Archive for the ‘Boomerang’ Category

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

Mechanics & Literature: January 2024

Brave Writer

January’s Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang selections are about characters who encounter adventures and challenges of different shapes and sizes. From heartwarming storylines to white-knuckle adventure, these page-turners are an entertaining way to explore:

  • writing,
  • mechanics,
  • and literary devices with the entire family!

Sow seeds of wonder and curiosity with this month’s QuillOn the Farm! Go on a hunt for noisy nouns, discover who’s who on a farm, and explore eggsellent egg activities with us!


Brave Writer Quill
Quill (ages 5-7)

On the Farm

Cultivate your young child’s curiosity with this month’s issue of the Quill!

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

In this Quill, we’ll:

  • notice a number of nifty nouns;
  • wonder whowhatwhywherewhen, and how;
  • interview an animal and practice some mooo-ter skills;
  • have an eggciting time with dotslines, and curves;
  • crow with glee over counting games;
  • and we’ll cock-a-doodle-do a bit of skip counting!

Get the Quill.


Brave Writer Dart
Dart (ages 8-10)

Just Beyond the Very Far North by Dan Bar-El

Enjoy an adventure with Duane the polar bear and his arctic friends in this charming sequel to The Very, Very Far North (Note: No need to read the first book before jumping into this Arctic adventure, but if you want to, we have a Dart for that one too!).

This month’s literary device focuses on Personification and Anthropomorphism. We’ll also:

  • tuck dialogue between quotation marks;
  • plop capital letters into place in proper nouns and sentence starters;
  • fall for figurative language;
  • ponder prepositions;
  • enjoy a bit of juxtapositioning;
  • discover characterization through dialogue; and so much more! 

Purchase the book.

Get the Dart.


Brave Writer Arrow
Arrow (ages 11-12)

Honestly Elliott by Gillian McDunn

Meet Elliott, a big-hearted kid, who is doing his best!

January’s literary device is First-Person Narration. We’ll also: 

  • use similes to make comparisons as smooth as butter;
  • sneak up on the superscripts that lead toward footnotes;
  • find out why figurative language is a writing superpower;
  • dish out dialogue punctuation;
  • sample sentences that are interrogative and declarative;
  • ponder pronouns; and so much more! 

Purchase the book.

Get the Arrow.


Brave Writer Boomerang
Boomerang (ages 13-14)

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

This Victorian classic is a touchstone in the science fiction canon—Martians and Mars, oh my!

In this Boomerangwe’ll:

  • ponder point of view
  • get inside editions
  • get behind the wheel of plot-driven versus character-driven stories;
  • situate this book in context
  • appreciate how science fiction can use realism;
  • discover descriptive writing; and so much more.

Purchase the book.

Get the Boomerang.


Brave Writer

Mechanics & Literature: December 2023

Brave Writer

December’s Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot selections are packed with awesome adventures. Literary allusions, historical context, plot twists, and resounding resolution await you as your family explores:

  • writing,
  • mechanics,
  • and literary devices.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s this month’s QuillSuperheroes & Heroes! Spot bravery, ingenuity, and compassion in action! Collect sound effects and design superhero trading cards and capes with us!


Brave Writer Quill
Quill (ages 5-7)

Superheroes & Heroes

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the December issue of the Quill!

In the Brave Writer Book Shop, you’ll find books about superheroes and heroes that we adore! These are not required (you can use any books about these topics that you have in your stacks or discover at your library), but we find it’s helpful to have a list to get you started.

In this Quill, we’ll:

  • make a ruckus with supersonic sound effects;
  • gather an array of words that describe heroic figures;
  • create a superhero trading card;
  • build fine motor skills by giving an everyday hero a fabulous cape; 
  • roll a die that adds up to a rescue; 
  • and we’ll search for some sensational shapes!

Get the Quill.


Brave Writer Dart
Dart (ages 8-10)

Mr. Lemoncello’s Very First Game by Chris Grabenstein

Meet PUZZLE-obsessed Luigi Lemoncello and world famous Professor Marvelmous for fun and games!

