower yourself in today’s highly connected, socially conscious world as you learn how to wield your passions, digital tools, and the principles of social entrepreneurship to affect real change in your schools, communities, and beyond.

At age eleven, Jessica Markowitz learned that girls in Rwanda are often not allowed to attend school, and Richards Rwanda took shape.

During his sophomore year of high school, Zach Steinfeld put his love of baking to good use and started the Baking for Breast Cancer Club.

Do you wish you could make a difference in your community or even the world? Are you one of the millions of high school teens with a service-learning requirement? Either way, Be a Changemaker will empower you with the confidence and knowledge you need to affect real change. You’ll find all the tools you need right here—through engaging youth profiles, step-by-step exercises, and practical tips, you can start making a difference today.


Stickley Sticks To It! 

Author: Brenda S. Miles
Publisher: Magination Press
ISBN: 1433819104

Stickley the frog has the gift of "stick-to-it-ness." His sticky toes help him stick to windows, ceilings, and surfboards - even under plates! But Stickley's toes aren't the only way he sticks to things. His attitude helps him stick with projects - no matter how frustrating or hard they may be - so he can reach his goals. Read about Stickley and learn how he makes a plan, sticks to it, and gets things done! Includes a Note to Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers with more information about perseverance and strategies for boosting stick-to-it-ness in kids.


Your Body is Awesome: Body Respect for Children

Author: Sigrun Danielsdottir 
Illustrator: Bjork Bjarkadottir
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN: 1848192282

Bodies do all sorts of amazing things, like move around, grow bigger and heal themselves. Bodies also come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and we need to take care of them so that they stay healthy and strong. If we listen to our bodies they tell us exactly what they need.

The colorful illustrations in this unique picture book will encourage children to love their bodies from an early age. By learning about all the wonderful things bodies can do, and how each body is different and unique, children will be inspired to take good care of their bodies throughout their lives. Promoting respect for body diversity among children will also encourage kindness and help prevent bullying.

This book is ideal for children aged 4 and upwards to read at home or school, either alone or with a parent, family member, teacher or other caring professional.


Go Away Bad Mood

Author: Nayera Salam
Illustrator: Elsa Estrada 
Publisher: Prolance
ISBN: 0988507072

Bad Mood is chased away by Big Belle, Susie Squirrel and her friend Gus, Dorothy Doe, and Lady Golden Beak. In this rhyming fantasy, Bad Mood, the gloomy, ugly guy tries to ruin their day in his own special way. But trial after trial he fails until Fairy Felicia changes him to Good Mood. Only then is he invited to stay and play! From beginning to end, children and adults will be intrigued by the book’s message, the enchanting creatures, and the vivid imagery. Book's message: Show the world your smile! With attached puzzle.


2014 Medalists

How the Trees Got Their Voices

Author: Susan Andra Lion
Publisher: Satiama
ISBN: 0983268754

While camping with a group of girls, Susan Andra Lion was given this tale about trees, nature and also the relationship of living things within a forest ecosystem. Sue Lion's highly visual story book not only presents a fascinating story that children ages 3 and older will enjoy, but also tells a second story about animals, plants, birds, and the Earth itself. Children will learn about the integrated way in which Earth's inhabitants live in relationship to each other, and learn the value of respect for each form of life. This is a unique and marvelous book helps its readers to regard their world as a complex tapestry of life and living things. Children will be delighted by the thumbnail descriptions which surround the outside of each page, inviting them in and helping them learn about the world of the forest and greater ecosystem of Mother Earth.


The Incredible Flexible You™

Author: Ryan Hendrix, Kari Zweber Palmer, Nancy Tarshis, and Michelle Garcia Winner
Publisher: Social Thinking Publishing
ISBN: 1936943050

The Incredible Flexible You is an engaging new Social Thinking educational series that combines a social learning framework used in schools across the U.S. with music and dramatic play activities that will appeal to early learners. Play is the learning environment of young children, and this curriculum capitalizes on this idea! The series introduces Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking model to children ages 4-7.


If You Tell Me, I Can Fly!

