Mechanics & Literature: January 2023

Brave Writer

While exploring writing, mechanics, and literary devices, January’s Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang selections demonstrate the power of stories and their ability to entertain, inform, and commemorate.

This month’s Quill explores the power of poetry! Play with pitch, voice, volume, and whimsical words while nurturing your child’s early reading, handwriting, and math skills.

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Brave Writer Quill
Quill (ages 5-7)

Get ready to add rhythm and rhyme to your days. The January Quill (Poetry) is here!

In this Quill we’ll lift our pinkies and sip tea while reading poetry; commit our favorite verses to memory; discover the difference between a stanza and a paragraph; play with rhyme, two words at a time (see what we did there?); clap and count our way through a poem to find the rhythm; and combine rhyme and rhythm to write a limerick.

Note: You can use any transportation picture books you have in your stacks or find at your library.

Some suggestions:

Get the Quill.

Brave Writer Dart
Dart (ages 8-10)

Wondrous Rex by Patricia MacLachlan

Meet Rex: a Labrador retriever who has a special way with words!

Our story’s protagonist has a special gift he generously shares with others! What a perfect way to demonstrate the role of anthropomorphism, this month’s literary device!

We’ll also: 

  • start a wondrous word hoard;
  • capitalize some proper nouns;
  • create breathing room with commas;
  • plop pronouns into place;
  • ponder some potent punctuation;
  • capture qualities with adjectives, and so much more!

Purchase the book.

Get the Dart.

Brave Writer Arrow
Arrow (ages 11-12)

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

You’ll meet Petra, who wants to become a storyteller like her abuelita. But first, she’ll have to summon all her courage to fight incredible odds to save herself and others. This page turner will keep your kids on the edge of their seats—enjoy!

January’s literary device is flashbacks. Find out how a trip back in time makes the here and now more interesting!

We’ll also: 

  • engage with ellipses
  • save time with contractions;
  • talk about quotes;
  • find the fun in figurative language;
  • connect with coordinating conjunctions;
  • tune into tone; and so much more! 

Purchase the book.

Get the Arrow.

Brave Writer Boomerang
Boomerang (ages 13-14)

The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds

Hinds has adapted Homer’s famous work into a gorgeous graphic-novel!*

In this Boomerang, we’ll:

  • get lost in translation;
  • wander through wordless sequences;
  • contemplate commas;
  • activate ALL CAPS;
  • follow comic book transitions;
  • explain encapsulation and closure, and so much more!

*Note About Content
The illustrations in this book depict the sensuality of the original text in much the same way ancient Greek sculpture you see in art museums might, including the human form in minimal clothing. The book also visually represents the violence of the epic with scenes of bloodshed and battle. Please review the book to decide if this story is right for your family.

Purchase the book.

Get the Boomerang.

For ages 15-18, check out the Slingshot.

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