Mechanics & Literature: February 2024

Brave Writer

February’s Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot shine a light on the power of perseverance and self-determination. While exploring writing, mechanics, and literary devices, your family can glean inspiration from amazing individuals, some real, some imagined, as they knock down obstacles with a mix of intelligence, humor, charisma, and confidence.

This month’s Quill is Space: Planets, and we think you’ll agree that it’s out of this world! We’ll investigate infographics, master mapmaking, and ignite imaginations with interplanetary wordplay!


Brave Writer Quill
Quill (ages 5-7)

Space: Planets

This Quill is out of this world! 

In our Book Shop, you’ll find books about space that we adore! These are not required (you can use any books about these topics that you have at home or discover at your library), but we find it’s helpful to have a list to get you started.

In this issue, we’ll:

  • investigate infographics;
  • vroom our way through some playful planetary vocabulary;
  • design a delightfully fact-filled planet poster;
  • master mapmaking (and give our motor skills a marvelous workout);
  • squash some shapes to explore dimension; and
  • slice into the juicy topic of symmetry!

Get the Quill.


Brave Writer Dart
Dart (ages 8-10)

Ways to Grow Love by Renée Watson

Spend time with fifth-grader Ryan Hart as she navigates relatable childhood twists and turns in this joy-filled sequel to Ways to Make Sunshine. (Note: No need to read the first book before jumping into this novel, but if you want to, we have a Dart for that one too!)

This month’s literary device focuses on Rhyme

We’ll also:

  • zigzag our way through an exploration of action words;
  • wrestle a tricky possessive pronoun into its proper place;
  • festoon a horse with adjectives;
  • grow our understanding of a literary theme;
  • have a little fun with a lot;
  • enjoy a good time exploring rhyme; and so much more! 

Purchase the book.

Get the Dart.


Brave Writer Arrow
Arrow (ages 11-12)

Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson

When a young boy named Homer escapes enslavement from a southern plantation, he finds a wondrous new community, but before he can enjoy his new freedom, he must liberate his mother from the plantation he escaped.

February’s literary device is Juxtaposition.

We’ll also: 

  • discuss and explore conjunctions;
  • find out why figurative language flies high in writing;
  • admire the amazing abilities of alliteration;
  • try playing with present participles;
  • use symbolism to see the story in a new way; 
  • walk and talk with verbs, and so much more! 

Purchase the book.

Get the Arrow.


Brave Writer Boomerang
Boomerang (ages 13-14)

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

With eloquence and power, Woodson’s poetry relays her experiences growing up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s amid the civil rights movement.

In this issue, we’ll:

  • mull over memoir;
  • venerate verse;
  • explore what happens when we show instead of tell readers what is happening;
  • follow along easily with help from attributive tags;
  • certainly see superb sentence structure;
  • power through parallelism; and so much more!

Purchase the book.

Get the Boomerang.


Brave Writer Slingshot
Slingshot (ages 15-18)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Poet Maya Angelou’s debut memoir, the story of her childhood in the segregated south, is a modern American classic.

In this Slingshot, we’ll:

  • time travel to explore historical context;
  • mull over motivation;
  • partake of poetic prose and hyperbole;
  • associate images and ideas with allusions;
  • analyze autobiographies in the context of coming-of-age stories;
  • discuss denouement when we reach the end; and so much more!

A note about content: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings touches on mature themes of human experience. We encourage parents to read the book ahead of time in order to be prepared for deep conversations with your teens.

Purchase the book.

Get the Slingshot.


Brave Writer

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