Archive for the ‘Boomerang’ Category

Mechanics & Literature: September 2022

Brave Writer

September is a fresh start—a chance to make new family memories.

Are you ready to laugh? This month’s Quill is all about Riddles and Jokes!

September’s Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang are stories that celebrate the beauty of connection with:

  • nature,
  • family,
  • and friends.

Immerse yourself in these dynamic stories of courage and perseverance while your family explores writing, mechanics, and literary devices in brand new ways! 

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

Brave Writer Quill
Quill (ages 5-7)

In this Quill we’ll get wordy with wordplay—exploring how puns, slang, homonyms, and homophones make jokes work; examine book brains, also known as the table of contents; hunt for letters in the wild as we explore fonts; hone comedic timing by telling jokes; collect favorite funnies in a joke book; and play with patterns in jokes and beyond! 

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

Some suggestions:

  • Eight Ate: A Feast of Homonym Riddles by Marvin Terban
  • Fun Jokes for Funny Kids! by Reader’s Digest 
  • Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On by Winters, Sherritt-Fleming, and Collins (poem: “Pattern Rock!”) 
  • Riddles by Pam Rosenberg 
  • Riddles and Trick Questions for Kids and Family! by Puzzleland
  • So Imagine Me: Nature Riddles in Poetry by Lynn Davies 

Get the Quill.

Brave Writer Dart
Dart (ages 8-10)

Willodeen by Katherine Applegate

A timely and timeless tale about our fragile earth, and one girl’s fierce determination to make a difference.

The Literary Device is Descriptive Language, a tool that makes moments in a story feel real.

We’ll also: 

  • collapse words into contractions,
  • examine end marks,
  • find out why dilly bugs and peacock snails are compound nouns,
  • take note of a commanding colon,
  • spy several scent-ilating similes,
  • use a robust set of tools to describe some magical creatures, and so much more!

Purchase the book.

Get the Dart.

Brave Writer Arrow
Arrow (ages 11-12)

Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

Reha feels torn between two worlds: school, where she’s the only Indian American student, and home, with her family’s traditions and holidays. When Reha finds out that her mom is sick, she is determined to make her Amma well again. She’ll be the perfect daughter if it means saving her mom’s life.

The Literary Device is Allusion. LaRocca leans heavily on this device, repeatedly referring to popular music from the 1980s to help us hear this story unfold.

We’ll also: 

  • notice and name the elements of a novel in verse,
  • see why metaphors are often the apple of an author’s eye,
  • practice personification,
  • read one-word sentences and ponder their power,
  • examine epistolary writing down to the letter,
  • learn the story behind the story with help from the author’s note, and so much more!

Purchase the book.

Get the Arrow.

Brave Writer Boomerang
Boomerang (ages 13-14)

The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger’s Apprentice, Book One) by John Flanagan

The Rangers have always scared him in the past—with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. Now, our 15-year-old protagonist, always small for his age, has been chosen as their apprentice. He will soon find out that they are the protectors of the kingdom.

In this Boomerang we’ll:

  • ponder shifting perspectives and point of view,
  • brood over the backstory and forecast the future with foreshadowing,
  • glance at graphic design choices,
  • linger with ellipses,
  • analyze archetypes and flutter through the fantasy fiction genre,
  • dissect storytelling in dialogue, and so much more!

Purchase the book.

Get the Boomerang.

For ages 15-18, check out the Slingshot.

Brave Writer

Mechanics & Literature: August 2022

Brave Writer

August is ripe with opportunities for adventure, enchantment, and discovery.

This month’s Quill reveals the wonders of wordless picture books. August’s Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang will transport you back in time.

Take a ride on the pages of this month’s stories to visit:

  • a medieval setting,
  • the mountains of Maine during the Great Depression,
  • and boarding school in 1968.

Read all about it as you and your family explore writing mechanics and literary devices in meaningful new ways.

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

Brave Writer Quill
Quill (ages 5-7)

Wordless Picture Books

In this Quill we’ll inquire about cover art and discover that books have anatomy; put words into action to develop vocabulary; play with pens and paper to engage with the symbols of writing; wallow in quantities to make numbers meaningful; and go on a shape hunt and have big juicy conversations about the shapes we see and what they mean. 

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

Some suggestions:

  • Brave Molly by Brooke Boynton-Hughes
  • The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee
  • Field Trip to the Moon by John Hare
  • Flashlight by Lizi Boyd
  • The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett
  • Hike by Pete Oswald 
  • I Got it! by David Wiesner
  • I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët

Get the Quill.

Brave Writer Dart
Dart (ages 8-10)

The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo

In a time of war, a mysterious child appears at the monastery of the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. Gentle Brother Edik finds the girl, Beatryce, curled in a stall, wracked with fever, coated in dirt and blood, and holding fast to the ear of Answelica the goat. As the monk nurses Beatryce to health, he uncovers her dangerous secret, one that imperils them all—for the king of the land seeks just such a girl, and Brother Edik, who penned the prophecy himself, knows why.

