Archive for the ‘Boomerang’ Category

Mechanics & Literature: September 2021

Brave Writer

Are you ready for adventure?

This month’s Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot circle the globe to bring you dynamic characters, poignant plot twists, famous stories, and settings you’re not likely to forget, all as a means of exploring:

  • writing,
  • mechanics,
  • and literary devices.

[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

Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins

In this award-winning novel for readers in grades 2-5 illustrated by Jamie Hogan, Naima must find a way to save her mother’s golden bangle — and fix her father’s rickshaw. Booklist said this “lively, moving book has surprises that continue to the end,” Kirkus promised that “Naima’s story will be relished by students and teachers alike,” and the Cooperative Center for Children’s Books picked it as a must-read global title for children. ~mitaliperkins.com

Purchase the book.

Get the Dart.


Brave Writer Arrow

Leon Garfield’s Shakespeare Stories by Leon Garfield

**NOTE: We’ll read these stories from the book: Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Julius Caesar.

How to introduce children to Shakespeare, not just to the stories behind the plays but to the richness of Shakespeare’s language and the depth of his characters: That’s the challenge that Leon Garfield, no slouch as a wordsmith himself, sets out to meet in his monumental and utterly absorbing Shakespeare Stories. Here twenty-one of the Bard’s plays are refashioned into stories that are true to the wit, the humor, the wisdom, the sublime heights, the terrifying depths, and above all the poetry of their great originals. Throughout, Garfield skillfully weaves in Shakespeare’s own words, accustoming young readers to language and lines that might at first seem forbiddingly unfamiliar. Leon Garfield’s Shakespeare Stories is an essential distillation—a truly Shakespearean tribute to Shakespeare’s genius and a delight for children and parents alike.

Purchase the book.

Get the Arrow.


Brave Writer Boomerang

The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi (Translated by Cathy Hirano)

Elin’s family has an important responsibility: caring for the fearsome water serpents that form the core of their kingdom’s army. So when some of the creatures mysteriously die, Elin’s mother is sentenced to death as punishment. With her last breath, she manages to send her daughter to safety.

Alone and far from home, Elin soon discovers that she can communicate with both the terrifying water serpents and the majestic flying beasts that guard her queen. This skill gives her great power, but it also involves her in deadly plots that could cost her life. Can she save herself and prevent her beloved beasts from being used as tools of war? Or is there no escaping the terrible battles to come?

Purchase the book.

Get the Boomerang.


Brave Writer Slingshot

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities is an 1859 historical novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The novel tells the story of the French Doctor Manette, his 18-year-long imprisonment in the Bastille in Paris and his release to live in London with his daughter Lucie, whom he had never met. The story is set against the conditions that led up to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. ~Amazon

Purchase the book.

Get the Slingshot.


Brave Writer

Mechanics & Literature: August 2021

Brave Writer

This month’s Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang selections will transport you to brand new settings. From an animal sanctuary, to a camp full of magic, and on to Malawi, we’ll see the world in brand new ways as we explore:

  • grammar,
  • punctuation,
  • spelling,
  • and literary devices.

[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!]


Dart

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate

Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.

Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn’t over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan hits theaters in August 2020!

Get the Dart.


Arrow

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.

So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.

Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.” With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.

Get the Arrow.


Boomerang

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Readers Edition) by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.

Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy’s brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William’s story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.

Get the Boomerang.


Brave Writer Language Arts

Four FREE Writing Webinars

Brave Writer Book Reveal

Here are four webinars that help you understand both the philosophy and practice of Brave Writer’s literature + writing mechanics programs for ages 8-18.

Each webinar is jam-packed with information to help you be successful this coming school year, in addition to helping you understand Brave Writer materials.

Watch the replays (links below).

Why Teach Writing Mechanics with Living Literature?

The best books, the best words—allow your children to be bathed in high quality writing while they learn the mechanics and craft of writing.

REPLAY


Effective Teaching: Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling

Our programs offer a gentle, seamless way to build strong writing skills! Julie will show you how.

REPLAY


Literary Analysis & Writer’s Craft

To grow a writing voice, it helps to listen to and learn from a wide variety of writing voices. Not only that, literary analysis can be the tool that unlocks buried treasure in a book and we intend to help you dig! We’ll also take a closer look at the NEW product called Slingshot (15-18 year olds).

REPLAY


The Sale is Almost Over Q&A

With 24 hours left (the June Special Offer ENDS June 30, 2021 at midnight), get your last minute questions answered so you can make the right purchase for your family!

REPLAY


Brave Writer Language Arts

How Brave Writer Picks Books

Brave Writer

How many books do you think Dawn, our Director of Publishing, had to read to select the 35 books featured in our Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot programs? I’ll wait…

Did you guess 40? 55? 70? In fact, she read over 100. 

The jigsaw puzzle of selecting books is no small feat! What follows is Dawn’s outline of how we go about putting together a year of reading with your family that leads to rich learning and family closeness. Can’t wait to share our brand new book lists for 2021-2022 with you on June 1 and 2!

