Welcome

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, October 28, 2019

#IMWAYR October 28, 2019


Each week I try to join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. I am currently a first round Cybil judge for the middle grade fiction, so expect to see a lot of middle grade fiction for the next few weeks. A lot of middle grade fiction.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


If you, or someone you know, likes kid spy books, then you will enjoy Jada Sly, Artist & Spy. When Jada finds out her mom has died on in a plane crash, she doesn't believe it can be true. Her mother has spent her whole life teaching her about being a spy and Jada is sure that she must just be on a secret mission. When she comes to live with her father in New York and immediately notices she's being followed, she is sure she is right. Unfortunately her father just thinks she's having trouble coping with her mother's death and won't believe her. But right away Jada meets a group of kids in her new school that have a secret spy club and they are more than willing to go on Jada's adventure. A cute story full of twists and turns. You do need to suspend your disbelief a bit about the spy club, but who knows, maybe all schools have secret spy clubs. After all, it is a secret.


2019 seems to be the year of books about divorce or sibling death. This is the first I've read though where the child herself is having a challenging time dealing with the change, to the point of throwing a toaster through a window. Liberty is always so busy making sure everyone else in her life is happy that she doesn't focus on her own mental health. With the help of a therapist, she starts to see that self-care is as important as family care. This book covers important topics and felt very real and powerful. I hope it lands in the hands of kids (and parents) who need to know they are not alone.


Look Both Ways follows ten kids as they leave school and head out on their journey home. Their experiences are all unique. I really wanted to like this book because I love other books by the author and have heard good things about this one. I thought each separate story was enjoyable, but with I could see more connection between them. It is possible I just read it too quickly. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this one.


Young Adult


I am always looking for new YA fantasies and this world created by Laura Sebastian was very satisfying. Theodosia was six when her kingdom was taken away and her mother was killed. Forced to live in the castle of the conquerer, Theo, now known to all as Thora or the Ash Princess, has had to play a part in order to survive. But when she is forced to kill her own father, she realizes that survival isn't enough. It is time to take back her kingdom and save her people. Fans of Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series will enjoy this one. 
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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. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

#IMWAYR October 21, 2019


Each week I try to join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. I am currently a first round Cybil judge for the middle grade fiction, so expect to see a lot of middle grade fiction for the next few weeks. A lot of middle grade fiction.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade Graphic Novel


Sheets is the story of Marjorie Glatt whose mother died last year and now she's the only one left keeping up her family laundry. It's also the story of Wendell, a ghost who finds life in Ghostland lonely and boring. When Wendell accidentally finds his way to Marjorie's laundry and witnesses a local businessman sabotaging her store, the two of them will have to get past miscommunication and judgment in order to save the house and business that Marjorie's mom loved. I loved the way the illustrator used color to show the two worlds.


Middle Grade


A Place to Belong is a serious look at a very dark time in US history. After a horrible experience in Japanese interment camps, Hanako's parents denounced their US Citizenship so Hanako finds herself on a boat to Japan, a place she has never visited, to live with her grandparents, who she has never met. Post war Japan is a place of hunger and devastation but is also a place where Hanako finds the strength to start over and to forgive.


Even though Sweet Pea's parents are divorced, they are determined not to let that fact change the way Sweet Pea lives. In order to do that, her father has rented the house two doors down and has decorated it exactly like her mom's house, down to the colors on the walls. When the one neighbor in between the two parents, a recluse odd advice columnist, asks Sweet Pea for help, she finds herself escaping her strange life by answering the messages of others. Now she just has to hope that no-one will figure it out. A fun story about family and accepting who you are.


When Coyote's mother and two sisters died in a car crash five years ago, her father changed his name to Rodeo, changed her name to Coyote, bought a bus to turn into a mobile home and the two of them set off to see the country. Coyote has learned to keep her sadness in check in order to help her father, but when she learns from her grandmother that the town will be bulldozing the park where her mom and sisters had buried a time capsule right before they died, Coyote realizes that it is time to do something to help her own pain - even if that means she needs to trick her father to do it. Joined by a bunch of odd travel companions, including a goat named Gladys, Coyote's journey is truly one that is remarkable. 

Young Adult


I was able to slip in a Young Adult book this week, and I was so glad I did. Annaleigh is sure that her family is cursed because her mother and four of her sisters have all been "returned to the salt." When her childhood friend returns and promises her remaining sisters nights of dancing in secret, they are all ready to abandon their clothes of mourning in order to let some fun come into their lives. But Annaleigh quickly suspects not all is as it seems. She just needs to prove it without everyone thinking she is crazy and before any more of her sisters die. The House of Salt and Sorrows is a fractured retelling of the twelve dancing princesses, with a number of ghostly twists and turns. 
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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. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

#IMWAYR October 14, 2019


Each week I try to join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. I am currently a first round Cybil judge for the middle grade fiction, so expect to see a lot of middle grade fiction for the next few weeks. A lot of middle grade fiction.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


It has been a year since Leah's life was forever changed. A year of feeling like a ghost with ghost parents with the door to her brother's room permanently closed. But when Leah meets Jasper, a new girl in town who never knew Leah's brother, Leah is able to find her way back to herself and to tell her story. But Leah isn't the only one with a story to tell. Jasper is experiencing problems too and has asked Leah to keep her secret. But some secrets are too big to keep and Leah has to decide whether to risk losing her one true friend in order to keep Jasper safe. This is a wonderful story about friendship and moving forward after loss.


Like Leah, Rain has spent 360 something days mourning the loss of a brother. But for Rain, that night, and the promise her brother made her make, has haunted her. Her father has handled the loss by locking himself in his room while her mother is full of energy, energy that has caused her to find a new job in New York City. Rain knows that only 1 in 4 couples make it after the death of a child so she's hoping that this move will help them be the 1. Since running is the only way Rain forgets about the challenges she is facing, she joins the track team and with her new track friends she hopes she can make a plan to keep her parents together. The story is told from two points in time, now and that night.


Amara wants to know more about her family heritage so when she learns her father is taking a work trip to New York City from where they live in Oregon, Amara wants to go with him. The fact her teacher gave them a suitcase project where they have to learn more about their family helps her cause and sends her off to Harlem to meet the grandfather her father hasn't spoken to in 12 year, the same amount of year Amara has been alive. You can not help wanting to visit Harlem after reading this story and the author provides the directions for the suitcase project in the back. A must read for any classroom.


When Caitlyn moved to Vermont she expected it to be hard to be the new girl. She didn't expect that her school would look like a mansion, there would be goats on the soccer field, and everyone would be disappointed that she was not Paulie Fink, the class hero. Now it's Caitlyn's job to pick the next Paulie Fink. Told in a combination of interviews and story, The Next Great Paulie Fink reminded me of the Origami Yoda series. A lot of fun with some serious heart.


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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. 

Monday, October 7, 2019

#IMWAYR October 7, 2019


Each week I try to join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. 

Here's what I read this week:

Young Adult



The Body Finder series is an intreging supernatural mystery thriller about a girl named Violet who is able to locate murderded dead bodies and their killers because of the echos and imprints the body leaves behind. Each story is told in multiple points of view, focusing mainly on Violet, but slipping in chapters from the suspected murderers point of view as well. It reminded me of the new adult Miki Radicci series by Mike Purfield. If you like these books, you may like those as well.



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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.