Archive for the ‘Language Arts’ Category

2022-2023 Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot Programs

Brave Writer

Here are the titles for the coming academic year for our Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot programs!

ARROW (ages 11-12)
BOOMERANG (ages 13-14)
SLINGSHOT (ages 15-18)

Note: the Arrow and Boomerang titles change each year but the Slingshot titles stay the same.

At Brave Writer, we take the selection of these book titles Very Seriously!

All year, we read, discuss, and delight in the year’s latest fiction as well as relishing the classics.

  • We aim for diversity of authorship and protagonists.
  • We incorporate a variety of genres: fantasy to the classics.
  • We carefully orchestrate the sequence of the books.
  • We balance book length against the holiday demands of a given month.
  • We alternate moving, poignant books with silly, lighthearted books.
  • We launch the year with a sure-fire winner and end with a warmhearted one.

Hope you’ll join us for an AWESOME year of learning and reading.

Excited for you as your family embarks on an inspired reading journey!


Watch the REPLAY of the Live Broadcast


Looking for the book selections for younger kids? Here are the Quill (ages 5-7) categories and Dart (ages 8-10) titles!

Brave Writer

2022-2023 Quill and Dart Programs

Brave Writer

Here are the titles (categories for the Quill*) for the coming academic year for our Quill and Dart programs!

QUILL (ages 5-7)
DART (ages 8-10)

At Brave Writer, we take the selection of these book titles Very Seriously!

We read, discuss, and delight in the year’s latest fiction as well as relishing the classics.

  • We aim for diversity of authorship and protagonists.
  • We incorporate a variety of genres: fantasy to the classics.
  • We carefully orchestrate the sequence of the books.
  • We balance book length against the holiday demands of a given month.
  • We alternate moving, poignant books with silly, lighthearted books.
  • We launch the year with a sure-fire winner and end with a warmhearted one.

Hope you’ll join us for an AWESOME year of learning and reading.

Excited for you as your family embarks on an inspired reading journey!


*Difference between the Quill and Dart

The Quill covers reading, writing, and math—with six activities, two for each focus area, that can be done again and again with your kids using different books. It helps build the essential skills kids need in:

  • reading,
  • writing,
  • and math.

Unlike our other programs, it offers a list of suggested picture books that relate to a theme, but you don’t need to purchase a specific book or books for the Quill like you do for the Dart or Arrow.

The Quill acts as both your manual and planner with spaces to write planning notes and reflections about your child’s learning and experience with the activities. The Guidelines for using the Quill are built into each handbook—there are no separate guidelines.

Download a Quill SAMPLE.


Watch the REPLAY of the Live Broadcast


Looking for the book selections for older kids? Join us for the June 2 reveal of Arrows (ages 11-12) and Boomerangs (13-14)! Slingshot titles (ages 15-18) stay the same.

Brave Writer

Search and Sort: Literature Singles!

Brave Writer Literature Singles

Calling all planners! You’ve asked for it. Now, it’s here!

We’ve created a spreadsheet listing all 230 Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot titles just for you!

And it’s not just a list of titles. Oh, no . . .

We’ve given you the POWER!

The power to search and sort by

  • title,
  • author,
  • book setting (including continent),
  • time period,
  • the literary device highlighted in each Dart or Arrow, and
  • cross-curricular connections to tie in history, science, math, and more!

A dream come true, right?

Find it all on the Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot Literature Singles spreadsheet!

Start with the introduction tab at the bottom then let yourself play with the possibilities.

Happy Planning!


Brave Writer’s Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshots are digital downloadable products that feature copywork and dictation passages from selected novels. These guides are indispensable tools for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.


Brave Writer

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

Get Ready: 2022-2023 Book Reveal!

Brave Writer Book Reveal

Book Reveal Dates & New Product (ages 5-8) Alert!

It’s almost that time of year when our families get a little nutty enthusiastic.

They’re excited for good reason! 

Each June, I announce the newly selected book titles for the coming academic year for our mechanics and literature programs Dart, Arrow, Boomerang, and Slingshot.

We’ll also introduce Quill for ages 5-8!

These programs are designed to teach your kids the mechanics of writing through living literature!

The big reveal is exciting because these are:

  • books your family will read aloud together and treasure all year 
  • books that naturally teach writing mechanics and introduce literary elements

Here at Brave Writer, we take the selection of these book titles Very Seriously!

All year, we read, discuss, and delight in the year’s latest fiction as well as relishing the classics.

  • We aim for diversity of authorship and protagonists.
  • We incorporate a variety of genres: fantasy to the classics.
  • We carefully orchestrate the sequence of the books.
  • We balance book length against the holiday demands of a given month.
  • We alternate moving, poignant books with silly, lighthearted books.
  • We launch the year with a sure-fire winner and end with a warmhearted one.

By the time we’ve settled on a book list, we’re chomping at the bit to share it with you!
You can expect a lively, inspired reading journey.

Stay tuned for info about the live 2022–2023 reveal! It’s always a blast!

In the meantime…

Join us LIVE!

Click the links to register for the Zoom webinars.

Note: By registering you’re agreeing to receive occasional Brave Writer updates. You can set preferences or unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information.

Or watch live on Facebook.

Get ready for an incredible journey through literature in 2022-2023!

The Book Reveals are free to attend and we highly recommend watching with your children! Special snacks, yes! Confetti, of course!

See you then!


Brave Writer Book Reveal