This is the blog of children's book author and elementary school 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, November 2, 2020

#IMWAYR #MGBooktober Round-Up

Thanks to #MGBooktober organizers@Jarrett_Lerner, @kmcmac74, @lhnatiuk, and @AnnalieseAvery, I got to take some time away from stressing about pandemic teaching and upcoming elections, and think about middle grade books. Here is a round-up of the books I posted during the month. For other recommendations, make sure to visit the hashtag on twitter.



Sunday, November 1, 2020

It's All About the Journey

I spent the month of October tweeting about middle grade books, so I thought I should capture it all on this blog. I wasn't prepared for opening up the site and realizing that my last post was three days before my school shut down and we started remote teaching, so before I post about books, a post about the journey. After all, it's all about the journey.

In February, before we were really thinking about COVID, I sent out the following query based on a #MSWL post looking for books with a Ren Faire twist:

Eleven-year-old Catherine of Aragon Smoot has had it with Medieval Times. It’s bad enough during the school year her dad owns the oddest shop in town, selling medieval artifacts while talking in old English and wearing tights. She can’t bear to spend one more summer at her family’s camp where Cat, her parents, and sisters, Elizabeth and Dragon reign over a small band of badly dressed renaissance obsessed aficionados. She wants technology and running water, not three layers of dresses and jousts in her honor.

When Cat is the only one to notice the mysterious bald knight who is wreaking havoc from the jousting competition to the festival dinner, it is up to her and her best friend Henry to solve the mystery of what he’s truly up to and save the camp. That is, if Cat decides she wants the camp to be saved.

On May 1, I received a request for the full. I sent it off and forgot about it in the mist of pandemic remote teaching and trying to find a way to make sure the year ended well for my students, especially my fifth graders who weren't expecting to perform Shakespeare from the comfort of their own homes.

On August 5, I received a message from Emily Forney, a new agent at Bookends. She was taking over for the agent who requested my manuscript and wanted permission to read the full. Little did I know at the time that Emily had studied Medieval Times, the Renaissance, and the Tudors and would be the perfect fit for this story. I signed with her at the beginning of September.

So while COVID has been a challenging time for many things, my writing has never been stronger. I'm excited to see where the journey takes me next. 

For more, read my client interview over at Bookends.

Monday, March 9, 2020

#IMWAYR March 9, 2020

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:

Middle Grade

I have been so fortunate this year to have a student who loves to pass me the books he is reading. They always come with a little note, like the one in the picture above. Coo is the story of an abandoned baby who is rescued by some pigeons. When her pigeon father figure gets hurt, Coo decides to trust a woman named Tully who has rescued pigeons before. Once Tully meets Coo, she decides to rescue her as well. As my student suggested, I did have a good time reading this book. I love the way the author portrays the relationship between Coo and her pigeons and the people she meets as she learns what it means to be human. 

Another book my student brought me this week I'd been looking forward to for a long time. Nat Enough is the new graphic novel by Maria Scrivan, a local cartoonist. It's the story of a girl name Nat who is looking forward to starting middle school with her best friend, but as happens, her "best" friend has decided to become popular and now treats Nat in ways that aren't friendly, writing her nasty notes and teasing her in front of others. Nat has to find her way and realize she is more than enough. Nat Enough releases on April 7 and will be loved by graphic novel lovers of every age.

Young Adult

I adore fractured fairytale series, so I was thrilled to find the Princess of the Midnight Ball series. The series starts with a twelve princesses who are forced to dance each night with the sons of the King Under the Stone. In the first book, the kingdom is going to ruin because the princesses have been accused of magic. It will take the courage of all the princesses, especially their oldest sister Rose and a young soldier named Galen to save them.

The second book in the Princess of the Midnight Ball follows Princess Poppy as she goes to another kingdom on a mission of good will after the events of the first book. Poppy quickly recognizes things are going magically wrong in this kingdom when a servant girl named Ellen shows up at a ball in a magical gown with glass slippers and all of the men can think of no other. Aided by Ellen's former friend who can also see through the illusion, Poppy must rescue Ellen and the kingdom from evil magic.

The final book in the series follows Princess Petunia, the youngest of the twelve sisters. On her way through the woods she meets a wolf who accidentally kidnaps her. The wolf is a boy named Oliver who has been forced to live in the woods with his band of merry men, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, because his own lands were given away quite mysteriously. Little does Oliver know that his own troubles are connected to Petunia and her sisters and the Kingdom Under the Stone. I wish this wasn't the last book. I would have enjoyed reading one on every sister.


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.