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, November 20, 2017

#IMWAYR November 20, 2017


Each week I 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. 

This week I continued to read middle grade novels for the Cybils, and to share with my class. I also had a chance to read two Young Adult books.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


Bea is a poet who thinks in haiku and writes poetry in the air. When her best friend abandons her because of her differences, Bea has to find a way to start over with a new group of friends. This book is full of interesting, unique characters - and as a fan of Grey's Anatomy, I connected with the the idea of dancing it out and finding your Person.


Even though Aven was born without arms, she has always had friends she could count on. But when she moves, no one wants to give her a chance. Afraid to turn her classmates off completely by watching her eat with her feet, Aven seeks refuge in the school library. There she meets Connor, a boy with turrets syndrome, and Zion, a shy overweight boy. Together they find a way to fight peer pressure and expectations.


Since Calvin moved, he has spent most of his time with his younger brother Sammy. In order to make things interesting, he uses Sammy's devotion to get him to get him to do tasks in order to earn badges, promising one day that Sammy will make it from ant to eagle. When a new girl moves to town, Calvin ditches his brother for his new friend. But Sammy is sick, and it is serious, and no badge will make things right. This beautiful story reminded me of The Bridge to Terabethia. 


Young Adult


In this chilling novel in verse, Will has just watched his brother's murder and now he knows what he has to do. There are rules to follow, especially when you are sure you know your brother's killer. But in order to deliver justice, Will must go through the longest elevator ride of his life. On each floor he will meet a ghost from his past who help him see the real consequences of following those rules.


Sasha and Ray have never met, but yet they've shared a room for their whole lives. That's because Sasha's dad was once married to Ray's mom and they have joint ownership of their summer home - even though they refuse to be in the same room together. Told from multiple points of view.


_______________


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, November 13, 2017

#IMWAYR November 12, 2017


Each week I 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. 

This week I continued to read middle grade novels for the Cybils, and to share with my class. I also had a chance to squeeze in another Young Adult fantasy.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


David Da-Wei Horowitz prepares for his Bar Mitzvah in 1983, during the end of the Cold War. After watching a movie called The Day After, his friend asks him to help him build a nuclear fall out shelter. David faces the dilemma of deciding who he would want to survive with, while navigating the challenge of girls, invitations, a Russian refusenik, and two hilarious grandmothers who each believe that their heritage is best. As a Jewish child who grew up in the 80s, so much of this book brought me back to my childhood and to the Bat Mitzvah I shared with a Russian "twin."



Annabelle has a five mile rule. That's the closest her friends are allowed to come near her home because if they come any closer they might realize that Annabelle's mom is a hoarder and that the piles have become so large her younger sister is worried she might die under a pile. But as Annabelle's parent's relationship starts to crumble faster than the piles, she needs to decide whether she stays and fights for cleanliness or leaves for cleaner places. A heartfelt story about family relationships and facing family problems.



Maria Luisa (Malu) is not happy about moving from Florida to Chicago with her "SuperMexican" mother. She misses her punk rock father and her friends. On the first day of school she is called into a special assembly for kids breaking the dress code and is called a Coconut (someone who is brown on the outside but white on the inside) by a mean girl named Selena. But Malu isn't going to let those things stop her. She forms a band with other kids who want to be punk and together they take on the school. While I like this cover, I don't thinks it captures the depth of this book which does a great job capturing the challenges of middle school.


Young Adult


In a future world run by superheros called Renegades, the supervillains are stuck living in hiding. For Nova, the supervillians are family. She has been living with them since her Uncle, the head of the villains, rescued her when her parents and sister were killed by a gang, before he was also destroyed. In order to help equalize the balance between good and evil, Nova has become a Renegade, hoping to destroy the superheros from within. This book is considered YA, but I think it could be enjoyed by an upper middle grader.

_______________________________


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, November 6, 2017

#IMWAYR November 6, 2017


Each week I 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. 

This week I continued to read middle grade novels for the Cybils, and to share with my class. I also had a chance to squeeze in another Young Adult fantasy.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


Maverick is determined to live up to his father's memory and right the wrongs of sixth grade. Unfortunately each time he plays the hero, he ends up being the villain instead. But the more he looks out for others, the more people see him for the kindhearted person he is. This book explores many difficult topics such as an alcoholic mother, her abusive boyfriends, and a classmate with and abusive father.


Arturo loves spending time with his family at their Miami restaurant. When a big developer threatens to close them down, Arturo tries to be a hero and save the day. Unfortunately his plans don't go as expected. A wonderful book about the importance of family and community.


Meet The Vanderbeeks, five children ranging in age from four to twelve. When their parents tell them that they will have to move out of their brownstone in Harlem because their grumpy landlord, the Biederman, doesn't want to renew their lease, the Vanderbeek children decide to change his mind with kindness. A fun group of characters with an important problem to solve.