The Literary Device in this Dart is Foreshadowing

We’ll also: 

  • marvel at metaphors,
  • launch an avalanche of adjectives,
  • go on a proper noun scavenger hunt,
  • time-travel with verb tense,
  • imagine a world without nouns
  • ponder paragraphs, and so much more! 

Purchase the book.

Get the Dart.

Brave Writer Arrow
Arrow (ages 11-12)

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

A story for dog lovers—and nature lovers. Our protagonist found more freedom, a new strength, and a love of the natural world after her family lost almost everything in the big financial crash, and moved to the mountains. An accident has left her father in a coma, and she is determined to try anything—even sting him with bees—to get him to wake up!

The Literary Device in this Arrow is Suspense.

We’ll also: 

  • announce: colons,
  • cut to the chase with short paragraphs,
  • look up, down, and all around for prepositions,
  • have a good, good time playing with repetition,
  • talk all about dialogue,
  • notice nouns and all that they can do, and so much more!

Purchase the book.

Get the Arrow.

Brave Writer Boomerang
Boomerang (ages 13-14)

Just Like That by Gary D. Schmidt

Following the death of her closest friend in the summer of 1968, our protagonist goes off to St. Elene’s Preparatory Academy for Girls, where she struggles to navigate the boarding school’s traditions. In a parallel story, a boy has wound up on the Maine coast near St. Elene’s with a pillowcase full of money and a past that has him constantly looking over his shoulder. Both young people gradually dispel their loneliness, finding a way to be hopeful and also finding each other.

In this Boomerang, we’ll: 

  • probe point of view,
  • admire allusions,
  • bask in bold writing choices,
  • dig into dialogue,
  • survey a script,
  • wade into worldbuilding, and so much more!

Purchase the book.

Get the Boomerang.

For ages 15-18, check out the Slingshot.

Brave Writer

Exploring the Graphic Novel

Brave Writer

You know we love books, right? 

We’ve read our fair share of the classics. Long, lengthy passages of prose. Poetic depictions of Victorian living rooms. Romantic visions of the countryside. 

Our kids? Not so much. (Maybe you too!)

The next generation grew up with IMAGES the same way we grew up with text. Their brains are used to input in a more multi-sensory way. But that doesn’t mean they can’t get the same robust education in literature.

Brave Writer is here to answer that call! We’re bringing more VISUAL APPEAL to our class offerings this summer. 

We’ve brought back a ton of your favorites, like writing based on TV and movies, building fictional worlds and developing comic strips.

First up? In our online Boomerang Book Club (for teens) we’ll explore the graphic novel! Featuring in June 2022: AMERICAN BORN CHINESE by Gene Luen Yang.

For $99, you’ll receive our literature guide AND your teen gets access to our book discussion online.

We’ll cover:

  • The choices that comic creators make in developing their stories
  • How writers make graphic novels an interactive experience
  • Using a character’s particular experiences to explore universal themes
  • How images support the “description” work of a graphic novel

There’s more to look at! Yang shares a TON of resources online. Save these!

Listen to Gene Luen Yang:

What teen doesn’t want their school to include a graphic novel, YouTube, and an online forum like our discussion space? We’ve got what satisfies that multi-sensory itch.

We’ll get started reading on June 1 and kick off a rousing discussion on June 13!


Brave Writer Book Clubs

Book Reveal Q&A

Brave Writer Book Reveal

It’s our biggest event of the year: The Brave Writer Book Reveal!

What is it? Glad you asked!

Let’s do a little Q&A!

What is the Brave Writer Book Reveal?

It’s a little confetti and a lot of books! Over 30 new titles for 2022-2023!

Each year the Brave Writer team selects new book titles for our Mechanics and Literature programs.

Be the first to ooh and ahh over them by joining us live!

Click the links to register for the Zoom webinars.

Or watch live on Facebook.

What do the Mechanics and Literature programs teach?

The Brave Writer Mechanics and Literature programs teach:

  • grammar
  • punctuation
  • spelling
  • literary devices
  • literary analysis (high school levels)
  • Book Club Party ideas

We use copywork, three types of dictation, and Big Juicy Conversations to help your children have epiphanies about language as they learn to write.

The programs cover the following age groups:

  • NEW! Quill (ages 5-7)
  • Dart (ages 8-10)
  • Arrow (ages 11-12)
  • Boomerang (ages 13-14)
  • Slingshot (age 15-18)

Is training available?

Each level comes with Guidelines that explain and supply:

  • how to teach copywork
  • how to teach various forms of dictation to grow your child’s writing and editing skills 
  • how to engage your children in natural conversations about literature
  • sample routines (aka schedules)
  • a skills tracker
  • a weekly planning tool
  • tips for implementation

In addition, the Brave Learner Home community provides training and support for all Brave Writer products, classes and parenting/education questions.

  • Membership is free for a lifetime when you purchase a Brave Writer bundle or a year-long Mechanics and Literature program in June—find details on the Special Offers page in the Brave Writer store.)

Can I use one level for more than one child?

Yes. Each product is a non-consumable PDF. Print as many copies as you need for your family. The various levels are easy to adapt for family-style learning, too. One program—many children.

Adaptations are offered in the Guidelines that come with your program.

One bundle purchase covers your language arts, English, and writing needs for many children!

