Archive for the ‘Arrow’ Category

Happy Birthday, J.K. Rowling!

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Harry PotterToday is July 31st, which happens to be the birthday of both J.K. Rowling and her most famous character, Harry Potter. To celebrate this most magical day, we’re making a special offer! The Arrow for Rowling’s first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, is:

HALF PRICE till midnight August 1st! ($4.95)

Most of us know J.K. Rowling’s incredible rags-to-riches story. She scribbled the manuscript of Harry Potter in coffee shops as a broke single mother, not realizing that a few years later she would be the wealthiest author in history. If you haven’t heard the story, look it up!

Here, though, we’d like to take a look at the darker side of Harry Potter—the villains! Villains, after all, deserve their chance in the spotlight. So get out your villainous cape and your evil thinking cap and take the quiz below to see what Harry Potter villain you’d be!

Which Harry Potter Villain Are You?

1. What is your villainous costume?

a. Black and silver robe
b. Pink suit set
c. Ripped prison garb
g. Stylish lime green or magenta attire and two-inch-long crimson nails

2. You hear a kitten mewing for help. What do you do?

a. Send someone to silence it. You’ve got more important problems.
b. Hang a picture of a kitten on your wall.
c. Kill it.
g. Snoop around to discover what exactly happened to the kitten.

3. What is your animagus (animal) form?

a. A snake
b. A cat
c. You don’t need an animagus. You’re already practically an animal.
g. A beetle

4. Your hair is…

a. Nonexistent
b. Short and curly, with a black velvet bow perched on top like a fly
c. Wild and untamed
g. Bleached blonde

5. Favorite ice cream flavor?

a. Fountain of youth
b. Strawberry
c. Triple chocolate death
g. Crocodile-flavored, spiked with a truth telling serum

6. How do you prep for swimsuit season?

a. First, I’ve got to get a body…
b. Issue a decree prohibiting swimsuit season
c. Wipe out everyone wearing a swimsuit with the Avada Kedavra curse
g. Interview witches to learn their swimsuit secrets

The Results: If you got mostly…

a. Lord Voldemort: You’re the Lord of Villains. Also, you might be missing a nose.

b. Umbridge: You wear lots of pink, and if you don’t like the rules you change them.

c. Bellatrix Lestrange: If you can’t use it, you put a curse on it

d. Rita Skeeter: You’ve got great hair and a killer smile, and if you can’t find a good story you make one up.

So dive into the world of Harry Potter with our special Arrow offer!

And if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (affiliate link).

Also, SUBSCRIBE TODAY to The Arrow (3rd-6th grades) or The Boomerang (7th-10th grades) for 2014-15!

The Arrow and The Boomerang are monthly digital products that feature copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. They are indispensable tools for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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Happy Birthday, Brian Jacques!

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

RedwallIt’s Brian Jacques’ birthday today (June 15, 1939), and to celebrate, we’re making a special offer! The Arrow for his novel, Redwall, is:

HALF PRICE through Monday at Midnight! ($4.95) OFFER HAS EXPIRED

Redwall tells the epic tale of the animals of Redwall Abbey, who valiantly defend their home from the attacks of a one-eyed rat and his fearsome army. The story is a moving tale of the courage of the small and weak against the strong. Like the other 21 books in the series, Redwall contains wonderful descriptions of food, as well as delightful accents particular to each type of creature in the stories.

Although now acclaimed as one of the greatest children’s authors in the world, drawing comparisons to Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows and Richard Adams’s Watership Down, Brian Jacques’ first attempt at writing was not nearly so successful.

At ten years old, for an assignment at his school in Liverpool, England, Brian Jacques wrote a short story about a bird that cleaned a crocodile’s teeth. His teacher refused to believe that a ten-year-old could write so well and ordered Jacques to say that he had copied the story. When Jacques refused, he was caned. So it was that Brian Jacques first realized his talent for writing.

