Click on the "2022-2023" tab above for details on our book titles.

Picture this: bean bag chairs, a box of LEGOS, your rocking chair. #

You read to your kids and they listen, taking it in, sometimes commenting as they keep their hands busy.

When you finish, you ask curious questions, like: “What do you think will happen next?” and “Who are you rooting for? Why?” and “Does this story remind you of any other book we’ve read?”

They answer—eager to share.

Now, picture this kind of conversation happening with lots of kids, all together, guided by a discussion leader who helps these kids take their answers deeper. Imagine that instead of talking out loud, these same kids use a keyboard and transcribe their thoughts into writing—the kind you can print and save, read again and consider.

Due to popular demand, Brave Writer offers a way to engage middlers (9-12) who want to discuss novels with their peers, who are ready to learn the art of thinking and writing simultaneously, all while excited about a great story!


The Details #

If I could host you all in my cozy living room, I would. Instead, Brave Writer provides you a virtual living room space—where students gather to freely discuss the novels they read with you at home.

The Arrow Book Club provides an online discussion space that is text-based and asynchronous, in a bulletin board style—like their own private forum! This way students learn to discuss literature using literary analysis vocabulary without the pressure of writing “essays.” Homeschool students especially need the chance to talk about what they read—yet the busy mother-of-many doesn’t always have time to take the discussion to a written form.


Continuing this year!

Our instructors will host "live" chats where everyone is invited to post in the classroom at the same time once a week. Students will have a taste of the in-person book club discussion experience as they exchange ideas in real time—and they'll do it all in writing!

Important Note: Live chat is an optional activity. The schedule will be set by the instructor according to the instructor's availability once class starts. If your child can't make live chat, there's plenty of discussion to be had in the classroom!


Our book discussions are drawn from entertaining works of fiction that your kids are sure to love!

Instructors will guide students in provocative discussion of the Arrow books. They'll coax, encourage, and expand how your middlers think about novels, all while providing an engaging dialogue partner to them.

Remember—in Brave Writer, we move incrementally.

  • First, we expose kids to great literature.
  • Second, we talk about it.
  • Third, we write about it freely without structure.
  • Fourth, we learn to write about it with structure.

The Arrow Book Club helps you with steps 1-3.

Your kids will both talk and write about literature without the imposition of specific writing forms.

We’re sneaky.

All that discussion will be put “into” writing but it will be invisible to them. They will feel like they are just “talking” when in fact they are writing! This rich experience of putting thoughts and insight into writing will create the foundation for applying the insights to academic formats later.


Here’s our list of captivating reads for 2022/2023!
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[This page 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!]

2022

August—Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

September—Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

October—Loyalty by Avi

November—Sisters of Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith

December—A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus

Note: In December, we start discussion on December 1. Plan to read the first 1/3 of the book ahead of time!

2023

TBA


How Book Club Works #

Each enrolled student will receive a copy of the issue of the Arrow, to be used at home in conjunction with the club (the price of the Arrow is already included in the tuition for participation in the book club).

Monthly Tuition: $99.00

This is our only class with a regular discount. Sign up for more than one club and save!

$99.00/ individual month

$290/ 3 months

$475/ 5 months

  • Week 1: Students start reading the book. No discussion online.
  • Week 2: Students continue to read the book. The instructor posts discussion questions; students comment and discuss with each other and with the instructor.
  • Week 3: Students finish the book. More questions are posted with more discussion of literary elements, themes, plot, character development, and literary style.
  • Week 4: The last batch of questions is discussed. Students and instructor draw some conclusions about the novel on the whole. Students share a favorite quote (what we call a “Golden Line”); they explain to the class why they picked it.

Parents may print the online discussion and save it as evidence of work with each novel.

Time off will be granted for holidays.

Important Note: In Brave Writer, we read a wide range of essays and literature that address a wide variety of perspectives and that include time-bound references. By using literature as a teaching tool to foster understanding and growth, we have the opportunity to discuss these evolving ideologies.

