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Picture a living room of comfy sofas;
assorted coffee 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 Skinny #

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, The Boomerang Book Club provides a forum for that opportunity. 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!

Let Brave Writer help you. These 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.

Teenagers are invited to join our virtual book discussion club, conducted entirely online in the Brave Writer classroom.

Johannah Bogart, Julie’s 26 year old homeschooled daughter, 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.


How it 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 fee for participation in the book club; you do not need to subscribe additionally to the Boomerang). 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 subscribed. Students may enroll for the entire year, for a semester at a time, or for a monthly subscription fee.

If you’d like to participate on a month-at-a-time basis, choose the Individual Month Custom Plan. You simply select the months you’d like to participate and pay for them only.

Year-Long:
10 Months: $550.00
Semester-Long:
5 Months: $280.00
Individual Month Custom (a la carte):
1 Month: $ 59.00

Time off will be granted for holidays.

Caveat: Please remember that you’re the parent. If you have doubts about the content of a particular book, please check the reviews of the novel or read it for yourself first. Books may include sexuality, graphic language, and mature themes.

August: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
(ISBN-13: 978-1594746031)
Link for reviews.

Jacob is given a mysterious letter that propels him on a journey to the remote Welsh island where his grandfather grew up. There, he finds the children from the photographs--alive and well--despite the islanders’ assertion that all were killed decades ago.

September: Julie of the Wolves (Jean Craighead George)
(ISBN-13: 978-0064400589)
Link for reviews.

Miyax, like many adolescents, is torn. But unlike most, her choices may determine whether she lives or dies.

October: The Prince and the Pauper (Mark Twain)
(ISBN-13: 978-0941599757)
Link for reviews.

This is the story of two young boys, one a prince and the other a pauper, who look identical.

November: Moon Over Manifest (Clare Vanderpool)
(ISBN-13: 978-0375858291)
Link for reviews.

Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job.

December: American Born Chinese (Gene Luen Yang)
(ISBN-13: 978-0312384487)
Link for reviews.

Jin Wang starts at a new school where he's the only Chinese-American student.

January: Mountains Beyond Mountains; (Tracy Kidder)
(ISBN-13: 978-0812980554)
Link for reviews.

This compelling and inspiring book, now in a deluxe paperback edition, shows how one person can work wonders. In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Pulitzer Prize—winning author Tracy Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who loves the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it.

February: The Crossover (Kwame Alexander)
(ISBN-13: 978-0544107717)
Link for reviews.

"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering," announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell

March: Divergent (Veronica Roth)
(ISBN-13: 978-0062387240)
Link for reviews.

This first book in Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy is the novel that inspired the major motion picture starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet.

April: The Chosen (Chaim Potok)
(ISBN-13: 978-0449213445)
Link for reviews.

It is the now-classic story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each.

May: Echo (Pam Munoz Ryan)
(ISBN-13: 978-0439874021)
Link for reviews.

Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.

June: To Kill a Mockingbird; Harper Lee
(ISBN-13: 978-0061120084)
Link for reviews.

This regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

Year Long

10 months of The Boomerang Book Club—the equivalent of one high school credit of literature. $550.00
Sign up here.

Semester Long
5 months of The Boomerang Book Club—the equivalent of half a high school credit for literature. $280.00
Sign up here.

Individual Month Custom
You select which months you’d like to enroll your student. $59.00/per month.
Sign up here.

Payment by check #

Send a check (made out to Brave Writer LLC) to the following address:

Brave Writer LLC
7723 Tyler’s Place Blvd. Ste. 165
West Chester, OH 45069

Include:

  • Student name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • The Boomerang Book Club

Refund Policy #

The discounted, year and semester long prices are non-refundable subscriptions. If you aren’t sure whether or not The Boomerang Book Club is for you, sign up for the monthly subscription so that you can cancel when you’d like to.

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 test it and agree!

Click here to login to a sample classroom.