This month’s literary device focuses on Portmanteau

In this Dart, we’ll also:

  • make a ruckus with onomatopoeia;
  • notice nouns that also can be verbs;
  • appreciate adjectives;
  • investigate apostrophes;
  • time travel with verbs;
  • experience an epiphany; and so much more! 

Purchase the book.

Get the Dart.


Brave Writer Arrow
Arrow (ages 11-12)

A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga

Meet Resilience, a Mars Rover on a big adventure!

December’s literary device is Anthropomorphism.

In this Arrow, we’ll also:

  • appraise the effects of alliteration;
  • see how specific nouns add power to writing;
  • examine the versatile em dash;
  • connect with coordinating conjunctions;
  • analyze acronyms ASAP;
  • see how distinct colors make images pop; and so much more!

Purchase the book.

Get the Arrow.


Brave Writer Boomerang
Boomerang (ages 13-14)

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This first installment of Rick Riordan’s best-selling series based on Greek mythology is an action-packed thrill ride that keeps teens turning the pages!

In this Boomerangwe’ll:

  • talk about conversation style;
  • investigate genre;
  • muse about myths;
  • wonder and work out if it’s who or whom;
  • embark on a dramatic Hero’s Journey;
  • discuss dialogue with an authoritative author; and so much more.

Purchase the book.

Get the Boomerang.


Brave Writer Slingshot
Slingshot (ages 15-18)

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Among the most widely-read fables of all time, this satirical novella will give your family lots to talk about!

In this Slingshot, we’ll

  • mull over a monologue manifesto;
  • ruminate on rhetorical questions;
  • probe personal maxims;
  • spot symbols and forecast with foreshadowing;
  • dissect dialogue;
  • pore over propaganda; and much more.

A note about content: Animal Farm is an allegory reflecting the overthrow of monarchy and rise of communism in Russia, which was characterized by violence and death as well as propaganda and disinformation. We encourage parents to read ahead in order to be prepared for deep conversations with your teens.

Purchase the book.

Get the Slingshot.


Brave Writer

Mechanics & Literature: November 2023

Brave Writer

November’s Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang selections provide opportunities to see the world from different vantage points. These books deliver ideas to inspire Big Juicy Conversations as your family explores:

  • writing,
  • mechanics,
  • and literary devices together! 

This month’s QuillWeather: Clouds—reveals enchanting discoveries high in the sky! Look up, explore cloud types, measure rainfall, and practice fine motor skills with cloud art!


Brave Writer Quill
Quill (ages 5-7)

Weather: Clouds

The November Quill is an invitation to look up at the sky and experience the dazzling discoveries that await you there!

In the Brave Writer Book Shop, you’ll find books about weather and clouds that we adore! These are not required (you can use any books about these topics that you have in your stacks or discover at your library), but we find it’s helpful to have a list to get you started.

In this Quill, we’ll

  • have heaps of fun learning about cloud types;
  • sneak up on sequencing skills;
  • fine-tune fine motor skills while collecting clouds in the pages of a journal;
  • make irresistible cloud art;
  • collect data and hone our graphing skills; and
  • undertake an engaging experiment to measure rainfall!

Get the Quill.


Brave Writer Dart
Dart (ages 8-10)

The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Annie Michaels 

Join the delightful Miss Petitfour and her sixteen cats for enchanting adventures and a celebration of life’s simple pleasures!

This month’s literary device focuses on Intrusive Narrators.

We’ll also:

  • spy some similes;
  • assess adjectives;
  • observe an exclamation point in action;
  • cobble together compound nouns;
  • encounter appositives, useful phrases that add more information about a noun;
  • happen upon some handy-dandy hyphens, and so much more! 

Purchase the book.

Get the Dart.


Brave Writer Arrow
Arrow (ages 11-12)

The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich

In this historical fiction novel, the second in the Birchbark House series, Omakayas, a young girl, continues to chronicle life with her Ojibwa family. Note: It’s not required to read the first book to understand this story.

November’s literary device is Characterization. 

We’ll also: 

  • do a mood flip-a-roo and discover how it feels;
  • say hello to introductory clauses;
  • go back in time with historical fiction;
  • engage with the em dash;
  • spot symbolism;
  • focus on foreshadowing; and so much more!

