Archive for the ‘Language Arts’ 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

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! We get to celebrate the incredible contributions of Asian and Pacific Islanders to American culture.

While it may be difficult to visit nearby sites at this time, you can enrich your family’s learning through books, food, movies, poetry.

We have a few resources in our Brave Writer library that may help.

Own Voices Mechanics and Literature Titles

Dart: The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin

When Pacy’s mom tells her that this is a good year for friends, family, and “finding herself,” Pacy begins searching right away. As the year goes on, she struggles to find her talent, deals with disappointment, makes a new best friend, and discovers just why the Year of the Dog is a lucky one for her after all. ~Amazon

Arrow: The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata

There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck–which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family in this winner of the National Book Award. ~Amazon

Boomerang: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Jin Wang starts at a new school where he’s the only Chinese-American student. When a boy from Taiwan joins his class, Jin doesn’t want to be associated with an FOB like him. Jin just wants to be an all-American boy, because he’s in love with an all-American girl. Danny is an all-American boy: great at basketball, popular with the girls. But his obnoxious Chinese cousin Chin-Kee’s annual visit is such a disaster that it ruins Danny’s reputation at school, leaving him with no choice but to transfer somewhere he can start all over again. The Monkey King has lived for thousands of years and mastered the arts of kung fu and the heavenly disciplines. He’s ready to join the ranks of the immortal gods in heaven. But there’s no place in heaven for a monkey. Each of these characters cannot help himself alone, but how can they possibly help each other? They’re going to have to find a way―if they want fix the disasters their lives have become.―Amazon

Poetry Resources

Celebrating Asian American Heritage

If you aren’t familiar with Asian/Pacific American poets, this Poetry Teatime post will give you a good place to get started! Keep reading.

Types of Asian and Pacific Poetry

Ever heard of a syair? What about twin cinema? While one of those poetic forms is ancient and one is brand new, they do have one thing in common: they were both created in Asia. In honor of Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month in the US, let’s take a look at the vast array of forms in Asian and Pacific poetry. Keep reading.

Japanese Teatime

Japan has one of the most elaborate tea ceremonies in the world. It involves special utensils, treats, gestures, and an entire philosophy for sharing tea! In today’s post, learn about this philosophy of the Japanese tea ceremony and ways to incorporate some of those practices into your own teatime routines. Keep reading.


Brave Learner Home

Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang: May 2021

Brave Writer

Perseverance, compassion, and the desire to help others are easy to spot in May’s Dart, Arrow, and Boomerang selections.

As we explore grammar, punctuation, spelling, and literary devices, we’ll watch engaging characters:

  • solve mysteries,
  • lead others to safety,
  • and rise against unimaginable odds.

[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

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, Donald Sobol

Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown, is Idaville neighborhood’s ten-year-old star detective. With an uncanny knack for trivia, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve his most baffling crimes. And with ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but the reader is given all the clues as well. Interactive and chock full of interesting bits of information—it’s classic Encyclopedia Brown! ~Amazon

Get the Dart.

Purchase the novel here.


Brave Writer Arrow

Mañanaland, Pam Muñoz Ryan

Maximiliano Córdoba loves stories, especially the legend Buelo tells him about a mythical gatekeeper who can guide brave travelers on a journey into tomorrow.

If Max could see tomorrow, he would know if he’d make Santa Maria’s celebrated fútbol team and whether he’d ever meet his mother, who disappeared when he was a baby. He longs to know more about her, but Papá won’t talk. So when Max uncovers a buried family secret—involving an underground network of guardians who lead people fleeing a neighboring country to safety—he decides to seek answers on his own.

With a treasured compass, a mysterious stone rubbing, and Buelo’s legend as his only guides, he sets out on a perilous quest to discover if he is true of heart and what the future holds.

This timeless tale of struggle, hope, and the search for tomorrow has much to offer today about compassion and our shared humanity. ~Amazon

Get the Arrow.

Purchase the novel here.


Brave Writer Boomerang

Refugee, Alan Gratz

JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world…

ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America…

MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe…

All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers—from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.

This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home. ~Amazon

Get the Boomerang.

Purchase the novel here.


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.