Is Brave Writer a complete writing and language arts program?

Yes. When you buy a bundle, you will have the three essential components of a complete writing and language arts program. Learn more. Select the bundle that’s right for your family.

Does Brave Writer teach academic writing?

Yes. Our program begins with writing voice and developmentally appropriate writing assignments. Children grow their academic writing skills through these carefully tailored writing projects, which cover all common academic forms and formats, in preparation for college.

Does my child need to take Brave Writer Online classes in addition to using the curricula? 

While Brave Writer classes offer a valuable experience for both parents and students, they are not required to have a complete language arts experience with Brave Writer.

Classes offer extra support and accountability that help many parents get over the hurdle of teaching writing.

If you find that you want to make time to teach writing, but never get around to it, a class will ensure that you keep that commitment to yourself and your kids. It’s the “hand-holding” approach to becoming your child’s best writing coach.

We recommend students take occasional classes for the sheer pleasure of it, or to gain experience meeting deadlines, or to enjoy receiving support and feedback from a trained writing coach.

Have more questions?

Want to know more about Brave Writer or the Book Reveals? Contact us at

Brave Writer Book Reveal

Mechanics & Literature: May 2022

Brave Writer

In this month’s Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot your family will encounter stories of adventure, enchantment, adversity, and discovery. The pages of these stories will take you to:

  • an isolated island,
  • an enchanted forest,
  • a city fighting for survival in the midst of a pandemic,
  • and a small town where big learning unfolds.

Buckle your seatbelts as you explore writing, mechanics, and literary devices this month—these books will take you on some wild rides!

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases, Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

Brave Writer Dart
Ages 8-10

Nim’s Island (Wendy Orr)

A girl. An iguana. An island. And e-mail. Meet Nim–a modern-day Robinson Crusoe! She can chop down bananas with a machete, climb tall palm trees, and start a fire with a piece of glass. So she’s not afraid when her scientist dad sails off to study plankton for three days, leaving her alone on their island. Besides, it’s not as if no one’s looking after her–she’s got a sea lion to mother her and an iguana for comic relief. She also has an interesting new e-mail pal. But when her father’s cell-phone calls stop coming and disaster seems near, Nim has to be stronger and braver than she’s ever been before.

And she’ll need all her friends to help her.

Purchase the book.

Get the Dart.

Brave Writer Arrow
Ages 11-12

Midsummer’s Mayhem (Rajani LaRocca)

Can Mimi undo the mayhem caused by her baking in this contemporary fantasy retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

Eleven-year-old Mimi Mackson comes from a big Indian American family: Dad’s a renowned food writer, Mom’s a successful businesswoman, and her three older siblings all have their own respective accomplishments. It’s easy to feel invisible in such an impressive family, but Mimi’s dream of proving she’s not the least talented member of her family seems possible when she discovers a contest at the new bakery in town. Plus, it’ll start her on the path to becoming a celebrity chef like her culinary idol, Puffy Fay.

But when Mimi’s dad returns from a business trip, he’s mysteriously lost his highly honed sense of taste. Without his help, Mimi will never be able to bake something impressive enough to propel her to gastronomic fame.

Drawn into the woods behind her house by a strangely familiar song, Mimi meets Vik, a boy who brings her to parts of the forest she’s never seen. Who knew there were banyan trees and wild boars in Massachusetts? Together they discover exotic ingredients and bake them into delectable and enchanting treats.

But as her dad acts stranger every day, and her siblings’ romantic entanglements cause trouble in their town, Mimi begins to wonder whether the ingredients she and Vik found are somehow the cause of it all. She needs to use her skills, deductive and epicurean, to uncover what’s happening. In the process, she learns that in life, as in baking, not everything is sweet.

Purchase the book.

Get the Arrow.

Brave Writer Boomerang
Ages 13-14

Fever 1793 (Laurie Halse Anderson)

During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.

Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie’s world upside down. At her feverish mother’s insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

Purchase the book.

Get the Boomerang.

Brave Writer Slingshot
Ages 15-18

Swing (Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess)

Best friends Noah and Walt are far from popular, but Walt is convinced junior year is their year, and he has a plan that includes wooing the girls of their dreams and becoming amazing athletes. Never mind he and Noah failed to make their baseball team yet again, and Noah’s crush since third grade, Sam, has him firmly in the friend zone. While Walt focuses on his program of jazz, podcasts, batting cages, and a “Hug Life” mentality, Noah feels stuck in status quo … until he stumbles on a stash of old love letters. Each one contains words Noah’s always wanted to say to Sam, and he begins secretly creating artwork using the lines that speak his heart. But when his art becomes public, Noah has a decision to make: continue his life in the dugout and possibly lose the girl forever, or take a swing and finally speak out.

At the same time, American flags are being left around town. While some think it’s a harmless prank and others see it as a form of protest, Noah can’t shake the feeling something bigger is happening to his community. Especially after he witnesses events that hint divides and prejudices run deeper than he realized.

As the personal and social tensions increase around them, Noah and Walt must decide what is really important when it comes to love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.

Purchase the book.

Get the Slingshot.

Brave Writer