Before pursuing writing full-time, Brian Jacques worked as a merchant seaman, a fireman, a long-distance truck driver, a bus driver, a boxer, a bobby (British policeman), a postmaster, and a stand-up comic.

When Jacques began to write Redwall, his first audience was the children at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool. Because he was writing to a blind audience, he attempted to make his writing as descriptive as possible so that the children could picture the events in their imagination.

In fact, Brian Jacques was only published when a former English teacher submitted Jacques’ story to a publisher without telling Jacques. The publishers loved the book and immediately drew up a contract for five more books. Ever since, the Redwall stories have been delighting children and adults all around the globe.

So, don’t miss out—celebrate Brian Jacques’ birthday and take advantage of this special Arrow offer!

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: Redwall (affiliate link).

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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Arrow and Boomerang book lists for 2014-15!

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Arrows 2014-15 Original

Sneak Peek: 2014-2015 Arrow Book List! August is at the bottom and May at the top!

The top book (May) is the final in the series of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books (I don’t count The First Four Years as one of the series). It is the book for May to give you time to catch up, if you haven’t read enough of the books yet. It is my favorite! We’ll have created Arrows for the entire series by then. Enjoy (and share!).

And here’s the 2014-2015 Boomerang Book List! Mix of classics and modern. Diverse authorship too!

Boomerangs 2014-15

Get the news out! The year-long subscriptions for Arrow and Boomerang are NOW ON SALE through June (extra special deal!).

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Happy Birthday, Andrew Clements!

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Frindle_Andrew ClementsIn celebration of Andrew Clements’ 65th birthday (born in May, 1949), we’re making a special offer! The Arrow for his novel, Frindle, is:

Half price till midnight May 31st: $4.95!

Just what is a frindle?

“I will never use the word PEN again. Instead, I will use the word FRINDLE, and I will do everything possible so others will, too.”

In 1990, Clements began writing his first novel, Frindle. Published six years later, the novel tells the story of a boy who creates a new word and tries to get it into the dictionary.

Some fun facts about Andrew Clements (from an interview with the New York Public Library):

  • Writes in a cabin in the woods or in a shed behind his house where there are no distractions
  • Takes about a year to complete and publish a novel
  • As a teen, loved Jack London and the Sherlock Holmes stories
  • Listens to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and John Mayer
  • In his free time, plays guitar, tinkers in his workshop, hikes, and practices calligraphy

Advice on writing from Andrew Clements:

“I don’t know a single writer who wasn’t a reader first. Read, read, read. Read all the good books you can to learn what good writing sounds like and feels like. And think about what you read.”

When he doesn’t have anything to write: “I’ve learned to make myself make something happen next. The thought ‘I can’t think of anything to write’ is the same as ‘Nothing could possibly happen next’—and that is NEVER true.”

“Sometimes kids ask how I’ve been able to write so many books. The answer is simple: one word at a time. … You don’t have to do everything at once. You don’t have to know how every story is going to end. You just have to take that next step, look for that next idea, write that next word.”

So, celebrate Andrew Clements’ birthday and take advantage of this special offer! Offer ends on May 31st at midnight EDT.

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: Frindle (affiliate link).

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Mouse and the MotorcycleBeverly Cleary is 98 years young this weekend, and to celebrate we’re offering the Arrow based on her book, The Mouse and the Motorcycle:

Half price through Monday at Midnight! ($4.95) OFFER HAS EXPIRED

Ralph S. Mouse is not just any ol’ mouse at Mountain View Inn.

He is always looking for adventure. So when a young guest named Keith arrives with a shiny miniature motorcycle, it’s Ralph’s lucky day. Right away, Ralph knows that the motorcycle is special—made to be ridden by an adventurous mouse. And once a mouse can ride a motorcycle . . . almost anything can happen! (HarperCollins)

 

The Mouse and the Motorcycle is the first book in a trilogy (Runaway Ralph and Ralph S. Mouse being the other two in the series). Clearly has written other popular children’s books, as well, featuring the characters of Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins.

