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, 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.

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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. 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. 

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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. It's Monday, what are you reading?

Monday, July 10, 2017

#IMWAYR July 10, 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! I just got back from Seattle, which inspired one of my reads for this past week. 

Here's what I read this week:

Picture Book



I loved this creative picture book mystery based on the joke. This book is going to be a big hit with elementary schoolers.


Cute story about the origin of the rock, paper, scissors game.

Middle Grade


Kirby "Zig" Zigonski is a normal kid leading a normal life with a single working mom and a dad who is mostly out of the picture. But when his dad stops being able to send money, his mother's salary isn't enough to keep them in their home. This book will be a window book for many readers and will open many eyes. 


Adult?


This historical fiction novel is considered adult, but I think it's a must read for upper middle grade readers. Henry Lee is a Chinese American man who lives in Seattle's Chinatown in 1986. When he learns that the belongings of many Japanese American families has been uncovered at the local Panama Hotel, he thinks back to his past and to a girl he knew when he was a boy living in Seattle in the 1940s. He was a scholarship kid at a private white school, which was challenging, especially since his father made him wear a large button that said, "I am Chinese." As a scholarship kid, Henry had to work in the school's cafeteria. There he met Japanese student, Keiko Okabe. Keiko lived in Seattle's Japanesetown. The two formed a friendship in spite of the distrust of Japanese people by Henry's father and the American government. When Keiko's community was forced to leave their homes because of the Japanese interment, Henry followed her until their lives moved too far apart to stay in touch. But he never forgot his first love and the findings at the Panama Hotel bring it all back. Told in flashbacks, this book is based on the real belongings found at the Panama Hotel which I was fortunate to visit during my trip to Seattle last week. Reading the book after seeing the "museum" of items left by the actual Japanese families forced to go to the interment camp made the book even more powerful. This is a piece of America's history that we all should take the time to remember.

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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. It's Monday, what are you reading?

Monday, June 26, 2017

#IMWAYR June 26, 2017


It's the first Monday of summer! 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. I will continue to do this over the summer to share my summer reading.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


When Claire Martinson follows her older sister Sophie up a ladder in the fireplace of her aunt's house she has no idea that she will be entering another world. After being chased by a shadow creature, Claire makes Sophie promise to never go up the ladder again. When Sophie breaks that promise it is up to Claire to save her. I loved this new middle grade fantasy, which will hit the shelves in February 2018. I was lucky to get my hands on a copy at Book Expo America and can't wait to share it with my students in the fall.


If a tree could talk, what stories would it tell? In this new book by Katherine Applegate, we get a chance to find out. This particular tree is a wishtree and the wish it will grant is one of friendship and hope. This book is exactly what we need to share with children in this challenging time. It releases in September.

Young Adult


I enjoyed reading this latest addition to the Queen's Thief series. I would have liked it even better if more of the original characters had made an appearance, but it was nice to revisit the ones that did.

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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. It's Monday, what are you reading?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#BookTalkTuesday June 20, 2017



This year I wanted to find new ways for my third grade students recommend books so we decided to post their recommendations on #BookTalkTuesday. Next year we'd love to see more classes join in.

Yesterday I asked my students to tell me their first book of the summer (which starts at 1:15 today). Here are some of the books they will be reading first:


The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff

Jake and Lily by Jerry Spininelli
Hilo by Judd Winick
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
The Ship of Secrets by Geronimo Stilton

Here's what my students recommended this week:





E. recommends Dog Man. - There is a Villain Petey and he hates Dog Man because he always catches Petey when he's doing something wrong so Petey goes to cat jail. And there is a mayor who is secretly evil and wants to make Dog Man bad. But she got a better idea and sends Petey a present in jail to help him create a Weenie Army. You should read this book because it is really funny and the author is the same author for Captain Underpants. George and Harold from Captain Underpants are also in the book.


A. recommends Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties - In this book, Petey wanted to create a clone that would help him, but it turned out that the clone was "Li'l Petey" who thought Petey was his father. So Petey made a robot named 80-HD for his clone to go in. Then Li'l Petey disappeared, and decided to go with dog man, while Petey was more annoyed. This book has so much comedy, action, and I love how it tells you the next book coming, titled "Dog Man and Cat Kid." It also tells you how to draw the characters. I enjoyed this wonderful book! You should read it!



S. recommends Meanwhile - It's not a normal book because you can chose between two options like for example in the beginning you chose between to eat vanilla or chocolate ice cream. If you chose vanilla you end the book directly but if you chose chocolate you go to a professors laboratory because the ice cream made you sick. It's really cool although it's kinda confusing at the beginning you will understand if you read the instructions and it's a really good story YOU SHULD READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!




