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Book Clubs, Brave Writer, Homeschooling, Literature

Full Circle Moment: Brave Writer Arrow Title Connection

If you use the Brave Writer Arrow literature guides in your homeschool, then you are going to love this one…

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Right now, we are reading Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata.

The story follows Cracker, a German Shepherd, sent to train for battle in the Vietnam War.  Cracker is assigned to dog handler, Rick Hanski, and together they are going to “whip the world” according to Rick.

The story is well told and alternates between the dog’s and the soldier’s point of view.

Now…back up a few months with me…

In January, we read the book Love that Dog by Sharon Creech.   This delightful book is told through the journal entries of an elementary school student, Jack, who is learning poetry in school.

Jack is inspired in particular by the poet, Walter Dean Meyers, and writes him a letter.  He even gets Mr. Walter Dean Meyers to come to speak at his school!  And of course, we all become familiar with one of Mr. Walter Dean Meyers poems because of this book.

We were even inspired to write our own poems at our Party School Book Club celebration!

Now…come back to the present day with me…

Tonight, I sent my husband to the library to pick up some titles I had requested.  I used the online catalog to search for children’s books about the Vietnam War.  I wanted to learn more about it with the kids because of our read aloud title, Cracker!: Best Dog in Vietnam.

I couldn’t believe it when he came home with this one:


Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam.  I opened it and began to flip through the pages.  The book is a long poem told through the eyes of an American soldier in Vietnam.

I glanced at the cover to see who the author was.

(Take a moment. Peek at the picture. Top left in red letters)


Walter Dean Meyers.

I love when an unplanned moment like this one happens in our school day.  I can’t wait to read this with the kids tomorrow.

UPDATED NOTE: I did read this with my kids today at our Poetry Tea Time.  The book is one long, free verse poem.  It is thought provoking and well written.  I did want to mention that both Cracker!: Best Dog in Vietnam and Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam are not necessarily books for your youngest or most sensitive readers.  They both deal with the realities of the Vietnam war and parental discretion is advised!

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Book Clubs, Brave Writer, Literature

Book Club for Kids: Poppy by Avi

We love having a blast by celebrating literature at our book clubs and this month’s title was Poppy by Avi!

I can not say enough wondering things about this delightful tale. The descriptions are vivid and the characters are endearing and memorable. My entire family enjoyed this book, although my two boys and their daddy are the ones who finished every book in the series together.


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Book Clubs, Homeschooling, Literature

Love That Dog Book Club

Our book selection this month was the delightful tale, Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.

This book is unique in that the entire story is written through free verse poetry journal entries. It was a quick and enjoyable read for all of our attendees.

We focused on creating a dog-themed book club for our celebration this month.

Host a Love That Dog book club for kids.

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Book Clubs, Homeschooling, Literature

The Outsiders Book Club for Kids

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton was our book club title this month and all of the attendees enjoyed the book.

The uniqueness of this book is enhanced if you read a bit of background about the author, a high school-aged girl.  She wrote the majority of the book the year that she received a D in Creative Writing, which is an interesting story in itself.

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Book Clubs, Homeschooling, Literature, tweens and teens

Catching Fire Book Club Celebration for Kids

At the end of her sixth-grade year, Kayleigh and I realized that book discussions weren’t always a whole lot of fun with only the two of us. We kicked off her seventh-grade year by organizing a monthly book club with friends.

I selected one of my favorite books, Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, as our kick-off book. The characters are fantastic and the writing is incredible.

The host mom and I were feeling inspired, so we decided to go all in and truly celebrate this book in a way the girls would not soon forget!

Catching Fire Book club with kids. Continue Reading