Click on the tab "2022-2023" to read details about this year's titles.


Picture

  • a living room of comfy sofas
  • assorted mugs in green, blue, and ochre
  • tea, hot water, coffee, and chai
  • brownies and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

    Once you’ve kicked off your shoes and have tucked your feet under you, the leader picks up the book-of-the-month—Jane Eyre. She gives a short account of setting and explains a bit about Charlotte Bronte.

    Then, as spoons clink and bodies shift to get comfortable, she asks:
    “Let’s take a look at the opening two paragraphs. What clues does Bronte use in the setting to create a mood?”

    Pages flip open and the first brave soul speaks up.
    “The scene depicts a somber, rainy scene.”

    Another comments:
    “The first line includes ‘wandering’ which doesn’t leave the reader feeling very confident that the story is going somewhere decided.”

    And so it begins.

  • The Details #

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

    Rather than reading in isolation, without the benefit of examining the writing and the layers of meaning novelists intend their readers to experience, Boomerang Book Club provides an asynchronous discussion forum for that opportunity guided by a writing coach. Homeschool students especially need the chance to talk about what they read—yet the busy mother-of-many doesn’t always have time to read those lengthy dense books, let alone discuss them in depth!

    Our book discussions are drawn from rich works of fiction that will easily fulfill the English credit requirement for literature for a year of high school if you register for at least a semester's worth.

    Teenagers are invited to join our virtual book discussion club! We do this in writing. The whole conversation is conducted entirely online in the Brave Writer bulletin board style classroom. Since it’s asynchronous, your teen can log in any time, day or night!


    Continuing this year!

    Our instructor 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 instructors will guide students in provocative discussion of the Boomerang books. These discussions are intended to teach your kids literary analysis without the burden of essay writing. All the Big Juicy Conversations about the books will lead to that special brain development—rhetorical insight—that leads to effective essay writing later.

    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 Boomerang Book Club helps you with steps 1-3.

    Your kids will both talk and write about literature without the imposition of academic formats.

    We’re sneaky.

    All that discussion will be put “into” writing but it will be the kind your kids do all day long on message boards online. They will be “writing” their thoughts in a conversation with other students, guided by probing questions offered by the discussion leader.

    This rich experience of putting thoughts and insight into writing will create the foundation for applying the insights to academic formats later. In fact, some of them may enjoy branching out and taking one of our literary analysis writing classes later this year.


    Here’s our list of captivating reads for 2022/2023!
    #

    [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—Just Like That by Gary D. Schmidt

    September—The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1) by John Flanagan

    October—The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga

    November—Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac

    December—The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais

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

    2023

    TBA


    How Book Club Works #

    Each enrolled student will receive a copy of the month’s issue of the Boomerang, to be used at home in conjunction with the club (the price of the Boomerang 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

    The online book club will follow this basic structure each month:

    • Week 1: Students start reading the book. No discussion online.
    • Week 2: Students continue to read the book. The instructor posts “Think Piece” questions from the Boomerang; students comment and discuss with each other and with the instructor.
    • Week 3: Students finish reading 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 are 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. Truly, our students who’ve participated in this discussion format in the past have found it to be the most effective process for becoming competent in literary analysis. The preparation for writing essays later is unparalleled in anything your student can do alone.

    The Boomerang Book Club includes a copy of the month’s Boomerang issue, plus access to the online classroom for each month purchased.

    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. Please be aware that you may experience strong reactions to what you read. 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.

    Books may include sexuality, graphic language, and mature themes.

    [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

    Just Like That by Gary D. Schmidt

    Following the death of her closest friend in the summer of 1968, our protagonist goes off to St. Elene's Preparatory Academy for Girls, where she struggles to navigate the boarding school's traditions. In a parallel story, a boy has wound up on the Maine coast near St. Elene's with a pillowcase full of money and a past that has him constantly looking over his shoulder. Both young people gradually dispel their loneliness, finding a way to be hopeful and also finding each other.

    SEPT 2022

    The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1) by John Flanagan

    The Rangers have always scared him in the past—with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. Now, our 15-year-old protagonist, always small for his age, has been chosen as their apprentice. He will soon find out that they are the protectors of the kingdom.


    OCT 2022

    The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga

    Our protagonist hasn’t spoken to her best friend in a year. Despite living next door to each other, they exist in separate worlds of grief as they grapple with immeasurable loss. The two decided that the only way to fix things is to go back in time to the moment before their lives were changed by tragedy. But as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of time travel to save their siblings from a school shooting, they learn that the magic of their friendship may actually be the key to saving themselves.

    NOV 2022

    Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac

    Throughout World War II, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. This book brings their stories to life through the riveting fictional tale of a sixteen-year-old Navajo boy who becomes a code talker.

    DEC 2022

    The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais

    Our Deaf teen protagonist moves across the country and must attend a hearing school for the first time. As if that wasn’t hard enough, she also has to adjust to the hearing culture, which she finds frustrating. As she looks past graduation and focuses on her future dreams, nothing will derail her pursuits.




    The Boomerang titles for 2023 are listed below. We will NOT be offering book clubs for every title in 2023. We'll have more information available by November 2022.

    JAN 2023

    The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel adaptation by Gareth Hinds

    Fresh from his triumphs in the Trojan War the King of Ithaca, Odysseus wants nothing more than to return home to his family. Instead, he offends the sea god, Poseidon, who dooms him to years of shipwreck and wandering. Will the King make his way home and seize his kingdom from the schemers who seek to wed his queen and usurp his throne?

    Award-winning graphic artist Gareth Hinds masterfully reinterprets a story of heroism, adventure, and high action that has been told and retold for more than 2,500 years—though never quite like this.

    FEB 2023

    Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink

    A seventeen-year-old boy is a passionate follower of WEB. Du Bois. His classmate, a quiet sixteen-year-old girl, is a loyal follower of Booker T. Washington. They’ve never interacted until their English teacher offers them a job they can’t resist—delivering books on a bike they’ve refurbished to be a bookmobile. Life changes on May 31, 1921, when a vicious mob storms the community of Greenwood.

    This historical YA novel takes place during the Greenwood Massacre of 1921, in an area of Tulsa, Oklahoma, known as the Black Wall Street.

    MAR 2023


    Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

    In this next book, an adventurous geology professor chances upon a manuscript in which a 16th-century explorer claims to have found a route to the earth's core. The curious Professor can't resist the opportunity to investigate, and with his nephew, he sets off across Iceland in the company of a local guide.

    APR 2023

    Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

    It’s 1957 in Madrid. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain. Among them is the eighteen-year-old son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother's birth through the lens of his camera.

    MAY 2023

    A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

    A young girl and a cottonmouth kid from the land of spirits and monsters have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls a friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven't been in centuries.

    This story draws on traditional Lipan Apache storytelling structure to weave an unforgettable tale of monsters, magic, and family. It is not to be missed!

    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.