This is the blog of children's book author and third grade teacher, Stacy Barnett Mozer. I blog about my own writing journey, the journey of other kidlit authors, my classroom, and talk about books. Thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts are always welcome (and encouraged).

Monday, April 17, 2017

#IMWAYR April 17, 2017 & Poetry Month Post 3

Each week I try to join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. April is Poetry Month so I will start each post in April by sharing a favorite poetry book and a novel in verse. It was vacation this week so I had lots of time to read up on some middle grade novels to recommend to my class. It's #IMWAYR.


This book of silly animal poems is a ton of fun. There's a mix of forms and styles to best fit each animal.

Novel in Verse (Middle Grade)

A sharing of middle grade novels in verse wouldn't be complete without mentioning Kwame Alexander. His sports novels, Crossover and Booked are two of my favorites. Crossover is about 12 yo Josh Bell who tells his family's story from the basketball court. Booked is about 12 yo Nick who tells his story from the soccer field. Even if you don't love sports, you will love these novels.

Middle Grade

Rip is ready for the first day of fifth grade. But when he realizes his district has made some bit changes and he won't have the teacher he and his best friend Red expects, the year becomes a whole new ballgame. This is a novel about friendship, finding the best in people, and the power of growth mindset teaching. It should be on every teacher's nightstand as a reminder about the importance of making connections with kids and kids will love it too.

Mrs. Bixby's Last Day is also about an unexpected change to a school year, but in this book the change is brought about by the illness and departure of a really special teacher. When Topher, Brand, and Steve learn that Ms. Bixby is too sick to come back to school, they decide to give her the last day she deserves. The book is told from all three boys points of view. Read this one with a very large box of tissues. 

Ruthie is having a great week. She has finally learned enough English after moving to America from Cuba to be in the "smart" class, she is her neighborhood's Hopscotch Queen, and her dad has bought her the Go Go Boots she really wants. But when a horrible car accident leaves Ruthie in a body cast for months, all of those things no longer matter.  This historical fiction story of acceptance and personal growth is made so much more powerful when you realize that it is based on the true story of the author.

This character driven historical fiction novel follows a boy named Beans who lived with his family in Key West the year it became the tropical paradise we now know. Before the New Dealers came to town it was a garbage filled place where everyone did what they could to get by, including the kids. Full of Beans was a fun book and I loved learning the history from the author's note at the end.

What do a bus accident, four kids, and super powers have in common? You will have to read this book to find out. I enjoyed getting to know these characters in the first novel. I will look forward to seeing what happens to them next in book two.


Stacy Barnett Mozer is a third grade teacher and a middle grade author. The Sweet Spot and The Perfect Trip are available now from Spellbound River Press. If you like what she's been reading follow her on Goodreads. Please leave a comment below. It's Monday, what are you reading?


  1. You have some great books on your list! I just picked up Lucky Broken Girl from the library so I'll be reading it soon. My students like the Rip and Red series and Kwame Alexander's books, too.

  2. So many wonderful books shared. I love Kwame Alexander's book, just got his "Playbook" & new poetry book, too. I loved Ms.Bixby's Last Day, a gem. And Full of Beans is so well done, story and history. Thanks for all, will be sure to find Lucky Broken Girl, sounds lovely.

  3. I love all of these books - the only new to me is The Mighty Odds. I'll check it out!

  4. I adored Jack Prelustky's poetry as a child, so I want to find Scranimals, and share the poems with the kids at work!

  5. You have read a lot of fabulous books this week. I adored Full of Beans and Crossover. I've read lots of good things about A Whole New Ball Game, and with baseball season pending, I might have to try and find a copy of it. Lucky Broken Girl looks like an important read.

  6. I really enjoyed Full of Beans, Crossover, and Ms. Bixby. I think I'll be watching for Lucky Broken Girl. It sounds like something I'd enjoy.


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