I could not put down this new novel by Laura Shovan. A full review and interview will be coming to Sporty Girl Books before the book releases in June 2018. For now, I will just tell you that this book should be on your TBR list.

Young Adult


Ember, a dragon turned rogue, continues to fight Talon, the dragon body that is set on the destruction of humans. In this fourth book, Ember and her friends have to help sworn dragon fighters, the soliders of St. George, in order to ensure that both humans and rogue dragons survive. 


_______________________________


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, October 30, 2017

#IMWAYR October 30, 2017


Each week I 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. 

This week I continued to read middle grade novels for the Cybils, and to share with my class. I also had a chance to squeeze in another Young Adult fantasy.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


Before, Ethan was a happy, healthy kid with a best friend named Kacey. Now he needs to learn how to go on without her. A heartwarming story about finding a way to move forward after tragedy 



Sophie is one of the only black kids in a white neighborhood in 1967. She faces racism, explores friendship, and learns about love and family in this coming of age novel.



Flora and her brother Julian may have found a forever family, but until the mystery of their past is solved, they have a hard time believing in forever.



Young Adult


In this land of kings, queens, and hidden magic, a war is brewing between two kingdoms. Told from multiple points of view.



_______________________________


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, October 23, 2017

#IMWAYR Oct. 23, 2017


Each week I 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. 

This week I continued to read middle grade novels for the Cybils, and to share with my class. I also had a chance to squeeze in one Young Adult fantasy over the weekend.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


Told from multiple points of view, this book addresses the too real issue of over-testing in schools while introducing us to a number of wonderful characters who grow and change throughout the book. I hope it will be a series.



The Unbreakable Code is book 2 in the Book Scavenger series. Emily and James are two young code breaking book hunters who are trying to break a historical Unbreakable Code to solve the mystery of why their history teacher has been acting suspicious. Little do they know that their own search for answers is making them a target of an arsonist.



Clayton Byrd's grandfather is the coolest person he knows. A Blues Man, Cool Papa Byrd is loved by many and he has shared his love of the Blues and music with his only grandson. Unfortunately the one person who does not love Cool Papa's music is his daughter, Clayton's mother. When Cool Papa suddenly dies, Clayton's mother seeks to rid her life and Clayton's life, of her father's memory. No willing to give his grandfather's memory away, Clayton sets off by himself to find his grandfather's blues.


Young Adult



One Dark Throne is the second in the Three Dark Crown series. Unfortunately my library only has book two, but it didn't take long for me to get wrapped up in this world. In this kingdom, female triplets are born to every queen but only one of the three is allowed to take the throne. During this book, their ascension year, the three must battle to the death in order to see who has been blessed by the goddess and can rule the kingdom. Told in multiple points of view, this book is Game of Thrones for teens.



_______________________________


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, October 16, 2017

#IMWAYR October 16, 2017


Each week I 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. 

This week I was honored to see my novel, The Perfect Trip, on the nomination list for the Cybils. Since I already have the honor of being named a Cybil judge, I asked for the book to be made ineligible due to a conflict of interest. There are so many amazing books in the category that I continued to read this week. I'm also still reading books for school. 

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


I reread this book this week since I have a student reading it for my character change unit. I loved this book when I first read it and loved it even more the second time around. I love the development of the relationships between Ivan, Stella, Ruby, Julie, and Bob. It is a new classic.



Stef Soto always loved her father's taco truck, but this year she is tired of being the taco queen. But when his father's business is at risk, Stef realizes that sometimes you need to step up and support your family.



Charlie views the world through his knowledge of birds. An autistic boy with OCD tendencies, he has always relied on his father's support and the list they made of the birds they would see someday. When his father is injured and needs brain surgery, he takes a difficult road trip across the country to see him and his someday birds help him hold things together and face the challenges the trip has in store.



_______________________________


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, October 9, 2017

#IMWAYR October 9, 2017


Each week I 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. 

As a first-round panelist for the middle grade Cybils category, I have a ton of books that jumped to the top of my TBR list. I'm also still reading books for school. 

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


This historical fiction novel takes place at the end of segregation. At the end of the summer Charlie learns that his local friends have all changed schools because his local school "is going downhill." Turns out downhill means the school is being desegregated. Armstrong is one of the boys who will be bused in. Told from alternating points of view, you may want tissues for this one. I would recommend this for an older middle grade reader because of the descriptions of first kisses.


Four lives come together in this book about fate and friendship. When Virgil gets trapped at the bottom of the well trying to rescue his pet guinea pig, he thinks hope is lost. Fortunately the universe is sending some new friends to find him.


This book felt familiar - girl starts middle school and her best friend is becomes friends with someone else and is acting older, which leaves the main character behind. In this friendship story, the new friend is a bully who targets Karma's food and the hairs growing on her face in order to widen the gap between Karma and her former best friend. I thought the mustache was an interesting element in this story. I would have liked to see Karma struggle a little more with the issue of being half Sikh and wanting to cut her hair. 