Author: Sharon Thayer
Illustrator: Linda Nagy
Publisher: Carousel Publishing
ISBN: 0976623919

In the face of challenge throughout life's journey, the possibilities are endless if you believe you can fly. This inspirational book, using flying as a metaphor for success, is the perfect gift for girls ages 8 through adult. The message in this book let's a special girl in your life know you believe in her. If You Tell Me, I Can Fly! is the winner of 4 state and 2 national awards.


2013 Medalists

Shovelful of Sunshine

Author: Stacie Vaughn Hutton
Illustrator: Cheryl Harness
Publisher: Headline Kids
ISBN: 0938467395

Meggie Gwinn loves dreaming about faraway places, but one day her dreams are gone. With the help of her coal miner daddy, Meggie learns of all the Gwinn dreams that have come true and the family message that would triumph over danger and darkness.

Generations of families have endured sacrifice and hardship in hopes they may leave a better world for their children and grandchildren. From letters written by coal miners, author Stacie Vaughn Hutton writes a story of hope and inspiration by showing how a young girl copes with her father's job as a coal miner. Illustrated by renowned children's book illustrator, Cheryl Harness, this book will be a family treasure for years to come.


Heroes, Villains, and Vincent

Author: Trenton Payne
Illustrator: Shahab ShamShirsaz
Publisher: Spirit Boy Publishing
ISBN: 1484061713

Vincent has problems. The good news is he's got two separate sets of parents that love him very much. It just so happens that half of them are super heroes and the other half are super villains. Yikes. So what does Vincent want to be when he grows up? Well, it doesn't involve flying at the speed of light or robbing banks. His parents aren't amused. They want him to choose sides. So what does Vincent do? He goes looking for advice from a mysterious uncle who lives halfway across the globe. Good thing the family jet is fueled!


Happy, Sad, & Everything In Between: All About My Feelings

Author: Sunny Im-Wang, Psy.D., S.S.P.
Illustrator: Alex McVey
Publisher: lilSprout Press
ISBN: 1937646114

Children benefit from identifying what they feel and what causes those feelings. Happy, Sad, and Everything In Between: All About My Feelings introduces children to emotional literacy and provides a general education about feelings—which ones they may have, how feelings are connected to their bodies, and ways to manage challenging feelings such as anger and frustration. When children feel empowered by knowledge, they are more likely to make better choices. A great resource at home or in school!  


Bucket Filling from A to Z: The Key to Being Happy

Author: Carol McCloud and Caryn Butzke
Illustrator: Glenn Zimmer
Publisher: Ferne Press
ISBN: 193832613X

Bucket Filling from A to Z uses the letters of the alphabet to help young and old see the many, simple ways that they can fill buckets and fill their own buckets in return. When you help children become bucket fillers, you give them the key to happiness...for it is in friendship, love, and good will to others that we are truly happy. Yes, bucket filling is the moment by moment choice to be kind and caring. Teaching and encouraging children to be bucket fillers is one of the greatest gifts you can give to them.


2012 Medalists

Knees: The Mixed-Up World of a Boy with Dyslexia

Author: Vanita Oelschlager
Illustrator:  Joe Rossi
Publisher: VanitaBooks
ISBN: 0982636695

Knees shows the ups and downs of life with dyslexia. We have done this book in the style and size of a chapter book so that younger children and older children at low reading levels can read what seems to be an older child's book. We cover dyslexia’s symptoms and the reasons school can be hard for dyslexics. We talk about some famous people who had or have dyslexia. The book is endorsed by the head master of a school where many of the children have dyslexia. He has dyslexia himself.


The Hero In Me

Author: Susan Fitzsimonds
Illustrator: Jeff Covieo 
Publisher: Nelson Publishing & Marketing
ISBN: 193391694X

Did you know you have a hero inside of you? You do, and it's waiting to come out! The Hero in Me shows how a young boy uses his ""hero in me"" to stand up to bullies and becomes a good role model for his peers. Along with great messages, The Hero in Me includes practical tips for deterring bullying situations and advice for being a good friend.


Bee Yourself

Author: Kerry Sather
Illustrator: David Mark 
Publisher: Your Nickel's Worth Publishing
ISBN: 1894431669

I am a bumblebee. But I'm not happy being me. I would like to be someone new...but who?


