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?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Interview with #YA author Carrie Ann DiRisio

Today I talk with Carrie Ann DiRisio. Carrie Ann is a YA writer and creator of @BroodingYAHero. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with one large fluffy cat, and is currently pursuing her masters in Digital Marketing, although her true dream is to become a Disney Villainess, complete with a really snazzy gown. In addition to writing and plans for world domination, she also enjoys running, coffee, Krav Maga, and knitting. I met Carrie Ann at the New England SCBWI conference last April. 

Your book, Brooding YA Hero, started as a twitter account. What motivated you to start @broodingyahero?
I mainly started it to make my friends laugh. I had no idea it would be so popular!

Before you started @broodingyahero, did you know that you wanted to become an author?
Absolutely! I've been writing since I was in first grade. My first story focused on me and Han Solo celebrating Christmas together. As he's pretty much the broodiest smuggler in the galaxy, I'm proud to say I've always been on brand.

How did a twitter account become a book?
Through magic and luck and lots of hard work. ;)  In more boring terms, I wrote the book, sent it to my awesome agent, and we shopped it to publishers. Then I ate a lot of Nutella as I waited to hear back. I was really lucky to have an amazing editor, Alison Weiss, who helped me shape the Broody character into the protagonist of his own novel.

Tell us about the book. 
in it, you'll get to know Broody, the archetype character behind all those tweets.  as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a "self-help" guide (with activities like mazes and word searches) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love. His book is going pretty well, until his evil ex, Blondie DeMeani shows up!

You were introduced to me as a social media expert. What is one piece of advice about social media that you would give a writer who is just starting out? 
To not get overwhelmed by social media! Twitter is fun, but it's no replacement for working hard on your writing craft. Consider it a water cooler where you can take a break, not a place to live. Also, follow @broodingYAhero ;) I kid!

Is there anything else about you or your books you would like to tell us?
It's illustrated by the amazing Linnea Gear (linneart.tumblr.com)

Thanks so much for the interview. To learn more about Carrie Ann and her books, visit her online:

I hope you enjoyed this interview. My hope is to have an interview with a different author or illustrator every Thursday from now until the end of the summer. If you are an author or illustrator who would like to be interviewed, please contact me using my contact page. Please leave a comment below to let us know that you visited and read Carrie Ann's interview today.

Monday, July 17, 2017

#IMWAYR July 17, 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. Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! 

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade

Three kids from three different locations and time periods are forced to leave their homes. They each seek a better life but the journey to find that life is full of perils that no kids in any time period, from any background, should have to endure. I picked up an advance reader copy of this book at Book Expo. It releases next week.

This book has been on my TBR list for a while and I was so glad to finally read it. Crow has grown up on an island in Massachusetts with her caregiver Osh and his friend Miss Maggie. She arrived as a baby on a small boat and Osh adopted her as his own, but twelve-year-old Crow knows there is more to her story and her past and when a she sees a man on another island light a fire, she knows it is time to get some answers. That journey will take her to buried treasure and more questions. This book is about family relationships and self-discovery. I hope there is a part two.

Emmiline has the gift of being able to weave shadows into any form. But her gift scares people, including her parents. When her parents decide to force her to give up her gift by sending her away, Emmiline decides to leave. With only her shadow Dar for a friend, Emmiline thinks she will always be alone. When she meets a boy who has the gift of light whose family is more than willing to hide her, Emmiline needs to decide who to trust, her shadow who has always been there for her, or her new friend and family.

Young Adult

When Mia Corvere sees her father killed as a traitor and her mother and baby brother arrested, she barely escapes with her life. But the god of death claims her for another purpose, allowing Mia to use shadows as tools of destruction. The shadows lead her to a retired killer and a very different future. Now sixteen, Mia is competing to join a group of assassins. Once a member she will finally be able to take her vengeance on those who killed her family - if she lives that long.

I read this book when it first came out but had to read it again as I was bing watching the series on Netflix. The book focuses on a boy named Clay who has received audio tapes from a girl named Hannah who recently committed suicide. In the tapes, she explains the role thirteen people had in her death. The series takes this a step further. Through flashbacks of the events narrated by Hannah, as well as scenes from the present when the high schoolers responsible deal with the realizations the tapes share, the series puts faces and voices to the book, making it so much more real. Some schools have warned parents to have their teens avoid this book and series. I disagree. The series may be hard to watch but it brings up important issues that need to be discussed for the protection of our teens and those who spend time with them. 


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?