C. recommends All Heart. - Carli Loyd wanted to be on the national women's soccer team. But she didn't make the team. So her dad met this soccer trainer to help her. Then the next year she tried out again. With the help of her trainer James she made the team. I learned from Carli that if you preserve lots of great things will happen. I recommend this book because Carli teaches lots of great lessons. She's also my favorite player.



J. recommends No Talking - Dave wanted to prove that girls talk more than boys by making a challenge who can talk less. But the teachers start finding out what they are doing they get mad. I recommend this book because it is funny when the principal and teachers get mad at the boys and girls for NOT talking.


That's all for this week. I'm hoping that my soon to be former students will continue to send me their recommendations over the summer. Please comment on our reading choices or share your recommendations below. They love hearing from you!

Monday, June 19, 2017

#IMWAYR June 19, 2017


In one day my school year will be over and my new adventure as a grades 2-5 advanced learning teacher will begin. 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. I will continue to do this over the summer to share my summer reading.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


Imagine having divorced parents who think the only solution to the uneven amount of days in a seven day week is to have you live in a tree house by yourself on Wednesdays. Winnie's parents are so concerned about being even that they don't care that she may fail the fifth grade. She decides it's time to take matters into her own hands and stay in her treehouse until her parents can come and talk together. When the rest of her fifth grade class joins her for reasons of their own, the Great Treehouse War begins. This book is about family relationships, fairness, and friendship. I think readers will appreciate the relationships between these ten kids and will want to join them in this amazing treehouse.


Jake and Lily are twins. They are so connected that every year on their birthday they wake up alone in a train station together after having the same sleepwalking dream. If Jake is hurt, Lily feels it. If Lily is scared, Jake knows it. That is until Jake decides to join a group of local boys who don't like girls. This book is about family relationship, friendship, bullying, and self-discovery. Anyone who has ever grown apart from a sibling or a friend, or who has been forced to make a choice between being cool or doing what's right will be interested in this story about growing up. 


Come back to the blog tomorrow to see a final post for this school year on what my third graders have been reading on #BookTalkTuesday!
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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?

Monday, June 12, 2017

#IMWAYR June 12, 2017


It's June! I can't believe that the school year is almost over. 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. I will continue to do this over the summer to share my summer reading as I move positions from 3rd grade teacher to 2nd - 5th grade advance learning english language arts and science teacher.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


I really enjoyed the first in this fantasy series by Linda Sue Park. Raffa has a gift for being an apothecary but when he discovers a new plant in the woods that changes the behavior of animals he learns that some actions have unforeseen consequences and that not everyone will use a new discovery for good.


A Long Walk to Water is based on the true story of eleven year old Salva who becomes a Lost Boy of Sudan after his school is attacked by armed rebels. It is a beautiful story that needs to be read with tissues on hand. I don't see how anyone can read it without needing to find a way to give money to help the real Salva bring water to Sudan - a project I plan to do with my 5th graders after we read the book next year. A Long Walk to Water is also a Global Read Aloud book for 2017.

Young Adult


I picked up an advanced reader copy of Reign the Earth at Book Expo. This new series by A. C. Gaughen has all of the deceit, romance, and intrigue of her Scarlet series. I can't wait for the next one.


Come back to the blog tomorrow to see what my third graders have been reading on #BookTalkTuesday!
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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?

Monday, June 5, 2017

#IMWAYR June 5, 2017


It's June! I can't believe that the school year is almost over. 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. I will continue to do this over the summer to share my summer reading.

Here's what I read this week:


Picture Book


After the Fall is the story of Humpty Dumpty's journey to get back up after the big disaster. I adore Dan Santat's writing and illustrations. My students are going to love this one. Can't wait to share it with them today!

Middle Grade


When Theodora Tenpenny's grandfather dies he tell her to "look under the egg." Theo hopes he means that he has left her some way for her Theo and her mother to pay to continue living in their New York City Brownstone. Instead Theo uncovers a mystery that dates back to the Monument Men of Word War II.


This magical story follows Twig, a lonely girl who is keeping a family secret that keeps her separated from everyone in her town. When new neighbors move in who are connected to the curse that plagues Twig's family, she realizes she may have a way to break the curse and finally make some friends.


I was so excited to find out that the stories of Fablehaven have continued in a new series. Once again Kendra and Seth must save the world from magical foes. Fablehaven and this new dragon series are perfect for fantasy lovers of all ages. I can't wait until the next one!


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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?