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, July 24, 2017

#IMWAYR July 24, 2017

Each week I 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. It's hard to believe half of my summer vacation is over. We visited my son at sleep away camp yesterday and my daughter leaves for her month at camp tomorrow. I'm sad to see her go but she can't wait to see her friends and I'm looking forward to the time it will give me for learning new curriculum for the upcoming school year and having more time for reading and writing. 

Here's what I read this week:

Graphic Novel

A note: I still meet adults who turn their noses up when they hear about a popular graphic novels or when they see kids choosing graphic novels exclusively. Before discounting this book format, I would urge adults to read them. While some are just cute and fun, more are complex, thoughtful stories. That is true of the two I read this week.

I picked up this ARC at Book Expo America and it was immediately the most popular book on my shelves since many had read Sunny Side Up. As a child of the 70s and 80s, I loved the book for its cultural references. Among old tv shows is a family drama as Sunny has to find a way to cope with change when her older brother is sent to military school. Sunny misses him and wants him home, but his anger towards his parents makes his time at home disappointing. Fortunately Sunny has some good friends and Gramps to help her through this difficult time. The book comes out in September.

I was expecting this story to be funny or silly since it's about a girl whose parents work at Renaissance Faire and wants to be a squire. But when Imogene also decides to leave home schooling and go to a public middle school, the book becomes very serious. Learning to fit in at Imogene's middle school is no easy task and Imogene quickly starts to change herself to be accepted by her peers. The book takes on family relationships, friendship, bullies, and self-discovery. It also brings up crushes and thoughts about relationships, so I would recommend it for a more mature middle reader. This book also comes out in September.

Young Adult

High-fantasy lovers will enjoy The Bone Witch. When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from his grave, she becomes one of the most feared and revered people in the kingdom. She must immediately leave her family and be trained for her new position, a training that is difficult physically and mentally as Tea needs to navigate a completely new world of social  and political challenge. Told in flashbacks, the only thing I disliked about The Bone Witch is you never find out the reason that Tea has been exiled and is raising an army. That will hopefully come in book 2.


Stacy Barnett Mozer is a teacher and a middle grade author. 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. Good to know about All's Faire in Middle School. I've been wanting to read it and I'm sure that students will be very interested as well, but it sounds like it'll be better for my elementary readers when they are a little older.

  2. If All's Faire or Swing It are about like Sunny Side Up it's all good. That one was so good but not at all like the cover might have looked ... all happy and hunky dory but really about something much more serious. Of course maybe for a kiddo that's the point. Let them read about serious things in a less threatening manner, to know it happens to other people and it turns out ... OK in the end. Not perfect but OK. Personally graphics are not going to become my genre of choice but I make sure to have them in the library and I read several so I can get excited about some and recommend them.

  3. I loved both of these graphic novels, although there are some that I just don't understand. My graphic novel readers, for example, don't seem to like fantasy books, so when graphic novels are high fantasy and have tiny, tiny print, I know the fans in my library won't read those! Swing It made me miss my parents' family room with its green shag carpet and wood paneling!

  4. Loved both graphic novels! I think Jamieson's is outstanding, I just so wish she hadn't put the mature parts in because it limits the audience Since we only go up to 4th grade in our building, it's not one I'll put out on my shelves. I hope they get to it as they get older because I really do love it!

  5. I had a couple of adults say bad things about graphic novels recently, too. I wish i had said something because they were clearly basing it on preconceived notions.

  6. Ahhh! So jealous! I loved the first Sunny and heard great things about All's Faire at Nerd Camp. Cannot wait to add these to my middle school library!

  7. I had a couple of teachers in our school outlaw the reading of graphic novels in their classrooms. I was very distressed. These were grade 2/3 groupings and graphic novels are such a powerful tool for readers at this age. Sigh...
    I'm looking forward to All's Faire at Nerd Camp because I adored Roller Girl.
    I've added The Bone Witch to my for later shelf. It sounds fascinating.

    1. That makes me so sad. They obviously haven't read any.

  8. I, too, loved both of those graphic novels so much! I cannot wait to share them with my students!!!

    Happy reading this week :)

  9. Oh, I feel the same way about graphic novels!! Imagine if we said adults could only read certain types of books - what an uproar there would be! Choice and freedom are such important parts of turning readers into book lovers!


You know you have something to say...