Also, every April 12th is Drop Everything and Read Day! Beverly Clearly was so inspired by the idea when she learned about it that she wrote about D.E.A.R. in her book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Since then D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Cleary’s birthday.

So, drop everything and read plus take advantage of this special Arrow offer!

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: The Mouse and the Motorcycle (affiliate link).

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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Happy Birthday, Kate DiCamillo!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Winn Dixie“I like to think of myself as a storyteller.” ~Kate DiCamillo

We’re celebrating author Kate DiCamillo’s birthday today! The Arrow based on her book, Because of Winn-Dixie, is:

Half price for one day only: $4.95! OFFER HAS EXPIRED

When asked where she got the idea for Because of Winn-Dixie, Kate DiCamillo says she missed her childhood home in Florida. Then adds:

Also, it was the first time in my life that I had been without a dog. I was living in an apartment where no dogs were allowed, but there weren’t any rules about imaginary dogs. So I made a dog up, the best dog I could think of: a smelly, friendly, big old mutt.

That big old smelly dog in the book is, of course, Winn-Dixie, the pet of India Opal Buloni, a ten-year-old girl who is dealing with her mother’s abandonment. After moving to Florida with her father, Opal goes to the grocery to get macaroni, white rice, and tomatoes and comes home with her furry companion. Winn-Dixie then helps his young owner meet people in the community. Opal learns about forgiveness and acceptance as she gets to know her new friends, like Miss Franny Brock who once “fought off a bear with a copy of War and Peace,” and Otis, the ex-con musician who serenades the animals in his pet shop.

So, celebrate Kate DiCamillo’s birthday and take advantage of this special offer today!

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: Because of Winn-Dixie (affiliate link).

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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Happy Birthday, Jeanne Bendick!

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Archimedes and the Door of Science

“Questions are more important than answers… If I were a fairy godmother, my gift to every child would be curiosity.” ~Jeanne Bendick

Jeanne Bendick was born February 25, 1919, and in celebration of her birthday we’re making a special offer! The Arrow based on her book, Archimedes and the Door of Science, is:

Half price for one day only: $4.95!

An artist as well as an author, Jeanne Bendick used words and drawings to make difficult concepts understandable. Inspired by her grandfather who often took her to New York’s American Museum of Natural History, Bendick developed a lifelong interest in science and grew up to write over 100 books!

“One part of the job I set for myself is to make those young readers see that everything is connected to everything-that science isn’t something apart. It’s a part of everyday life. It has been that way since the beginning.”

In Archimedes and the Door of Science, Bendick introduces us to the ancient Greek mathematician, and her captivating illustrations help bring the story to life.

So, celebrate Jeanne Bendick’s birthday and take advantage of this special offer today!

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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Happy Birthday, Melissa Wiley!

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

prairiethief_coverMelissa Wiley was born December 17th. In celebration of her birthday we’re making a special offer. The Arrow for The Prairie Thief is:

Half price today only: $4.95! OFFER HAS EXPIRED

Melissa has authored numerous books for kids and teens, including The Prairie Thief, Inch and Roly Make a Wish, Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, and the Martha and Charlotte Little House books (prequels to the Little House on the Prairie series).

In The Prairie Thief, readers “experience life on the prairie—with one fantastical twist!” From Melissa’s website:

Louisa Brody’s life on the Colorado prairie is not at all what she expected. Her dear Pa, accused of thievery, is locked thirty miles away in jail. She’s living with the awful Smirches, her closest neighbors and the very family that accused her Pa of the horrendous crime. And now she’s discovered one very cantankerous—and magical—secret beneath the hazel grove. With her life flipped upside-down, it’s up to Louisa, her sassy friend Jessamine, and that cranky secret to save Pa from a guilty verdict.

Last year we interviewed Melissa. She talked about influential authors, the unorthodox use of language in literature, the importance of a good copy editor (a “second set of eyes”), how she started her lovely blog, Here in the Bonny Glen, and much, much more. If you missed it the first time you can listen to the full podcast here!