And Still They Bloom: A Family’s Journey of Loss and Healing

Author: Amy Rovere
Illustrator: Joel Spector 
Publisher: American Cancer Society
ISBN: 1604430362

Responding to the fact that coping with a parent’s death can be especially hard on young children, this beautifully written and illustrated book is a valuable resource for parents and counselors. Ten-year-old Emily and seven-year-old Ben must deal with the loss of their mother to cancer. Guided by conversations with their father, they embark on a journey of grief and healing, each searching for a path to acceptance. Along the way, both children realize that their mother will always be with them in their hearts. And just as their mother’s flowers had bloomed in the garden, Emily and Ben emerge from the darkness of grief to bloom once more. Using nature as a backdrop for the cycles of life, this moving story emphasizes hope and healing and will connect with all readers who have lost a loved one.

2011 Medalists

Every Kid’s Guide to Living Your Best Life

Author: Sara Jensen-Fritz, MS, Psy.S, Paula Jones-Johnson, BSW, M.Ed, and Thea L. Zitzow, M.Ed
Publisher: Beaver's Pond Press
ISBN: 1592983936

Every Kid's Guide to Living Your Best Life provides children the opportunity to learn social and emotional skills to create a foundation for resilience. This interactive book creates a meaningful connection between a child and a caring adult, and is packed with activities that teach positive thinking and other life skills necessary for personal and academic success.


Journals of the Big Mouth Bass, Book One: Keeping Secrets

Author: Debbie Sue Bass Williamson
Publisher: Souper Publishing
ISBN: 0980123410

Debbie Bass just celebrated her ninth birthday. While she thought most of the presents were kind of lame, she loves the journal that her mother gave her. Debbie has always had trouble keeping secrets so she has decided to write all of her secrets in her new journal, addressing every entry to God. She figures that there is a good chance that God won't tell anyone what she is writing! Join the fun as Debbie lives up to her unfortunate nickname and shares the trials and tribulations of growing up. From trying to be more girly (and failing miserably) to exciting adventures with her brother and the neighborhood kids, to facing humiliation at school, Keeping Secrets is a heartwarming, funny, and very real book about growing up female. Kids everywhere are falling head over heels for Debbie, a girl who is as honest about her red hair and freckles, lack of girlfriends, and getting picked last for dodgeball as she is about her first crush and the fact that she just can't keep a secret.


Return To Her Roots: Revelations from a Young Girl’s Journey Home

Author: Lynn Lederhos
Illustrator: Dan Drewes
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 1452038120

A young girl discovers a deep connection to herself when communing with nature and journaling. Unexpectedly, she finds her special place by the river destroyed. She felt as if a part of her had also been lost. She began a journey that helped her to heal and appreciate the people and circumstances in her life. When her elderly parents surprise her with a gift many years later, she sees the truth and how all things are connected and serve a higher purpose. A story about a young girl's jouney through life, Return to Her Roots, reveals how our relationships and life experiences teach us important truths about ourselves and ultimately reconnect us to our Home within.


Yuki Spread the Love

Author & Illustrator: Sueling Garcia-Hyde 
Publisher: Self-Published
ISBN: 9780615421148

Even when you are not looking, something great happens every day and this book is about what you do with it. Finding a beautiful heart in the middle of your path is pretty amazing. Imagine that! Life is about choices. Yuki could have easily kept her "find" to herself, but instead she chose to spread the love so that others all around the world could experience the magical touch she herself had felt that day. Will you spread some love today?


2010 Medalists

What Does It Mean To Be Present?

Author: Rana DiOrio
Illustrator: Eliza Wheeler
Publisher: Little Pickle Press
ISBN: 0984080686

What does being present look like? Noticing when someone in your class needs help and taking the time to help them. Sound like? The rain outside your window. Smell like? Briny seaweed at the beach. Taste like? A bite of orange. Feel like? Allowing the rhythm of your breath, in and out … to make you feel peaceful.

Follow a group of friends at school, at home, and at the beach as they experience just what it means to be present.



Author: Julie Marie Carrier
Illustrator: Tim Rawls
Publisher: Positive Role Model Press
ISBN: 0578042053

A must-have book for tweens, teens, young women and gals of all ages! While many girls learn beauty secrets to trendy clothes, shiny lip gloss and sparkly accessories, many have never been given the beauty secrets that matter most--true beauty secrets to help them sparkle and shine from the inside out!

