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, October 21, 2019

#IMWAYR October 21, 2019

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. I am currently a first round Cybil judge for the middle grade fiction, so expect to see a lot of middle grade fiction for the next few weeks. A lot of middle grade fiction.

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade Graphic Novel

Sheets is the story of Marjorie Glatt whose mother died last year and now she's the only one left keeping up her family laundry. It's also the story of Wendell, a ghost who finds life in Ghostland lonely and boring. When Wendell accidentally finds his way to Marjorie's laundry and witnesses a local businessman sabotaging her store, the two of them will have to get past miscommunication and judgment in order to save the house and business that Marjorie's mom loved. I loved the way the illustrator used color to show the two worlds.

Middle Grade

A Place to Belong is a serious look at a very dark time in US history. After a horrible experience in Japanese interment camps, Hanako's parents denounced their US Citizenship so Hanako finds herself on a boat to Japan, a place she has never visited, to live with her grandparents, who she has never met. Post war Japan is a place of hunger and devastation but is also a place where Hanako finds the strength to start over and to forgive.

Even though Sweet Pea's parents are divorced, they are determined not to let that fact change the way Sweet Pea lives. In order to do that, her father has rented the house two doors down and has decorated it exactly like her mom's house, down to the colors on the walls. When the one neighbor in between the two parents, a recluse odd advice columnist, asks Sweet Pea for help, she finds herself escaping her strange life by answering the messages of others. Now she just has to hope that no-one will figure it out. A fun story about family and accepting who you are.

When Coyote's mother and two sisters died in a car crash five years ago, her father changed his name to Rodeo, changed her name to Coyote, bought a bus to turn into a mobile home and the two of them set off to see the country. Coyote has learned to keep her sadness in check in order to help her father, but when she learns from her grandmother that the town will be bulldozing the park where her mom and sisters had buried a time capsule right before they died, Coyote realizes that it is time to do something to help her own pain - even if that means she needs to trick her father to do it. Joined by a bunch of odd travel companions, including a goat named Gladys, Coyote's journey is truly one that is remarkable. 

Young Adult

I was able to slip in a Young Adult book this week, and I was so glad I did. Annaleigh is sure that her family is cursed because her mother and four of her sisters have all been "returned to the salt." When her childhood friend returns and promises her remaining sisters nights of dancing in secret, they are all ready to abandon their clothes of mourning in order to let some fun come into their lives. But Annaleigh quickly suspects not all is as it seems. She just needs to prove it without everyone thinking she is crazy and before any more of her sisters die. The House of Salt and Sorrows is a fractured retelling of the twelve dancing princesses, with a number of ghostly twists and turns. 

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. 


  1. I really liked A Place to Belong. I liked the different perspective about the effects of a war. Not that those effects are good, it just made me think about a part of the war I hadn't before!
    Dear Sweet Pea is in my pile. At some point I'll get to it!
    Coyote Sunrise was a definite favorite!

  2. I, too, loved A Place to Belong and also Coyote Sunrise. Sheets sounds fun. Like Guts, I'm sure I have a granddaughter who will love it, too. Thanks for sharing The House of Salt and Sorrows. What an interesting new look at that fairy tale!

  3. Wow, so many great books! I also read The House of Salt & Sorrows recently and thought it was a great fairy tale retelling. I also loved Coyote Sunrise. Have a great reading week!


  4. I'm looking forward to reading Dear Sweet Pea very soon and I thoroughly enjoyed Coyote! It seems like I've heard about The House of Salt and Sorrows the last few weeks, so I need to go make sure I have this one on my TBR list. Thanks for the reminder and have a wonderful reading week, Stacy!

  5. I loved Coyote Sunrise. Dear Sweet Pea is one I need to read soon.

  6. I loved Coyote Sunrise - she is such a memorable character. I am interested in reading Sheets.

  7. The House of Salt and Sorrows sounds really interesting. There might be some flashbacks and that would be great.
    Happy reading.
    Nina@Adventurous Reader

  8. I like Coyote Sunrise much more than I expected. A Place to Belong is one I am especially looking forward to reading.


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