We recently caught up with Melissa and she told us that she just recorded her often-asked-about-but-hard-to-find book, Hanna’s Christmas, and here it is!

You can read more about how the recording came into being on Melissa’s blog.

So, enjoy the holiday story then take advantage of this special Arrow offer today!

The Arrow is a monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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Free verse success!

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Halloween free verse

 

From Brave Writer mom, Alexandra:

Good morning Julie!

First, I want to thank you again for bringing such joy in our home with your writing and language arts curriculum! My daughter was a late bloomer with reading. She only started being really comfortable with reading last year. Writing is something that stressed her out. She would block herself, saying that she couldn’t write. She would refuse to put anything on paper. She could physically write but refused. I honestly didn’t know what to do. I followed your advice and took a gentle approach. I explained to her that she could write and that I would be happy to spell every word if that is what she wanted or that she could write things as she thought they should be and we could fix the spelling later.

We often followed this pattern: she would tell me what she wanted to write, I would write it down for her, then she would copy it. With the shark mini book, she started taking my short points and building them into sentences. That was a huge step for her!

Today, I read your instructions for the free verse exercise in The Arrow to her and she chose which prompt to do for the free write process. I spelled a few words for her but she did it all and without stressing herself.

Here is her freewrite:

Halloween!

Last Halloween my sister and her school had a haunted basement and it was haunted. It was like a tunnel and a lot of rooms that you go in. My sister grabbed my leg, and someone said my name.

I told her her writing was good. I did ask her if she wanted to add anything, a little more of what the prompt mentioned. She said no. I wanted to push a little but realized that this was enough for her. She finally was comfortable with the idea of writing, I couldn’t ruin it.

We continued with the exercise. She didn’t get it at first, cutting away some of her words must have been weird, especially after she worked hard to write these on paper! But after we read the tips in the appendix, she went to work.

Here is her free verse poem version:

Halloween

Last Halloween
my sister and her school
had a haunted basement

It was haunted
a tunnel
rooms you go in.
my sister grabbed my leg
someone said my name!

She told me once she was done gluing the poem down that she loved poetry. I told her she could do another one next week. She said yes and told me she would do one on Christmas!

I am so happy. The books in The Arrow we have read so far have been fabulous. Celeste has gone on to read all the books in the Lemonade Series because she liked the first one so much. She re-read the first one three times. Now she is already starting to re-read the Inside Out & Back Again, even if we are not finished yet!

Thank you again for putting together wonderful, interesting, but still challenging language arts programs!

~Alexandra

Image of Celeste working on her free verse project (cc)

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Happy Birthday, Katherine Paterson!

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

The Master PuppeteerIn celebration of Katherine Paterson’s birthday (born October 31, 1932) we’re making a special offer! The Boomerang for her novel, The Master Puppeteer, is:

Half price for one day only: $4.95! OFFER HAS EXPIRED

Katherine Paterson said she never wanted to be a writer growing up (she wanted to be either a movie star or a missionary), but she went on to pen some of the most admired works of children’s literature. She’s best known for Bridge to Terabithia. Other works include The Great Gilly Hopkins and Jacob Have I Loved.

Paterson tackles difficult themes in her stories, such as death, jealousy, and being outcast in society. Her young protagonists often triumph over adversity through inner strength and self-sacrifice.

The Master Puppeteer won the National Book Award for Children’s Literature 1977. Paterson’s website describes it like this:

Who is the man called Saburo, the mysterious bandit who robs the rich and helps the poor of the Japanese city of Osaka? And what is his connection with the Hanaza, the puppet theater run by the harsh master of Yoshida? Young Jiro, an apprentice puppeteer, is determined to find out even though this could be very dangerous.

So, celebrate Katherine Paterson’s birthday and take advantage of this special offer today!

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 7th to 10th graders (ages 12—advanced, 13-15) and is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

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