What’s the process of pulling the book lists together?

  • Customers recommend books or topics
  • Staff members suggest books
  • We follow publishers to keep up with what’s new
  • We keep tabs on new and popular books on GoodReads and other book-related sites

Those recommendations go into a project and we read throughout the year—yes, we are already reading for the 2022–2023 lists! 

There’s no guarantee that a book we love will even make a list. There are lots of moving parts once we start putting the books into a sequence and stand them up side-by-side. For instance, we don’t want a string of depressing story-lines or too many books in a row that feature animals as the protagonists.

As the year progresses, we look for what’s missing—holes—in the lists. We want to ensure a year of reading that feels fresh each month, not a retread of what has already been experienced. 

We also keep in mind the books we feature in our Literature Singles—books from previous years. The trick is to find the magic TEN that will make a list (FIVE, for the Slingshot). 

What does a book need to make the cut? 

  • Amazing writing is the first hurdle for a book. That’s not to say that every book on our list has the most stellar writing—sometimes a book’s popularity with kids lands it a spot which allows us to showcase mechanics in a book your kids already enjoy.
  • We look for an engaging plot or slice of life. A rip-roaring plot can pull readers along and keep them engaged, but sometimes it’s nice to slow down and appreciate the quiet moments in life. Bronze and Sunflower comes to mind—there’s a plot, of course, but the amazing aspect of that book is the level of daily life details, and, of course, the writing. It knocked our socks off! 
  • The book needs to be appropriate for the developmental level. A book might bump up to a Boomerang or down to an Arrow or Dart depending on the themes or the vocabulary.
  • We always look for party possibilities, of course! (*wink*). Some books just scream “Party with me!” (we’re looking at you, PIE!), while other books deal with heavier topics that don’t lend themselves to a “party” atmosphere. You may have noticed that some issues refer to the book club as a “gathering” rather than a “party.” It’s a slight shift, but a good distinction to make when considering the celebration of books with heavier topics. 

What are our considerations? 

  • Library of variety. Our goal in putting together our book lists is to provide a “library of variety” in two ways: genre and representation. In terms of genre, we include historical fiction, graphic novels, fantasy, poetry, and modern fiction to name a few. In terms of representation, we look for characters and authors from a wide variety of backgrounds. We are particularly attuned to the trend in publishing called Own Voices books—meaning the author is a member of the community that is the focus of the book.
  • Filling gaps in our overall Literature Singles list. In the fall of 2019, Dawn attended an Equity in Action course for librarians. The goal of the course was to learn how to audit a collection of books by surveying the standing collection and looking for gaps in representation. Our audit helped us make selections that fill those gaps. It’s a satisfying process, even if it’s a long and ongoing one here at Brave Writer.
  • Finding windows and mirrors. You may have heard that books can be both windows and mirrors. The phrase “mirrors and windows” was first introduced by Emily Style for the National SEED Project. A mirror is a story that reflects your own culture and helps you build your identity. A window is a resource that offers you a view into someone else’s experience.  Rudine Sims Bishop expanded on these concepts with the addition of sliding glass doors that allow readers to walk into a story. Then Grant Snider, a comic artist, expanded it even further: stepping stones, overcoats, anchors, springboards, escape hatches, quiet corners, warm blankets, flying carpets, and beacons for new readers.  

We are so excited to introduce you and your kids to great literature! Read along with us this year by purchasing a year-long program: Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, or Slingshot!

Brave Writer Language Arts

2021-2022 Book Reveal: Save the Date

Brave Writer Book Reveal

I can’t WAIT for June!

This is the highlight of the year for us—the Big Bonanza Book Reveal! 

You’ll want to attend these live events with your children and teens, if possible.

Register for our upcoming Book Reveals (4:00 PM Eastern both dates):

We’ll record both days and send replays to those who register.

We’ll also simulcast on Facebook (the Brave Writer business page) and store replays there as well.

No registration required if you plan to watch on Facebook.


Not sure what we’re talking about?

Let me ask you this:

  • Want to read great books each month with your kids?
  • Wish you could teach spelling, grammar, and punctuation using that high-quality literature?
  • Working to weave in literary devices or literary analysis?
  • Worried about reading comprehension?
  • Wondering how to throw a themed book club party?

Introducing our literature programs that teach the mechanics of writing through great literature!

These programs include 10 month-long handbooks (5 for the Slingshot) that feature:

  • exciting read aloud novels,
  • copywork and dictation,
  • literary devices and literary analysis,
  • big juicy discussion questions, and
  • book club party ideas.

The annual book reveal is a high-energy party that Brave Writer fans attend every year!

Like the NFL Draft of Books!


Want to learn more?

Join me LIVE Saturday, May 1, @ 4:00 PM Eastern on Facebook or Instagram and I’ll answer all your questions.