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How We Select Boomerang Books

How We Select Boomerang Books

[This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. When you click on the link to make a purchase,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

The Boomerang is Brave Writer’s monthly digital product that features a classic work of fiction each month. These novels are used to teach the mechanics of writing (grammar, spelling, punctuation, and literary elements) to students, usually 8th grade and above.

Sometimes Boomerang book selections contain mature language or themes, and parents have asked why we chose them. Here’s how we select all the books on our list:

We pick books because we love them.

For instance, I’ve read The Thing About Jellyfish (and sobbed my little heart out at the end – such a tearjerker of mother’s love!). The novel is the story of a middle school aged girl struggling to process her grief at the loss of her best friend from childhood (death by possible drowning). The writing is gorgeous and the attention to detail, astonishing.

The books also represent the following criteria:

Quality literature (good writing).

For example, the 2017-18 books include Newbery Medal winners and National Book Award finalists.

Diverse authorship.

  • male/female
  • various viewpoints
  • diverse ethnicity
  • diverse time period
  • classics and modern

Both male and female protagonists.

Variety of genres.

  • poetry
  • prose
  • first person narrative
  • third person narrative
  • fantasy
  • historical fiction, etc.

That’s how books make it to our list.

What I often say to parents is this: select books that both feel right for your family (your values) and those that stretch you to include viewpoints you aren’t familiar with. Even when you disagree with something, it is worth it to read and discover how others see the world and to appreciate how their point of view feels to them. Reading a book is not the same as agreeing with a viewpoint.

That said, we encourage parents to make their own judgments. The Boomerang will address the writing. That’s our focus.


We’re giving away 5 sets of 10 books!

Here’s your chance to win either the Arrow or Boomerang Book Collection for 2017-2018 (also now ON SALE!). We want you to have the books to go with your Arrow or Boomerang purchase.

To enter, simply fill out our form. For additional entries, share the contest with friends. So easy!

International Brave Writer fans can play too (if you win, we’ll send you a $100 Amazon gift card so you can buy the books yourself). No purchase necessary to play. Ends June 30, 2017. Winners will be announced July 3rd.

Enter the Giveaway

Arrow/Boomerang SALE + Giveaway!

2017-18 Arrow/Boomerang Sale + Giveaway

A Big Book Bonanza just for you!

1. Big Book Giveaway

You could win ALL 10 of the Arrow or Boomerang books to go with your Arrow or Boomerang purchase in June. Details for the Giveaway are below.

2. A Sale in June

Brave Writer is pleased to announce that the 2017-2018 Arrow and Boomerang Collections are on sale for the entire month of June.

Arrow: $69.00 (regular price: $79.00)

Boomerang $89.00 (regular price: $99.00)

We’ve added a new feature to BOTH sets of guides: A list of Book Club activities and ideas to host your own Arrow and Boomerang parties!

Our brand new staff member, Mary Wilson (from the popular blog “Not Before 7“) is our party planner.

Mary Wilson

Mary will share her amazing tips and ideas for bringing these books to life AND she’ll be hosting a special Facebook Group for subscribers to both the Arrow and Boomerang.

PLUS the Arrow is being written this year by the incredible Melissa Wiley, children’s novelist!

Melissa Wiley


10 Issue Bundle Sale Runs June 1-30!

The Arrow (3rd-6th) and the Boomerang (7th-10th) are Brave Writer’s language arts tools (digital magazines) that teach

  • grammar,
  • spelling,
  • punctuation,
  • nine discussion questions,
  • a sheet of themed-party suggestions,
  • and literary elements using living literature (a la Charlotte Mason)

We pick books for you to read that represent a diversity of perspectives and writing genres to expand the horizons of your young charges. From those books, we select four passages for copywork and dictation, paired with easy to understand notes written in a conversational and engaging style.

Each issue publishes on the 1st of the month and will be available for download from a private folder on our Brave Writer Website.

Purchase the novels in our Amazon store.

One caveat: We are offering Arrow and Boomerang book clubs for ALL 20 titles (registration opens in July). If you decide you want your kids to be in our book discussion clubs, know that the issues of the Arrow and Boomerang are included for the price of the club.


We’re giving away 5 sets of 10 books!

Here’s your chance to win either the Arrow or Boomerang Book Collection for 2017-2018! We want you to have the books to go with your Arrow or Boomerang purchase.

To enter, simply fill out our form. For additional entries, share the contest with friends. So easy!

International Brave Writer fans can play too (if you win, we’ll send you a $100 Amazon gift card so you can buy the books yourself). No purchase necessary to play. Ends June 30, 2017. Winners will be announced July 3rd.

Enter the Giveaway

2017-18 Arrow and Boomerang Titles!

Arrow and Boomerang Titles for 2017-18

[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!]

Presenting the 2017-2018 book lists for our literature program!

Full Year Bundle On Sale JUNE 1st

Ever wish you could teach the mechanics of writing in a natural, literature-bathed context? Well you can! Here at Brave Writer, we dedicate careful attention to providing you with language-rich materials that make learning the mechanics of writing as natural as learning to speak!