We encourage you to pre-read books and essays to determine their appropriateness for your family and to prepare to have discussions on these topics with your students as they participate in the class.

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.

Important Note: In Brave Writer, we read a wide range of essays and literature that address a wide variety of perspectives and that include time-bound references. By using literature as a teaching tool to foster understanding and growth, we have the opportunity to discuss these evolving ideologies.

We encourage you to pre-read books and essays to determine their appropriateness for your family and to prepare to have discussions on these topics with your students as they participate in the class.

[This page 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!]

AUG 2022

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

To kick off the Arrows this year, we have a story for dog lovers—and nature lovers.

Our protagonist found more freedom, a new strength, and a love of the natural world after her family lost almost everything in the big financial crash, and moved to the mountains. An accident has left her father in a coma, and she is determined to try anything—even sting him with bees—to get him to wake up!

SEPT 2022

Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

Reha feels torn between two worlds: school, where she’s the only Indian American student, and home, with her family’s traditions and holidays. When Reha finds out that her mom is sick, she is determined to make her Amma well again. She’ll be the perfect daughter if it means saving her mom’s life.

This verse novel, set in the eighties, is beautifully written, heartwarming, and hopeful.

OCT 2022

Loyalty by Avi

When his father is killed by rebel vigilantes, our protagonist flees with his family to Boston. Intent on avenging his father, he becomes a spy for the British. Awash in contradictory information and participating in key events leading to the American Revolution, he must forge his own understanding of right and wrong and determine for himself where his loyalty truly lies.

NOV 2022

Sisters of Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith

In this modern twist on a popular classic, we meet two stepsisters who must face both dangers and wonders to find their way back to the family they love. They’ll embark on a high-flying journey of magic, adventure, and courage—to a fairytale island known as Neverland.


DEC 2022

A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus

It is 1940 and three siblings have just lost their grandmother. Unfortunately, she left no provision for their guardianship in her will. After relocating, they seek comfort in the village lending library, whose kind librarian provides comfort—and maybe more.


JAN 2023

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

There lived a girl who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. There’s one problem—her world is ending. Hundreds of years later, she wakes up on a new planet—and discovers that she is the only person who remembers Earth. One girl alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?

FEB 2023

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome

When his mother dies in 1946, our protagonist and his father leave rural Alabama for Chicago's brown belt as a part of what came to be known as the Great Migration. His new home has one fantastic thing: unlike the whites-only library in Alabama, the local public library welcomes everyone. There he discovers the poetry of Langston Hughes and a connection to his mother.

MAR 2023

A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll

In this story, a neurodivergent girl campaigns for a memorial when she learns that her small Scottish town used to burn “witches” simply because they were different. Our protagonist can't stop thinking about the people who suffered simply because they were different. She vows not to let this tragedy be forgotten.

APR 2023

Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy edited by S. K. Ali and Aisha Saeed

Eid conjures up a variety of feelings and memories for Muslims. Maybe it’s waking up to the sound of frying samosas or the comfort of bean pie, maybe it’s the pleasure of putting on a new outfit for Eid prayers, or maybe it’s the gift-giving and holiday parties to come that day. Whatever it may be, for those who cherish this day of celebration, the emotional responses may be summed up in another short and sweet word: joy.

We’re excited to share this collection of short stories showcasing some of the most brilliant Muslim voices writing today. We will pull passages from four of these short stories—you can read only those four, but we’d love for you to read them all! (Story selections to come.)

MAY 2023

Pages & Co.: The Bookwanderers by Anna James

One day, our eleven-year-old protagonist realizes that classic children's book characters are appearing in her grandparent’s bookshop through the magic of “book wandering.” With the help of Anne from Green Gables and Alice from Wonderland, Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother who disappeared when she was a baby.

JUNE 2023

TBA

Class Structure Description

Brave Writer online classes are specially designed with the busy homeschooling parent in mind. Classes last anywhere from four 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.

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. 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.

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.

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 dialog 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.