[Click on the tabs above to read summaries of our book options]

Finally, a class that does it all!


The relaxed and chatty feel of a book club. The analysis of an in-depth literature study.

We’ve loosened the reins on the elements that typically constrict creative thinking when studying books. The result? More opportunities for the things that matter to you the most.

Here’s what you need to know:

Engagement leads to learning

Learning is an uphill battle when faced with a book you don’t like. We give your teens a choice to pick a book they care about! Every offering of this class will put forth a list of books based on a theme—pick the one you’d like to use for the class.

We meet you where you are

Got a kid with a strict graphic-novels-only policy? Why should they miss out on learning? Our reading selections always include a variety of appealing formats and reading levels in the high school range.

True to our mission

We use reading to help your kids grow as writers. Students will learn from the masters—authors!—as they identify and imitate the most effective writing moves. Our approach means this class isn’t a one-and-done situation. They are gaining and practicing skills to use in their writing once class is finished.

Beyond the basic

Traditional literary analysis has focused on comprehension questions (Hello, Chat GPT!) or “find the symbolism” searches (Hello Google!). We go deeper. We ask: What does it say? What does it mean? What does it matter?

Download, print, repeat

The exercises from this class can be saved and re-used by you at home. You can work your way through the other books on the list, or use this as the structure for a book of your choice. You can also repeat this class once or twice a semester to read a new book and discuss the associated theme. Each round of class is a new experience!

Join us this fall for a session of Analyzing Lit.

Theme: Transformation

(Nov 27 - Dec 22, 2023)

Choose a title:

  • Brother's Keeper by Julie Lee
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • March: Book One by John Lewis
  • The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Theme: Overcoming the Odds #

(Jan 29 - Feb 23, 2024)

Choose a title:

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle
  • They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This class is designed to facilitate analysis of great books. Your student will need to keep up with the reading schedule:

  • Read the first 1/3 of the book before starting on Week One assignments

  • Read the second 1/3 of the book before starting on Week Two assignments

  • Finish the book before starting on Week Three assignments

Week Four is dedicated to the final writing project.

It doesn’t stop there!

All our titles are also offerings in our Boomerang store (older titles can be found in our Old Brave Writer Favorites section). As an optional extension of learning, purchase the Boomerang to explore grammar, punctuation, spelling, and more literary devices based on the book.

Brave Writer cannot ensure the appropriateness of this reading material for your teen. This class is recommended for high school students, but it is up to the parent to review books thoroughly to determine whether or not they are suitable for your teen to read.

For more information about how the classes are run, please read about online classes.

To explore our Brave Writer classroom, click here to access a sample class.

Materials Used in This Course:

Brother's Keeper The Giver A Christmas Carol March The Wizard of Oz A Wrinkle in Time The Hunger Games Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots They Called Us Enemy Wolf Hollow The Lightning Thief

We invite you to sit down with your teen and explore book options. Pick the one that best fits your needs and interests!

Fall 2023 Sessions #

Theme: Transformation

(Nov 27 - Dec 22, 2023)

Titles—Choose One! #

Secure a copy of the book and plan to read the first 1/3 of it before the class start date.

Brother's Keeper

by Julie Lee (320 pages)

**Part of this year's Boomerang lineup!**

North Korea. December, 1950.

Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live under an iron set of rules: No travel without a permit. No criticism of the government. No absences from Communist meetings. Wear red. Hang pictures of the Great Leader. Don't trust your neighbors. Don't speak your mind. You are being watched.

But war is coming, war between North and South Korea, between the Soviets and the Americans. War causes chaos--and war is the perfect time to escape. The plan is simple: Sora and her family will walk hundreds of miles to the South Korean city of Busan from their tiny mountain village. They just need to avoid napalm, frostbite, border guards, and enemy soldiers.

But they can't. And when an incendiary bombing changes everything, Sora and her little brother Young will have to get to Busan on their own. Can a twelve-year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother survive three hundred miles of warzone in winter?

Haunting, timely, and beautiful, this harrowing novel from a searing new talent offers readers a glimpse into a vanished time and a closed nation.

The Giver

by Lois Lowry (240 pages)

Life in the community where Jonas lives is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce newchildren, who are assigned to appropriate family units. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs. No one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. Everyone is the same. Except Jonas.

Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Gradually Jonas learns that power lies in feelings. But when his own power is put to the test—when he must try to save someone he loves—he may not be ready. Is it too soon? Or too late?

Told with deceptive simplicity, this is the provocative story of a boy who experiences something incredible and undertakes something impossible. In the telling it questions every value we have taken for granted and reexamines our most deeply held beliefs.

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens (80 pages)

In October 1843, Charles Dickens ― heavily in debt and obligated to his publisher ― began work on a book to help supplement his family's meager income. That volume, A Christmas Carol, has long since become one of the most beloved stories in the English language. As much a part of the holiday season as holly, mistletoe, and evergreen wreaths, this perennial favorite continues to delight new readers and rekindle thoughts of charity and goodwill.

With its characters exhibiting many qualities ― as well as failures ― often ascribed to Dickens himself, the imaginative and entertaining tale relates Ebenezer Scrooge's eerie encounters with a series of spectral visitors. Journeying with them through Christmases past, present, and future, he is ultimately transformed from an arrogant, obstinate, and insensitive miser to a generous, warmhearted, and caring human being. Written by one of England's greatest and most popular novelists, A Christmas Carol has come to epitomize the true meaning of Christmas.

March: Book One

by John Lewis (128 pages)

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

The Wizard of Oz

by L. Frank Baum (224 pages)

A stunningly beautiful clothbound hardback edition of one of the most famous magical journeys in the world. Follow the yellow brick road!

