BTSYA cuff Bracelets.jpg



“Read, lead, succeed. To be a leader, you must be a reader.” Cynthia Brian


Summer seems to be a time when we all find an opportunity to pick up a book that we’ve been meaning to read. We go to the beach, swing in a hammock, or just sit on a porch in the twilight enjoying a bit of escape. During the pandemic, people sought books as a refuge from reality. Children and teens need to enjoy reading more than ever. Children learn to talk and to read when we read to them. It is the job of parents to model and value literacy through home activities. The success of a child depends on the interaction between parents and children as they engage in literary endeavors. Reading is the building block which facilitates the development of language and writing skills which leads to life success. Research indicates that children with lower literacy skills who don’t catch up by third grade struggle throughout their school years and beyond. 

Our Star Teen Book Review Team makes it easy for you to find excellent books for your child through young adult. Volunteers read and write honest, first-person reviews of thousands of books. Our stellar Book Review Coordinator is Stephanie Cogeos. She spends countless hours going over every review for accuracy and making sure that the reviewer has followed stringent guidelines. She then uploads each review under the correct category so that parents, librarians, guardians, and kids can find a book that matches their interest. Find a favorite book at . A big shout out of gratitude to the team and Stephanie for jobs well done.

In addition to book reviews for all ages being on our website at , book reviews for young people are published through our literacy partner, The Reading Tub.

We are so grateful to the Executive Director, Terry Doherty, for our many years of collaboration. She reads every book and makes sure reviews are accurate and original. Visit The Reading Tub for photos and descriptions of a book that will entice and enlighten your child.

the reading tub logo

Be the Star You Are!® has an Amazon bookstore with several hundred brand new books offered at the lowest possible prices. Shipping is usually within one day. Visit

Speaking of Amazon, if you are buying more and more things on-line, when you shop at Amazon, please use this link: Amazon donates . 5% of your purchase to Be The Star You Are!® and it costs you nothing.

If you are seeking a special gift book with autographs and other goodies, go to our online book store at our StarStyle® Store: Because we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first publication of our Be the Star You Are!® series and Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, you’ll get big discounts. 


Build connections in your child’s brain by sharing books with them. Books are the gifts that keep on giving.


Enjoy a safe and healthy summer. Read, lead, succeed!

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

cyntha brian with books SM copy



BTSYA High Res.2019logo RLS
The cost of illiteracy to American taxpayers and businesses is $225 billion dollars for crime, loss of tax revenue due to unemployment wages, unemployment, welfare, and other government assistance. In addition, low literacy adds $230 billion to the annual cost of delivering healthcare in the United States.  Illiteracy is a growing epidemic causing irreparable damage to our society. Low literacy and communication skills have been identified in studies as major contributors to general conduct disorders, psychiatric disorders, criminal behavior, and adolescent suicide. (Department of Communications and Public Affairs) “…nearly 800 million people across the world lack the basic reading and writing skills needed to accomplish simple tasks such as reading a medicine label or filling out a job application, costing the global economy more than $1.19 trillion a year.” Thirty two million adults in the U.S. can’t read, 45 million are marginally illiterate. That is 14 percent of the adult population. Twenty one percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read; one-fifth of high school graduates can’t read their diplomas.           


Be the Star You Are!® has cases of brand new books to donate to shelters, organizations, or charities in need. The books are free. Shipping is $25 per box. There are 10-12 books per box. Books retail for $15-20 and are free to you. If your group is interested, email We do not provide a list of the titles. We have non-fiction and fiction.  The shipping charge can be paid via PayPal. Details will be emailed to you.

2021 FREE LIVE EVENT-Pear and Wine Festival

Mark your calendars for the 2021 Pear and Wine Festival to be held on September 25th from 11-4pm PT in Moraga. Be the Star You Are!® will have a booth for family fun and children’s activities. FREE and Fun! To volunteer or sponsor, please email,.

More information at

Pear Festival flyer 2


spotlightTwo talented young women have joined our Express Yourself!™ Radio team, Ruhani Chhabra and Sidney Suh. Make sure to tune in to Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio Sundays at 3pm PT Listen at Voice America Network:

Ruhani Chhabra

Ruhani Chhabra is a rising junior from Northern California. She enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music. She plans to major in journalism, which is why BTSYA is a perfect opportunity for her to expand her public speaking and writing skills. Through being a reporter at Express Yourself!, she hopes to become more interactive with people, a skill she’ll use when she teaches one day. Her focus is on teen leadership and her segment is titled, Teenship. Ruhani is also spearheading the Instagram platform for Express Yourself!™ Check it out at She’ll also use that strength when she travels around the world and becomes friends with strangers. Her ultimate goal is to live in the Italian countryside with a bunch of puppies.

Ruhani Chhabra headshot

Sidney Suh

Sidney Suh is currently a senior at Cate School. She is the Co-Founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the HUMANITIES+ Journal, which can be found at

It is an international platform for perspectives that transcend the traditional divides between the fields of humanities and STEM ( Her passions include empowering minority communities and uplifting student voices. In her spare time, she loves to read and play the euphonium. She is a volunteer with Be the Star You are!® and a reporter on Express Yourself! Radio with her segment, Breaking Boundaries.

Sidney Suh headshot



frog 3 2

by Karen Kitchel

Here’s what a few folks had to say about kindness:

“If someone were to pay you ten cents for every kind word you ever spoke and collect five cents for every unkind word, would you be rich or poor?”   Nonpareil

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.”  Audrey Hepburn

We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.”   Whoopi Goldberg

“Always be a little kinder than necessary.”   James M. Barrie

Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor.

LISTEN TO STARSTYLE®-Be the Star You Are!®

2021-brian-banner.jpg 2
Starstyle® Radio is LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT broadcast from the world’s largest radio network, Voice America. Listen live at with photos and descriptions at . 

The show is also available wherever you get your podcasts:

Apple itunes:

Google Play:






We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases

2020 Amazon smile logo

2. Discounted books at Amazon:

Giving Assistant Icon 234x60

3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :

4. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE:

2020 IGIVE logo

5. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store:


Cynthia Brian books banner 3

6. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle.


BTSYA Innovate logo -bookendEnjoy the days of summer while staying safe and healthy.


Thanks for supporting Be the Star You Are!®

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
publishing_1_footer.jpgBTSYA-Banner-Logo copy.jpg