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 31, 2017

#IMWAYR July 31, 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. 

Summer is half over and I'm feeling pretty accomplished. Those of you who read my blog know that I'm starting a new position in the fall, teaching 2 - 5th grade advanced learners ELA. During this past week I planned the first 15 days of third grade and I'm almost done organizing the first 15 days of 4th. I joined a new Facebook group called Passionate Readers Book Club and they've helped me out with some great recommendations to enrich my plans. My work has also guided some of my summer reading, as you will see below.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade

The Secret Garden was the recommended class novel for my new 4th grade curriculum. Since it's been years since I read it, I revisited it this week. You can never be sure what you will think when you go back and read a childhood favorite. This book didn't disappoint. I loved the overall message that positive thinking and kindness contain magic. I did find the language difficult to follow at times so I have decided to use it as a read aloud and have my students read other books where the character goes through dramatic character change. In the book the main character, Mary, starts off contrary, disagreeable, and selfish and learns to be thoughtful, kind, and caring. If you have other recommendations of characters who go through significant internal change, please let me know. Some books I have so far are Fish in a Tree, Because of Winn Dixie, Restart, Pilfer AcademyEsperanza Rising, and Ghost.

Harry Potter fans will enjoy this series about a boy named Max who didn't know he had magical powers until he finds himself in a secret room of an art museum with a tapestry that comes to life. As soon as he arrives home he receives his invitation to go to Rowan Academy, a school for magical people. While it is hard to describe this book in a way that doesn't sound like Harry Potter, this book has enough differences that it will feel new.

Florian Bates has moved so many times that he developed a way to learn about people quickly. He calls it TOAST, the Theory Of All Small Things. By looking at small details instead of the big picture, he is able to learn information very quickly. So quickly in fact that along with his new best friend Margaret, he is able to solve crimes faster than the FBI, which is why they put him on their payroll. I loved this book and need to find a way to add it as a read aloud at some point. All of my students should be practicing TOAST.

Young Adult

This may be my favorite of Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter Books, and that's saying a lot because I love this series. What I find remarkable is that among the shadowhunters, demons, faeries, vampires, action, adventure, etc, there are also serious issues addressed such as prejudice, racism, and LGBTQ acceptance. I am looking forward to the next one.


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 and stop by the blog on Thursday for a new author interview. This week I'll be talking with Holly McGhee. 

It's Monday, what are you reading? 


  1. I do have that book The Secret Garden and I heard it is good book to read.

  2. Thanks for sharing the Hound of Rowan. It sounds like a good one to recommend to readers who've enjoyed Harry Potter.

  3. Teachers are just so amazing - I don't think the general public realises just how hard you work to plan meaningful, rewarding classes for your young students!

  4. The Secret Garden is one of my favorite books! I never get tired of reading it!

  5. While I loved The Secret Garden, it's the kind of title that gives core novels a bad name. It is a book for very few modern 4th graders. Surprised it made the list.

  6. I personally loved The Secret Garden, but I sadly very few of my students have ever taken to it. Framed sounds like such fun!

  7. I have Framed to read. It keeps getting pushed off but I keep hearing great things about it.


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