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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.

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

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!

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 following guide to help you!


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

  • DO-IT-YOURSELF: 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 (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, Julie recommends a supplementary grammar program (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.

Is Brave Writer a Complete Writing Program?

Is Brave Writer a Complete Writing Program?

Brave Writer is a complete writing and language arts program, not supplemental. The goal of what we do is to prepare kids to be competent, confident writers in a variety of settings, including academic contexts like college and beyond. We get there by beginning with writing voice and nurturing it so that a child discovers what it feels like to have something to say, something worth preserving on paper or on a computer. That self expression puts a child in touch with the part of self that generates original thought, accesses his or her vocabulary, and selects the best “container” for their writing (does this material suit a poem or a report, a letter or an academic essay?).

Where we differ from other programs is that we are not organized by grade level, but by developmental stages of growth in writing. We see writing in three categories:

  1. original writing (the process of generating original thought and putting that into the written word),
  2. the mechanics of writing (which we explore using living literature and the practices of copywork and dictation),
  3. and writing projects (bringing mechanics and thoughts together to create something—lapbook, mini report, a poster, textual criticism in an essay, research papers, and so on…).

The Writer’s Jungle is the primary manual that teaches both philosophy and process using a variety of activities and writing excursions. It is written to the homeschooling parent and is not a text book. Each chapter has a writing process to do with your child with samples and explanations about its application to the writing process.

The Wand, Arrow, and Boomerang offer a monthly literature guide focused on a single novel that is age appropriate. In these month-long guides you will find 4 weeks worth of copywork and dictation with detailed, user-friendly descriptions of the literary elements, grammar, spelling, and punctuation found in the passages.

The products like Jot it Down, Partnership Writing, Faltering Ownership and Help for High School are focused on writing products/projects. This is where we introduce forms for writing—but we get there differently than most writing programs. We focus first on

  • immersion in material,
  • developing original thought,
  • examining one’s own perspective against others,
  • and creating space for creativity (btw, creativity is just as necessary for a persuasive essay as it is for a poem).

Then we explore the convention of the form for writing and look at ways to apply it to the content generated by the student.

We take revision seriously—it is not just a process of correcting a few typos or spelling errors, or hunting in a thesaurus for a better term. Revision in Brave Writer is about giving new vision to the writing—engaging in a process of re-imagining the content—deepening and expanding it.

Our online classes cover all three aspects of writing: original thought, mechanics and literature, and writing forms.

It is possible to do only Brave Writer materials and classes for the entirety of your child’s childhood. That said, it’s also wise to give your kids the chance to write in additional contexts as well so that they experience how other people teach writing. I usually recommend including some other writing opportunities in high school (co-op, local junior college, working with another writing instructor) once the writing voice is strong and well formed. We do have a wide variety of writing coaches in Brave Writer, though, and that provides its own variety too.

I come from professional writing. What we do when we work with people aspiring to be writers is we stir up the writing life first.

We say: What do you have to say? Then we help them get that out.

Schools tend to say to students: Writing is difficult so I’m going to tell you exactly what to write and how.

In the school context, kids lose touch with having something to say and keep trying to figure out what the teacher wants to read.

In the professional context, the writer gets more and more in touch with having something to offer. That makes learning the various forms not only more interesting, but more powerful. The writing then sounds like them!

Adding one last thought about academic writing: I teach at the university level. What most professors complain about with college writing is that students know the formulas for writing but don’t have much skill with original thought or critical inquiry of texts. There’s a hunger among academics for students to break free of the rigid formulas and to connect with the discipline or the field.

In our high school writing classes, we do teach the academic forms, but we do so with a view to ensuring that our students generate insight first and that they learn how to do the rhetorical work of examining sources for credibility, understanding point of view, and learning to hold positions dispassionately.

Our students who have gone off to college and return to tell us about it have said that their professors often praise them for their original thought or that their writing sounds like them—not a formula. We use college composition principles and teach the MLA citation structures, but not at the expense of cultivating a writer’s rhetorical imagination. We do both. We just save that academic specificity for high school when the mind is more mature and ready to do that kind of work.

Curious about Brave Writer?

Early English Boomerang Collection

Early English Boomerang Collection

*NEW* Early English Collection of Boomerangs!

From the Mead-Hall to the Drawing-Room

6 Issue Set for $59.00
(Also sold individually)

With this special collection of Boomerangs, we offer you a guided tour of history-making classics from early English literature. The Boomerang is our literature guide that uses living literature to teach both the mechanics of writing as well as the wonderful content of the literature itself!

This particular collection is meant for high school and can satisfy half a credit toward a year’s course in literature. Most high school English programs require one year of British literature, a year of American, and a year of world literature. We’re happy to offer you this set of Boomerangs to help you fulfill that requirement.

You will receive all six issues at once. Or the Boomerangs can be purchased as single issues by clicking on the individual titles themselves.

Book List (books not included)

[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!]

  • Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney
  • Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Sir Gawain translated by Simon Armitage
  • Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Purchase the books here.

Early English Boomerang Collection

What is the Boomerang?

The Boomerang is a digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. 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).

Early English Boomerang Collection