The Boomerang

Check out:
The Boomerang Book Club!

Complete Year Subscription

All ten issues for 2012-2013 released one issue at a time (the 1st of each month).

Monthly Subscription

Monthly automatic deduction. Start and stop your subscription at any time.

Already Published Issues

See a list of previously published Boomerangs for purchase.
A huge variety of titles.

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Skip to the NEW 2013-2014 Book List

Target audience:

  • 7th to 10th grades (ages 12—advanced, 13-15)
  • Transition to Ownership stage of growth
    (Chapter 14 in The Writer’s Jungle).

It takes approximately 24 hours to activate your year long subscription or your monthly subscription to the Boomerang. You will hear from us via email with your login credentials once we’ve created your account.

What is the Boomerang?

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. You may download a sample issue to view (and use!) by clicking on the “Download a Sample” button on the right.

It is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context, using copywork and dictation. It is a language arts resource that equips you, the homeschooling parent, to fulfill your best intentions related to:

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Literary elements
  • Quality living literature
  • Literary analysis

The practices of copywork and dictation teach your children the fundamentals of written communication. These practices naturally facilitate the development of accurate mechanics in the context of quality literature (the best words, in the best style, accurately edited).

The Skinny

  • Each month, the Boomerang features one classic novel to be read by the student.

  • Each week, it features a selected passage from that novel. The passages are accompanied by notes that detail spelling, punctuation, grammar and literary style elements found in the passage. These notes are designed to make it easy to pre-teach the passage (no advanced preparation necessary).

  • Each issue also provides Think Piece Questions that provoke deeper investigation of the novel’s themes, plot and characters. These questions are meant for both written and oral responses to provide students with the beginning of thoughtful literary analysis.

  • Each issue, students are reminded to keep a journal of favorite quotes from the novel. We call these Golden Lines. These are to be accompanied by thoughtful comments by the student.

The Boomerang introduces literary analysis through the practice of guided freewriting. Before we expect kids this age to marry formats to insight, we give them a chance to explore a variety of aspects of each novel in writing without the pressure of essay writing. If you want to give your students a chance to produce a specific writing product in response to some of our selected novels, we offer literary analysis classes.

You may subscribe to this school year’s Boomerang (new issues published on the 1st of each month), or buy them all at once (Complete Year Subscription for a reduced price) or you might like to buy them ala carte: Already Published Issues.

How do I use the Boomerang?

You and your child will read the passage out loud to hear the musicality of the language, to notice the correct use of apostrophes or semi-colons, to note new vocabulary and tricky spellings, to pay attention to the grammatical structure or the special dialog punctuation. The Boomerang supplies you with notes to help you notice what you might overlook in the passage. The Boomerang helps you identify why the writing works and is enjoyable to read, as well as highlighting excellent uses of punctuation or alliteration or description.

After you’ve enjoyed the passage together, your child will either copy it into a copy book attempting to reproduce it exactly, paying close attention to all of the spelling and mechanical demands of the passage (copywork), or you will read the passage to your child and he or she will write it out onto a sheet of paper while listening to you, attempting to remember how to punctuate and spell the passage correctly (dictation). Copywork/dictation done about once a week over several years does more to increase your child’s ability to punctuate and spell correctly than any other practice I’ve ever run across.

The French swear by it and use dictation from Kindergarten all the way through lyceé (high school). I had to take dictation in college when I attended a French university! One other benefit to a steady diet of copywork and dictation is that eventually your kids will be able to take clear notes during lectures in high school and/or college. They will have developed an ear for really listening to the words and writing them quickly as well as accurately. This skill (writing accurately and quickly) is especially valuable in timed essay writing—college admissions tests as well as in-class essay exams.

Consistent copywork/dictation practice allows you, the home educator, to use quality literature to cover the aspects of writing that you care most about without the tedium of workbook sentences isolated from the context of real writing.

How it Works

The Boomerang is a digital product only. We post each month’s issue in a private folder for subscribers. When you sign up, you are granted access to the private folder where the Boomerang is housed. You may then open the folder, download the current issue and print it. You have a month to access and retrieve your issue of the Boomerang. It does not exist in hard copy format.

You can order the ten-issue, year-long subscription to the Boomerang for a reduced price (issues cost $7.90 rather than $9.95). When you do, you have access to all the issues as they are posted throughout the year in that special online folder. What that means for you is that you can come back to the folder in January and re-download September’s issue if you’ve accidentally deleted the file off your computer. A wonderful bonus! You may sign up for the year long program at any time (August is fine, but so is November or March!). You will receive all ten issues as they are published on the first of the month (those already published will be in the online folder waiting for you).