The Arrow (3rd-6th) and The Boomerang (7th-10th) are our language arts tools (digital magazines) that teach grammar, spelling, punctuation, and literary elements using living literature (a la Charlotte Mason). We pick books for you to read that represent a diversity of perspectives and writing genres to expand the horizons of your young charges. From those books, we select four passages for copywork and dictation, paired with easy to understand notes written in a conversational and engaging style.

Each issue publishes on the 1st of the month and will be available for download from a private folder on our Brave Writer Website.

Try it this year, and see the difference!

One caveat: We are offering Arrow and Boomerang book clubs for ALL 20 titles (registration opens in July). If you decide you want your kids to be in our 2017-18 book discussion clubs, know that the issues of the Arrow and Boomerang are included for the price of the club.

The Arrow Books

2017-18 Arrow Titles

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Bad Beginning by Daniel Handler
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata

The Boomerang Books

2017-18 Boomerang Titles

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Walking by Henry David Thoreau
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Georges by Alexandre Dumas
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Watch this introduction to all the books!


During June, you also have the chance to WIN either the Arrow or Boomerang Book Collection! We’ll post all the details on June 1. To enter, you’ll fill out a form. For additional entries, you’ll have the opportunity to share the contest with friends. We’re giving away 5 sets of books! International Brave Writer fans can play too (if you win, we’ll send you a $100 Amazon gift card). No purchase necessary. Stay tuned for more details.

We’re excited to read with your family during the coming year!

UPDATED: Enter the Giveaway HERE

Which Brave Writer Products?

Which Brave Writer Products Do You Need?

Brave Writer is unlike other writing programs!

We don’t organize around grade level or writing format instruction.

Our products address writing in three ways:

  1. Original writing: learning how to express thoughts in writing.
  2. Writing mechanics and literature: using the practices of copywork and dictation drawn from literature to teach spelling, punctuation, grammar, literary elements, and writing craft.
  3. Writing projects: creating developmentally appropriate writing projects that combine original writing skill with mechanics aptitude (letters, reports, poems, essays, and so on).

You are free to mix and match these programs according to your needs. Please do!

Listen, I homeschooled five kids. I found it challenging to work with five levels at once. When I designed Brave Writer, I wanted to be sure parents could choose a program to use with all their kids—adapting it up or down a little depending on the academic center of gravity in the family. For instance, the Writing Project programs—Jot It Down! and Partnership Writing—are easy to adapt to ages between 3-12. Pick one, use it for everyone.

The Writer’s Jungle is written for parents and addresses the writing needs of kids between the ages of 8 and 18.

Our language arts programs can be purchased 10 at once when you buy our current year’s collection, or you can buy them one at a time (Arrow and Boomerang). With a big family, you might consider buying individual issues from a variety of levels using only one per month, rotating through them.

Brave Writer is oriented to you, the real homeschooling parent.

Use the guide below for more help!


Brave Writer Products

Would you like to use the Brave Writer in your homeschool but aren’t sure which products you need? This may help!

To become an effective writing coach

To facilitate original writing and create writing projects

  • DO-IT-YOURSELF: Freewriting! Also create your own writing projects (Appendix 1 in The Writer’s Jungle) or take the easy way out and use one of our writing project programs: Home Study Courses. Each course has ten or more writing projects in it to last you at least a year.
  • GET HELP: Sign up for an online writing class with our awesome writing coaches (who are also, by the way, homeschoolers like you!).

To combine literature with mechanics

  • CUSTOM-BUILD: Pick novels to read, select your own passages for copywork and dictation and apply the lessons of Chapter 1 of The Writer’s Jungle.
  • BRAVE WRITER CURATED: Pick one of our ten-month Language Arts Programs or purchase our language arts guides a la carte to go with the books you are already reading.
  • GRAMMAR: In addition to our tools, we recommend a supplementary grammar program (Amazon affiliate link) three times in your child’s life.
    • one year during the later elementary years,
    • one year in junior high,
    • and a foreign language or advanced grammar program in high school.

For homeschool continuing education and support for you

Also, sign up for our newsletter to stay current with what’s happening at Brave Writer!

Learn more about Brave Writer products

Happy Birthday, Charlotte Brontë!

Jane Eyre Boomerang Sale

[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!]

In celebration of Charlotte Brontë’s birthday (born April 21, 1816), we’re making a special offer! The Boomerang for her novel, Jane Eyre, is:

HALF PRICE until Saturday at midnight EST! ($5.95)
OFFER HAS EXPIRED

Charlotte Brontë was born on April 21, 1816 in Yorkshire, England and was the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived childhood. All three sisters were authors and had their works published under masculine pseudonyms to conceal the fact that they were women in order to maintain some anonymity and to escape the prejudices against female authors.

Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, more commonly known today as simply Jane Eyre, was first published in 1847 under Charlotte’s pseudonym of Currer Bell and is considered a Gothic romance. The novel follows its titular protagonist, Jane, as she grows from abused orphan to a governess in the household of Mr. Rochester, with whom she falls in love. But all is not as it seems at Thornfield Hall; mysteries lurk within its walls with the power to tear the two apart.

Filled with yearning and palpable emotion, Jane Eyre is considered a literary classic.

So, celebrate Charlotte Brontë’s birthday and take advantage of this special offer!

If you’d like to buy a copy of the novel, it’s available through Amazon: Jane Eyre.


The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 7th 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.