This is what BeYOUtiful is all about! Considered a best new resource for girls and young women on success and self-esteem (and those who support them), BeYOUtiful! is being called a big sister in a book; by youth-serving professionals, parents, and girls alike! In this practical how-to guide, Julie Marie Carrier-a top youth speaker, positive youth development expert, and teen success coach for MTV's #1 ranked positive goal setting TV show, MADE-guides girls through an interactive personal journey to live life to the fullest! From body image and confidence makeovers to true-to-you friendship foundations and must-have accessories for success and self-respect, Julie helps girls to define what it means to be truly beautiful--BeYOUtiful! It's not just a look; it's a way to live!



Author: Abby Denson
Publisher: Green Candy Press
ISBN: 1931160708

From the moment Kitty, a ballerina doll, is assembled in the Doll Factory, she questions her existence. She ends up in a suburban home where a little girl plays domestic games with her and Soccer Scotty, a male doll happy with the status quo. The restless Kitty escapes, along the way meeting Army Jim, a military action figure. He’s heading for Dolltopia, where dolls have created their own society, separate from humans. She joins him on the journey and the biggest adventure of their lives! They give themselves makeovers, meet a helpful black cat and other free-thinking dolls, lead a raid on the Doll Factory, and Kitty undergoes plastic surgery by Dolltopia’s mysterious Doctor. Just as she’s getting settled in, Soccer Scotty tracks her down. Things get even worse when a human discovers Dolltopia! Acclaimed graphic novelist Abby Denson brings her trademark manga- and punk-inflected style to this imaginative graphic novel.


The Little Hope Book

Author: Leah Alagna
Illustrator: Josh Hunter
Publisher: Ecliptic Visions

The Little Hope book is the inspirational true story of artist Josh Hunter and his beloved companion Hope. This 44 page, oversized book will take you on a boy’s journey from daydream to reality. Within the book lies a Hopeful message, which will build your child’s self-esteem and teach them the tools necessary to “Dream. Believe. Hope.”


2009 Medalists

Playing with Gaia

Author: Cindy Bowen
Illustrator: Twila Jefferson
Publisher: Grateful Steps
ISBN: 193513003X

Play with the ever-present energy of life in Mother Earth--play with Gaia! This is not yoga, dance or tai chi; it is an awakening and discovery of playfulness and inner freedom. Open a new doorway with yourself or the children in your life. Together you can heal wounds, dissolve boundaries, create deep inner bonds and bring new creativity and awareness into your world. 

Be independently joyful. Expand your awareness of beauty, support and love found in nature. Connect with Mother Earth--play with Gaia!


Too Tall Alice

Author: Barbara Worton
Illustrator: Dom Rodi
Publisher: Great Little Books
ISBN: 0979066115

Alice is tall. Not T-Rex or Empire State Building tall. Just four inches taller than the other eight-year-old girls at her school. Her mom says she's tall. Her dad says she's tall. But Alice is worried that being tall isn't okay. She cries and cries and wishes that she was just like everyone else, until her dream takes her to the place where the tall girls live, and she sees, really sees herself for the first time.


Daria Rose and the Day She Chose

Author: Yvonne Capitelli
Illustrator: Sherri Forrester Baldy
Publisher: A Sunny Day Publishing
ISBN: 0981836607

This is the first book of The Daria Rose Series. A story of self-empowerment: to foster positive behavior, confidence, courage, strength, determination, friendship, good values and the importance of being thoughtful and thankful. Join Daria Rose in a seven-day adventure as she discovers the powers she had inside her all along. She takes control of her days and learns how to make good choices. She discovers that her decisions can change the outcome of the different worries and fears in her life. Daria Rose learns that life is all about choices and it is up to her to make the right ones. This is a fun story that will teach a child invaluable tools in a child friendly way. Children will observe girls making good choices, positive behavior, kindness towards others, children being grateful, appreciating a parent and having faith in oneself. This is a book filled with invaluable messages for all children. Children are never too young to learn about the power they have within and how important it is to be responsible for their own behavior. Whether your child is 4 or 14 they can learn never to give up and that all things are possible, if they choose to make it happen.