Every subscription to the Boomerang includes a Guide that teaches you how to execute copywork and dictation practice, as well as how to modify dictation based on the age and stage of your student. Download a sample Boomerang by clicking on the “Download a sample PDF” button in the upper righthand portion of this page.

Be sure to consider pairing The Writer’s Jungle with the Boomerang in our Platinum Package for a complete year’s worth of writing instruction. You won’t need anything else AND these two together will cover a range of ages and levels.

The Boomerang Book Club

For those of you who would like their kids to talk about these books with an enthusiastic Brave Writer community of kids, led by Johannah Bogart, check out The Boomerang Book Club. It’s a fabulous way to foster a literary imagination!

2013 - 2014 Boomerang Book List

This list is available for whole-year purchase or monthly subscription starting May 2012.

Year Long Subscriptions:

Starting May 2012
All Writer’s Jungle Platinum programs and year-long subscriptions to the Boomerang will be subscribed to the 2013 book list with the release of the first issue on August 1, 2013.

Monthly Subscriptions:

Monthly subscriptions begun before August 2013 will receive back issues of the Boomerang for May, June, and/or July, depending of the start date of your subscription. The first issue of the new list will not be posted until August 1, 2013.

About the Book List:

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 before you purchase the year-long subscription.

We don’t substitute issues when you order a year-long subscription so be sure you want every title.

If you’d prefer to subscribe to some books and not others, simply select the month-to-month subscription. You may cancel any time and resubscribe any time.

The ISBN numbers are only guidelines for locating the book. You are free to use a different edition for your homeschool.

August: Hunger Games; Suzanne Collins
(ISBN-13: 978-0439023481)
Link for reviews.

An action-packed introduction to the popular dystopian trilogy.

September: Flowers for Algernon; Daniel Keyes
(ISBN-13: 978-0156030304)
Link for reviews.

Award-winning exploration of mental disabilities and genius as shown through the eyes of a human test subject.

October: Pilgrim’s Progress; John Bunyan
(ISBN-13: 978-0486426754)
Link for reviews.

The timeless Christian allegory of one individual’s road to salvation.

November: The Outsiders; S. E. Hinton
(ISBN-13: 978-0140385724)
Link for reviews.

Ponyboy is the endearing protagonist of this ‘60s novel about Oklahoma street gangs.

December: Right Ho, Jeeves!; P. G. Wodehouse
(ISBN-13: 978-1406904833)
Link for reviews.

Set in 1920s England, this is a light, funny installment of the ongoing antics of Jeeves (a butler) and his bumbling master.

January: Fault in Our Stars; John Green
(ISBN-13: 978-0525478812)
Link for reviews.

A quirky account of stage IV cancer as experienced by the irreverent heroine Hazel.

Note This novel contains some curse words and alludes to sexual activity between teens. John Green is a highly popular YA writer and this novel is a national best-seller, but please be sure you are comfortable with the content.

February: House on Mango Street; Sandra Cisneros
(ISBN-13: 978-0679734772)
Link for reviews.

Beautiful vignettes of a young Chicana’s relationship with home and identity. Prose like poetry.

March: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings; Maya Angelou
(ISBN-13: 978-0553279375)
Link for reviews.

A classic memoir from the beloved African-American poet and civil rights activist.

April: Sold; Patricia McCormick
(ISBN-13: 978-0786851713)
Link for reviews.

A haunting story of human sex trafficking through the eyes of a thirteen year old girl in Nepal.

May: Blink; Malcolm Gladwell
(ISBN-13: 978-0316010665)
Link for reviews.

A non-fiction dissection of unconscious human behavior.

How to Purchase the Boomerang

The Boomerang can be purchased as a monthly automatic payment starting at the end of July. Sign up using the Paypal button for subscribers on the upper right side of this page. Each individual issue is $9.95.

Year Long
You may also purchase all ten issues at once for a reduced price: $79.00 for all ten issues. These will be published on the first of each month. Sign up here.

Or, 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

Be sure to state that you want the Boomerang and include both an email address and phone number.

Refund Policy

The discounted, year long price is a non-refundable subscription. If you aren’t sure whether or not the Boomerang is for you, sign up for the monthly subscription at the end of July so that you can cancel if you choose to or download the sample issue so that you may try it out first.