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, August 16, 2021

#IMWAYR Excited About Two New Books!


It has been a while since I added books to this blog for #IMWAYR. COVID definitely changed my reading habits. I used to read right before I went to sleep and now I find that by the end of the day I am exhausted. Fortunately, my body had other ideas and my internal clock now wakes me up each day between 5 - 6, before I'm ready to get out of bed. That's when instead of falling back into dreams, I fall into books instead. My next goal is to start getting back into review mode.

This week I finished two middle grade books I received as DARCS from NetGalley. I am so thrilled to be one of the first to read these amazing books and can't wait until they release so I can share them with my class! Both deal with the loss of a mother, but in very different ways.

This is a story. 
A Comb of Wishes is about a girl named Kela whose life has not been the same since her mother passed away in a terrible accident. She has distanced herself from her friends and spends her time on the beach collecting sea glass, known on her Caribbean island as "Mermaid's Tears." One day when she is collecting,  she is called to explore a cave and finds a comb that she finds out quickly belongs to an actual mermaid. The mermaid offers her one wish in exchange for returning her comb, but like most wishes, Kela's comes with a price and when the comb breaks and Kela can't return it, the stakes are raised even higher. I love the way this book handles Kela's loss and the stages of grief with a bit of magic, which may be just what a middle grader needs to help them move forward. There are also elements of betrayal and a high stakes mystery when the comb is stolen. You also get to learn about life on the island of St. Rita and their tradition of story telling. I also love how this book handles relationships with friends and family. I would highly recommend this book for middle grade classroom when it hits the shelves in February 2022.

When Morgan's mother collapses in front of her, her last words were, "Keep them safe, Morgan. Be Brave for them. Help them be happy." Since her mother's death, that is all Morgan has been doing. Taking care of her father and younger sister and brother, even if that means giving up her friends and soccer, something she loves to do most. Following her mother's life coach plans, Morgan is determined to make her family's plan B work for them. But when her father takes them on their usual end of summer camping trip, Plan B keeps getting changed and Morgan feels her control slipping. To get that back, she does something reckless that puts her life in danger. But when all hope seems lost, she learns that her mother's words on the floor wasn't her actual final message and that Plan Bs can turn into new Plan As. This book is full of heartbreak and love. I would recommend getting it for an upper middle grade classroom when it hits the shelves in January 2022.


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. You are lucky to read these early, Stacy. They both sound like good, satisfying stories for the middle readers. Thanks!

  2. A Comb of Wishes sounds fantastic!

  3. Covid absolutely messed with my reading habits, too! I find it hard to concentrate these days, and I yearn for light, easy reads to keep my poor addled brain happy.

  4. Both these sound good except for the loss of the mothers. Sigh. I discovered Terry Pratchett's Discworld series during covid. It saved my reading life.

  5. Welcome back to #IMWAYR! I understand having a difficult time getting books read—I'm reading an absolutely fabulous YA novel right now, and I've been reading it for weeks and weeks and I'm not even halfway through! Both of these books look fantastic—I love the touch of magic in A Comb of Wishes, and Lemon Drop Falls sounds like a really powerful exploration of grief too. Thanks so much for the great picks!

  6. Welcome back! I'm also reading all over the place. Those books both look great, if sad. Of course sad is what a lot of middle grade readers enjoy.


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