Friday Freewrite: History

Brave Writer Friday Freewrite History

Pick a period of history you like. Write about what attracts you to it.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.


Movie Wednesday: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Brave Writer Movie Wednesday The Scarlet Pimpernel

by Amy Frantz

In Revolutionary France during the Terror, Percy Blakeney leads a double life. In one life he is the stylish fop, Sir Blakeney, who cares mostly for fashion and appearance. But in the other life, he is the mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel who rescues aristocrats and their families who have been condemned to death by the guillotine. No one suspects that the silly Sir Blakeney and the heroic Scarlet Pimpernel could possibly be one and the same. But when Percy’s wife, Marguerite, is blackmailed into investigating the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, the secrecy of his double life is imperiled.


[This post 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!]


The 1982 Emmy Award-winning film, The Scarlet Pimpernel, is based on both The Scarlet Pimpernel and Eldorado by Baroness Orczy.

The Baroness Orczy with her creation of The Scarlet Pimpernel and its titular character originated the “hero with a secret identity” trope, the prevalence and influence of which can still be felt today in such pop cultural icons as Batman and Superman. In this way, the Scarlet Pimpernel can be considered a proto-superhero. In a time when cinemas are saturated with superhero films, it can be valuable to revisit the origins of some of these now common and popular tropes.

In storytelling, a trope is an identifiable and recurring pattern in the way characters and plots are constructed. In this case, the trope is the hero with a secret identity. This trope would lead to the masked vigilante trope, which in turn gave rise to the modern superhero.

Discussion Questions

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel is a man of many disguises. Do you have a favorite disguise that he wears in the film?
  • The film is very critical of the Terror, but it mostly glosses over the sociopolitical conditions that lead to the Revolution. Do you think this causes the narrative to be unbalanced and simplistic, especially considering it is loosely historical fiction? Explain why or why not.
  • If you have a favorite masked superhero, were you able to find similarities between that character and the Scarlet Pimpernel? If so, list those similarities.
  • Every good hero needs a “good” villain. Do you think Percy and Chauvelin are well-matched enemies? Explain your answer.

Additional Resources

Register for our Boomerang Book Club class where we will be discussing The Scarlet Pimpernel novel in November, which is also the Boomerang for that month (Boomerang guide is included in the Book Club).


Amy Frantz is a Brave Writer alum and now works as a Virtual Marketing Assistant for Brave Writer. When not over-analyzing Star Wars, she spends much time reading historical biographies and Batman comics.


BoomerangLearn language arts with the Scarlet Pimpernel Boomerang!

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 8th to 10th graders (ages 12—advanced, 13-15) and is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.


November 2018 Book Clubs

Brave Writer November Book Clubs 2018

The November Arrow, Pouch, and Boomerang book clubs are starting soon!

If you’re looking for an easy way into online classes for your child, the book clubs are great for that! Kids love “talking” (a.k.a. writing) about books. In these Brave Writer classes, they will be able to discuss the books freely with instructor guidance and encouragement.

Also a FREE digital copy of our language arts guide based on the book is provided.


[This post 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!]


For the Arrow Book Club (ages 9-12), we’ll be reading Journey to Jo’burg: A South African Story by Beverley Naidoo.

The Arrow Book Club provides an online discussion space (asynchronous, bulletin board style) for students to 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.

For more information and to get registered, click here.

For the Pouch Book Club (ages 11-14), we’re reading Holes by Louis Sachar.

Due to popular demand, Brave Writer now offers a transition book club between the Arrow and Boomerang. This club is for middle schoolers 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!

For more information and to get registered, click here.

For the Boomerang Book Club (ages 12-18), we’re reading The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy.

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!

For more information and to get registered, click here.

Let Brave Writer help you. These book discussions are drawn from entertaining works of fiction that your kids are sure to love!

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. Pouch and Boomerang books in particular may include sexuality, graphic language, and mature themes.


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Friday Freewrite: Complaint

Friday Freewrite Study Complaint

Do you have a least favorite subject to study? Write a letter of complaint to that subject explaining why you dislike it so much.

New to freewriting? Check out our online guide.


Happy Birthday, Katherine Applegate!

Happy Birthday Katherine Applegate Arrow Sale

In celebration of Katherine Applegate’s birthday on October 9, the Arrow based on her book, The One and Only Ivan, is:

HALF PRICE till Friday, Oct 12 midnight ET ($4.95)!


[This post 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!]


Born on October 9, 1956, Katherine Applegate is an author of children’s and young adult fiction. She also received the Newbery Medal in 2013 for the One and Only Ivan. Learn more on her official website.

About the One and Only Ivan:

This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.–Amazon

Take advantage of this special Arrow offer! Ends October 12, 2018 at midnight ET.

Also, if you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: The One and Only Ivan

The ArrowLearn language arts with the One and Only Ivan Arrow!

The Arrow is the monthly digital product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel (you purchase or obtain the novels yourself). It’s geared toward children ages 8-11 and is an indispensable tool for parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.