Mechanics & Literature: May 2023

Brave Writer

May’s Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang selections feature imaginative plots and endearing protagonists embarking on big adventures. Enjoy cuddles on the couch while exploring the writing, mechanics, and literary devices that shine throughout these stories.

This month’s Quill will get your kids moving! The world of sports is the perfect place to play as your family:

  • reads picture books,
  • writes on a variety of surfaces,
  • and explores numbers together!

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Brave Writer Quill
Quill (ages 5-7)

Spectacular Sports

Ready, set, go! It’s time to race on into a new issue of the Quill! The last of this school year!

In this Quill we’ll play a game of Name That Team; rack up vocabulary points with a look at sports-themed words and phrases; author the MVP of ABC books; discover dots, lines, and dashes—the building blocks of writing—all over the playing field; skip-count our way to a winning score; and take a second look (get it?) at the many ways time is tracked in athletic events!

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

Some suggestions:

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Brave Writer Dart
Dart (ages 8-10)

Wilderlore: The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody

Adventure, epic wordbuilding, and an endearing protagonist make for a light-hearted fantasy the whole family can enjoy.

This month’s literary device is setting. A good book transports us to wondrous new places. We’ll find out how when we delve into dynamic descriptions of landscapes, time, and habitats, to see how such details, woven together, carry readers to a whole new world!

We’ll also: 

  • take a look at a closing hook,
  • wonder about word order,
  • admire the awesome powers of adjectives,
  • delight in descriptive language,
  • hold a scavenger hunt for plural nouns,
  • tickle our ears with assonance; and so much more! 

Purchase the book.

Get the Dart.

Brave Writer Arrow
Arrow (ages 11-12)

Pages and Co.: The Bookwanderers by Anna James

Join Tilly, our spirited protagonist, and wander through the pages of beloved childhood classics, engaging with curious characters along the way!

May’s literary device is setting. We’ll step into Tilly’s wondrous world to experience the ways time and location provide vivid backdrops for spectacular scenes and stories. 

 We’ll also: 

  • linger over lists,
  • see how similes make comparisons as easy as ABC,
  • finesse fancy fonts and lines,
  • organize with alphabetical order,
  • parade with plurals,
  • magnify meaning with metaphors; and so much more!

Content note: Parents may wish to preview this book before sharing it with their children. Although this lighthearted story features a happy ending, through fantastical circumstances, Tilly’s parents disappear and her dad is thought to have died. Additionally, this story references bookish magic.

Purchase the book.

Get the Arrow.

Brave Writer Boomerang
Boomerang (ages 13-14)

A Snake Falls to the Earth by Darcie Little Badger

Join Nina, our story’s protagonist. She believes in the old stories of the Lipan Apache storytellers, and she’s ready to share them with you!

In this Boomerang, we’ll:

  • look at point of view and foreshadowing
  • get inspired by Indigenous Futurisms
  • tap into the art of writing about screens
  • learn about reading laterally for research; 
  • consider how an antagonist creates conflict;
  • deal with dialogue and talk text exchanges;
  • cross-fertilize fantasy with science;
  • see how sci-fi keeps up with the times; 
  • read between the lines with symbolism;
  • watch world collide with parallels; and so much more.

A note about content: A Snake Falls to Earth is a modern fantasy story that centers around family, friendship, loyalty, and courage. It also deals with potentially charged topics. You, as the parent, can decide if this book is right for your family and how you want to engage in the discourse this book might spark. We encourage parents to read ahead in order to be prepared for deep conversations with teens.

Purchase the book.

Get the Boomerang.

For ages 15-18, check out the Slingshot.

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