The ABCs of Yoga for Kids

Author: Teresa Anne Power 
Illustrator: Kathleen Rietz
Publisher: Stafford House Books
ISBN: 0982258704

The ABCs of Yoga for Kids uses the alphabet, rhyming vignettes, and colorful illustrations to introduce children to yoga in a kid-friendly way. Each of the 56 different poses featured in the book delightfully promote flexibility, strength, and coordination while encouraging children to incorporate healthy activity into their daily lives. Yoga is a noncompetitive form of exercise, suitable for children (and adults) of all ages and athletic abilities. Any activity for young children is important because the nation, including our youth, is under siege by obesity, stress, and diseases like diabetes, which stem from poor diet and lack of exercise. Yoga for young kids will create good habits and a foundation for well-being. Children have a lot of fun learning new positions, new letters, and new ideas. This book will delight and bring joy to the early yoga practitioner.


2008 Medalists

The Sad Mad Glad Book: The Anatomy of Your Attitude

Author: Chuck Stump & Jim Strawn 
Publisher: Four Dolphins Press
ISBN: 0979931517

It is no surprise...Attitude is everything! And, just like academics, attitude and character are learned. The Sad Mad Glad Book helps teach children life lessons by taking something that they already know their body parts, and linking them to popular, positive principles and beliefs. Parents, teachers, counselors, grandparents, and anyone that enjoys molding young minds will find that the unique format of this book helps children share feelings and build self-esteem. Join our friends and laugh and learn from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.


Beauty's Secret

Author: Debra Gano
Illustrator: Dawn Pitre
Publisher: Heartlight Girls
ISBN: 0978768906

Beauty's Secret is an inspiring story of a sweet girl named Beauty, whose enthusiasm for life lights up the world around her. However, her light dims as she becomes overly focused on her external appearance. Journey with Beauty through an enlightening experience, one that leads her to remember the truth about herself. Learn the important secret she receives from a mystical angel...a secret that will change her life forever and will once again make her light shine bright! In a society where few role models exist for girls, Beauty becomes a beacon of inspiration to all. Author Debra Gano delivers a powerful message about the value of going within to discover beauty and self-approval. Stunningly illustrated by noted artist Dawn Pitre, this beautiful and uplifting book can be appreciated by readers of all ages.


The Land of Smaerd

Author: Andrea von Botefuhr
Illustrator: Bryn Barnard
Publisher: Know Wonder Publishing
ISBN: 0615181120

The Land of Smaerd (dreams spelled backwards), is a story about a world where all things are possible; a place where dreams live while they are waiting to come true. Through simple, yet powerful ideas designed to cultivate imagination, Smaerd beckons us to a place where we are free to soar...where children are invited to express their creativity, where dreams are allowed to thrive. While illustrating the importance of being clear and thoughtful about one s dreams and desires, The Land Of Smaerd promotes purposeful optimism through it s assurance that... No dream is impossible, too big or too small; any dream can come true...any dream at all!


Choose Your Life: A Travel Guide for Living

Author: Karen Gedig Burnett
Illustrator: Sabrina Melo da Silva
Publisher: GR Publishing
ISBN: 0966853075

How you think is the most important choice you make. But don't believe everything you think. Learn to recognize and question irrational thoughts that cause emotional pain and create thoughts that lead to happiness. Full of tips and analogies, Choose Your Life helps you learn to claim your power and take life the direction you choose.


We Are Girls Who Love To Run / Somos Chicas y Nosotras Nos Encanta Correr

Author: Brianna K. Grant
Illustrator: Nicholas A. Wright
Publisher: Balanced Steps, LLC
ISBN: 0979851114

We Are Girls Who Love to Run uses running to inspire girls to build healthy habits and achieve goals. Vibrant watercolor illustrations celebrate real girls with different body styles who find satisfaction in daily life experiences. The characters display their inner strengths as they make simple healthy choices and interact with family and friends. A sports book specifically designed for girls, We Are Girls Who Love to Run speaks to girls of all fitness levels, from the curious observer-turned-participant to the driven competitor. It celebrates the multiple elements of girlhood that connect to form the whole girl: family life, friendships, emotions, fitness, goal-setting, relaxation, and curiosity. It acknowledges girls' spirits and applauds their fortitude in believing in themselves.