‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2016 With Stacy Mozer

‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays is a special seasonal feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which some of my favourite authors help me to celebrate the spirit of the season and spread a little holiday cheer. So, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in by the fireside as they answer the question: “What does the holiday season mean to you?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!

About Stacy Mozer

Stacy Barnett Mozer is a middle grade author, a book blogger, and an elementary school teacher. Stacy started writing novels when one of her third grade classes told her there was no way a real author who wrote real books could possibly revise as much as she asked them to revise. She’s been revising her own novels every since. Stacy is an active SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators) member and is an Assistant Regional Advisor for New England SCBWI, coordinating the region’s critique groups. She is also the founder of Sporty Girl Books, a blog for anyone who loves to watch, play, read, and write about women and girls in sports. Her debut novel The Sweet Spot released from Spellbound River Press in March 2016. Book 2, The Perfect Trip, will release from Spellbound River on March 24, 2017.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

When you go to school to become a teacher they prepare you for many things, but there are some things they don’t think to teach. What you should do with all the mail in your mailbox, for instance (by the end of the first month there was a pile so tall it went from the floor to the top of my desk because I was afraid to throw any piece away). Another thing they don’t prepare you for are holiday presents.

I was 22 and in my first permanent placement, teaching 4th grade in West Hartford, CT. When the kids started bringing in bags of ornaments and Christmas reefs and decorated holiday cookies, I didn’t even know what to say. Back then I wasn’t sure how much “me” to bring into the classroom so I probably hadn’t told the class I celebrate Hanukkah. I hadn’t even told them my age. As package after package of Christmas presents arrived on my desk, I smiled and said thank you.

I wasn’t the only one surprised by the gift giving that year. In that class was a boy who I’ll call Mac. Until that year Mac had been attending a school in Hartford. He had been treated badly by students and teachers and labeled “the bad kid.” If Mac didn’t want to do something he’d knock all the papers off the desk or go hide under a table. As a new teacher I made it my mission to get through to Mac. By the time the holidays came around we had come to an understanding and those difficult behaviors were greatly reduced. It turned out that Mac was pretty bright and capable; he just needed someone to believe in him.

Mac’s mom was working very hard to give him this new chance in this new school and they didn’t have money to spare. I wasn’t surprised that he hadn’t come to school with a package in his hand. But at the end of the day, when the students came to say goodbye and leave on their holiday break, Mac lingered. “This is for you,” he said. He held out a small stuffed moose. He told me the moose’s name (which was mooshie or something similar) and ordered me to take care of him. At first I refused, but he insisted I keep it. I told him that I would leave it on my desk in case he ever changed his mind. He never did.

It’s been exactly 20 years since I taught Mac. All the ornaments and reefs and cookies are long gone, replaced by all the wonderful gifts from my current class. But Mac and his act of selfless giving will stay with me, always. And so will his moose – unless he should ever ask for it back.

Title The Sweet Spot
Author Stacy Barnett Mozer
Pages 212 Pages
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Genre Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Baseball, Girls & Women
Published March 24, 2016 by Spellbound River Press
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comIndie Bound

When thirteen-year-old Sam Barrette’s baseball coach tells her that her attitude’s holding her back, she wants to hit him in the head with a line drive. Why shouldn’t she have an attitude? As the only girl playing in the 13U league, she’s had to listen to boys and people in the stands screaming things like “Go play softball,” all season, just because she’s a girl. Her coach barely lets her play, even though she’s one of the best hitters on the team.

All stakes now rest on Sam’s performance at baseball training camp. But the moment she arrives, miscommunication sets the week up for potential disaster. Placed at the bottom with the weaker players, she will have to work her way up to A league, not just to show Coach that she can be the best team player possible, but to prove to herself that she can hold a bat with the All-Star boys.

One response to “‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2016 With Stacy Mozer”

  1. Awe this made me smile so much! Mac sounds like an incredible kid 🙂
    Faith @ Faith’s Bookspiration recently posted…Happy Holiday’s & an Exciting Giveaway! *SQUEALS*My Profile

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