Dorothy thinks she is lost forever when a terrifying tornado crashes through Kansas and whisks her and her dog, Toto, far away to the magical land of Oz. To get home Dorothy must follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City and find the wonderfully mysterious Wizard of Oz. Together with her companions the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion whom she meets on the way, Dorothy embarks on a strange and enchanting adventure.

A Wrinkle in Time

by Madeleine L'Engle (256 pages)

A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

We invite you to sit down with your teen and explore book options. Pick the one that best fits your needs and interests!

Winter/Spring 2024 Sessions #

Theme: Overcoming the Odds #

(Jan 29 - Feb 23, 2024)

Titles—Choose One! #

Secure a copy of the book and plan to read the first 1/3 of it before the class start date.

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins (384 pages)

**Part of this year's Boomerang lineup!**

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games," a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots

by Margarita Engle (208 pages)

Thousands of young Navy sailors are pouring into Los Angeles on their way to the front lines of World War II. They are teenagers, scared, longing to feel alive before they have to face the horrors of battle. Hot jazz music spiced with cool salsa rhythms beckons them to dance with the local Mexican American girls, who jitterbug all night before working all day in the canneries. Proud to do their part for the war effort, these Jazz Owl girls are happy to dance with the sailors—until the blazing summer night when racial violence leads to murder.

Suddenly the young white sailors are attacking the girls’ brothers and boyfriends. The cool, loose zoot suits they wear are supposedly the reason for the violence—when in reality the boys are viciously beaten and arrested simply because of the color of their skin.

In soaring images and searing poems, this is the breathtaking story of what became known as the Zoot Suit Riots.

They Called Us Enemy

by George Takei (208 pages)

A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.

George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future.

In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the West Coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten "relocation centers," hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard.

They Called Us Enemy is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.

Wolf Hollow

by Lauren Wolk (320 pages)

Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.

Brilliantly crafted, Wolf Hollow is a haunting tale of America at a crossroads and a time when one girl’s resilience, strength, and compassion help to illuminate the darkest corners of our history.

The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan (416 pages)

**Part of this year's Boomerang lineup!**

After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half-human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.

This first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill ride and a classic of mythic proportions.

Brave Writer® online classes are specially designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind.

Class Structure Overview #

  • Class is held in a private discussion board with 20-25 other participants.
  • Class is asynchronous—you log in when it is convenient for you each day of the week at no specific time of day.
  • It is text-based—no video.
  • Student writing assignments are posted in a text box, published to the classroom, and all students are able to read student writing.
  • Class is a writing workshop format, with all coaching feedback available to be read by all families.
  • Class work, student writing, and coaching feedback can be downloaded and saved in a PDF format.

Class Length and Time #

Classes last anywhere from three to six weeks. We offer courses that address a specific writing need so that you can take the ones that suit your family throughout the school year. Short class sessions enable you to work around family vacations, out-of-town swim meets, recovering from wisdom teeth removal, and visits from grandparents. We operate on the quarter system, including a summer session. Our most popular classes repeat each quarter, while others are seasonal.

We operate "asynchronously" (which means that the discussion is not live, but that posted information remains available to you in your time zone at your convenience). Instructors check the classroom throughout the day to answer questions and give feedback on writing. Writing is done at home and then typed into the classroom, and shared with both the instructor and other classmates. You're not required to be online at any specific time of the day. We have students from all over the world participating in our classes so "live" discussion is impossible. Instead, the online classroom enables the instructor to post information and assignments when it is convenient to the instructor. Then, when it is convenient for you, you come to the classroom and read the latest postings.

Private Classroom Space #

Our classes meet in a customized online classroom, designed specifically to meet the needs of Brave Writer® Only registered students and the instructor have access to the classroom to ensure your privacy. Assignments and reading materials are posted by Brave Writer® instructors each week (no additional supply fees necessary, unless otherwise indicated). Either you (homeschooling parent) or your child (homeschooling student) will visit the classroom daily at your convenience to read helpful information about the current topic or to find the writing assignment.

Instructor feedback to student writing is offered for all participants to read. Writing questions are welcomed and encouraged! That's the point of class. We aim to give you immediate support as you face writing obstacles.

Safe Community #

Brave Writer® takes seriously the need for encouragement and emotional safety in writing. No student is ever at risk of being humiliated or mistreated. All online dialogue is respectful and supportive of your child's process. This is the core of Brave Writer® philosophy. You can read about Brave Writer® values here.

What makes our program especially unique in the world of online education is that we value a corporate experience. Rather than teaching your child in a tutorial format, we prefer students to have the opportunity to both publish their work for an audience (other students) and also to have the chance to read other student writing. In no other setting is this possible. Schools-in-buildings rarely have students read each other's work. Homeschooled children are rarely in a classroom environment to begin with, so the opportunity to read peer-writing is nil.

Our classes provide an utterly unique experience in the world of writing instruction. Since most writers grow through emulation of good writing, it is a real advantage to Brave Writer® kids to get the chance to read the writing of their fellow home-educated peers. They love it! They get to examine and internalize other ways of writing, analyzing and expressing ideas similar to their own. They have the chance to validate and cheer on their peers. And of course, the best part of all is that they receive the praise and affirmation of kids just like them.

Not only that, all instructor feedback is posted to the classroom for all students to read. That means your kids get the benefit of instructor comments on many papers, not just their own. We've noted that this style of instruction is especially effective and hope you'll agree!

To explore our Brave Writer® classroom, click here to access a sample class.