I'm so glad I included this book in my 4th grade character study because it forced me to read it again and it's a book I have loved since I was in middle school. Bradley Chalkers is the school bully and the bad behavior kid. Nobody likes him, and he doesn't like them. That is until a new school counselor and a new student named Jeff challenge Bradley's reality and make him wonder whether he could be the kid in the class with the gold stars. If you loved Wonder, Fish in a Tree, and Finding Perfect, you will love this book.



This book is also part of my 4th grade character study. Edward Tulane is a fine porcelain rabbit who thinks very highly of himself, his clothing, and his pocket watch. He thinks very little about anything else. When he is accidentally thrown overboard and is found and owned by a series of adults and children, he starts to learn what it truly means to love and to be loved.

_______________________________


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, October 2, 2017

#IMWAYR October 2, 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. 

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade


I love this series by Jason Reynolds. Like Ghost, Patina uses running to make sense of her life and the challenges of school, family, and growing up.



Nicki is a foster kid whose father is in prison and whose grandmother taught her to pick pockets before she died. Nicki's quick hands and quick wit make her a perfect candidate for a new family program started by the US Marshals. Nicki is placed with a family in hiding, becoming their additional daughter to help keep the bad guys off their tail. Now known as Charlotte, Nicki will face her biggest challenge - getting along with a younger brother. This book releases on Tuesday, but I was fortunate to read an early copy from NetGalley. I love the family relationship in this book and Nicki is a fantastic main character. I hope she comes back in a second book. 

_______________________________


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, September 25, 2017

#IMWAYR September 25, 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. 

This week I had to put aside a book I had started to be prepared for school. My 5th graders are in a memoir and autobiography unit. They made predictions about an author's life and values by reading their novels. Next they will read the author's memoir or autobiography to find out if their predictions are on target. I used Jacqueline Woodson's picture books as mentor texts and will be reading aloud Brown Girl Dreaming. As an author, I love the concept of the unit and since I never assign students books I haven't read, I gave myself the goal of reading the four author's autobiographies my groups have chosen. 

Here's what I read this week:


Middle Grade Autobiography



Jean Little tells about her struggle as a cross-eyed child who was legally blind, what she learned about the world, people, and how books and story telling became her saviors. 


Jerry Spinelle's autobiography bounces around like a yo-yo, but by the time it is finished the reader understands why his stories are so rich with interesting details. He writes through the attic of his memories and is drawn to the way he wishes the past might have been.


Sid Fleischman's straight forward autobiography takes the reader on his path through magic and American history.

Middle Grade Fiction


Amica loves to sing but she has stage fright. When she is forced to take part in Quaran Competition, she is worried she is going to disappoint her family by freezing on stage. When her Islamic Center is vandalized she has to find a new kind of courage. A story of friendship, diversity, and finding your own voice.


Young Adult


In this twist on the story of Aladdin, the genie is a courageous girl who has fallen in love with her master.


Jane, Unlimited is a sliding doors story following the character Jane as she makes different choices of who to follow in the mysterious mansion she is visiting. 

Currently reading:


Still reading:




_______________________________


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, September 18, 2017

#IMWAYR September 18, 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. 

Here's what I read this week:


Middle Grade



I am thankful to one of my students for suggesting I move this book to the top of my reading pile. Like The Loser's Club by Andrew Clements, this book is a tribute to those of us who love books and libraries. In this town, the kids have never experienced a library because it had closed the year before they were born. Mr. Lemoncello, the famous game maker, has created them a new one and twelve kids have been invited to stay in the library overnight to celebrate it's grand opening. What they don't know is that the library itself is a giant game designed to encourage a love of books. If I were locked in this library, I don't think I would want to try to escape.


Florian Bates and his best friend Margaret are back for another mystery adventure using the power of TOAST, the theory of small things. This book was just as exciting as Framed. I can't wait until the next one. Florian is an Encyclopedia Brown for this generation.


In this dystopian high fantasy, the people of Quill are separated into Necessaries, Wanteds, and Unwantededs. The Necessaries are assigned the jobs that must get done and the Wanteds are trained to lead the town. But the Unwanteds are sentenced to death, or so the people of Quill believe. Really, they are hidden away in Artime, a magical secret place where creativity is admired. But what will happen when Artime stops being a secret? A fun story for lovers of fantasy.

Young Adult



After Syrah is almost killed in a snowboarding accident she is finding it hard to be the girl she used to be. Her best friend is acting differently and her famous parents are watching her every move, an easy thing to do when the paparazzi are always following her. As Syrah looks for a way to move forward, snowboarding again becomes her outlet, just not in the way she expects.


Currently reading:




_______________________________


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?