Purchase the book.

Get the Arrow.


Brave Writer Boomerang
Boomerang (ages 13-14)

Disability Visibility (adapted for young readers) edited by Alice Wong

You’ll have lots to talk about in the month ahead, thanks to this collection of essays by disabled writers that examines a range of issues and their impact on disabled communities.

In this Boomerang, we’ll:

  • elaborate on the ellipsis;
  • focus on first-person stories;
  • ask about audience;
  • find answers about anthologies;
  • discover dangling modifiers;
  • jabber about genre; and so much more.

Purchase the book.

Get the Boomerang.


For ages 15-18, check out the Slingshot.


Brave Writer

Mechanics & Literature: October 2023

Brave Writer

October’s Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot selections spotlight protagonists who are brave and thoughtful. These stories provide loads to talk about and consider as your family explores writing, mechanics, and literary devices!

And this month’s Quill—Music & Song Lyrics—will get your feet tapping and fingers snapping as your family reads picture books, looks at lyrics, and explores a symphony of symbols!


Brave Writer Quill
Quill (ages 5-7)

Music & Song Lyrics

Tune up your singing voices and get ready to tap to the beat! The Music & Song Lyrics Quill is here! Check out the Music & Song Lyrics booklist to help curate your read-aloud stack!

In this Quill, we’ll:

  • look lovingly at lyrics on the page; 
  • spot a slew of symbols that make meaning; 
  • enjoy a bit of rhyme time—and make a few of our own; 
  • make meaning with dots, lines, and curves
  • make math stick with musical counting; and
  • count along to the beat of a song.

Get the Quill.


Brave Writer Dart
Dart (ages 8-10)

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook

The lush terrain of Sri Lanka comes to life in this tale of friendship for fans of adventure and Robin-Hood inspired stories! We’re confident you won’t want to put this one down!

We’re “tickled pink” and “happy as clams” to share this month’s literary device—idioms. This device makes writing sparkle, inserts humor, and amplifies messages. Join us in October for a closer look!

Inside this Dart, we’ll also:

  • litter a list with commas;
  • ask a rhetorical question (or will we?);
  • in-vestigate a common preposition;
  • admire some action beats;
  • take a look at words that can be both nouns and verbs;
  • see how words grow from big to bigger to biggest; and so much more! 

Purchase the book.

Get the Dart.


Brave Writer Arrow
Arrow (ages 11-12)

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

In this historical fiction novel, Zomorod Yousefzadeh is making a fresh start with a new home and a new name. But fun and adventure can’t distract her from troubles brewing back in Iran and anti-Iran sentiments hitting too close to home. This poignant but lighthearted story will spark Big Juicy Conversations your family will remember!

October’s literary device is Figurative Language.

In this Arrow, we’ll also: 

  • consider the clever comma
  • dive into dialogue punctuation;
  • assess the power of snazzy synonyms;
  • discover the power of detailed descriptions;
  • gather golden lines;
  • see how a hearty dose of humor lightens a tense scene; and so much more!

Purchase the book.

Get the Arrow.


Brave Writer Boomerang
Boomerang (ages 13-14)

The Giver by Lois Lowry

This modern classic features a highly discussable plot that touches on deep topics. You might want to budget extra time for the Big Juicy Conversations this book is likely to inspire!

In this Boomerang, we’ll:

  • ride the escalating action;
  • ponder puzzling irony;
  • toss around commas galore;
  • juggle the question of genre;
  • hunt for allusions;
  • track the crisis all the way through the turning point until resolution; and so much more! 

Purchase the book.

Get the Boomerang.


Brave Writer Slingshot
Slingshot (ages 15-18)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

This autobiography of a power orator, activist, and spokesperson for civil rights will spark important conversations your family won’t soon forget.

In this Slingshot, we’ll:

  • probe the past through Frederick Douglass’s courageous autobiography;
  • tiptoe through timelines and jog through geography;
  • pore over parallels and measure up metaphors;
  • capitalize and hyphenate;
  • ponder primary and secondary sources;
  • use irony to tell the truth, and much more.

Purchase the book.

Get the Slingshot.


Brave Writer