Friday, October 15, 2010

"Freedom Writers Diary" by The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell

Freedom Writers Diary is inspirational to both teachers and students. It is written by high schoolers who were considered "losers" by the school administration of Wilson High, a racially integrated school in Long Beach, California. No one expected them to graduate. They are teens write about their problems and how being in Erin Gruwell's class made a huge difference in their lives. It is a compilation of their journal entries. 
At the beginning of their freshman year, none of them expected to graduate and were just basically trying to survive another day. The language is offensive and the topics they write about include gangs, killing, drinking, drugs, teenage pregnancy, abortion, depression, and rape but they wrote about their experiences. It was interesting to see their values change as the book progressed and how they really got to like each other and turned their lives around, thanks to their English teacher going way above and beyond the "call of duty." Whereas at the beginning they saw each other only in terms of race, at the end they saw each other as all human beings and friends.

When I graduated from high school, I was just glad to be out. It was just assumed everyone would graduate. It was enlightening for me to see how happy these kids were about graduating and what a huge accomplishment it was for them. What struck me as very unusual though was that they all kept the same English teacher for all four years. No wonder they were like a "family." Teachers certainly can learn from Erin's optimism, determination, perseverance and methods. I look forward to reading the book she wrote, Teach With Your Heart.
(Karen's Review 2/19/09)

Better Than The Movie (13 stars)
I saw this movie on Showtime and was so impressed by it that I had to get the book that this English class wrote.  I'm glad I did.  This book is even better than the movie!  The movie dealt with motivating the kids to learn using "The Diary of A Young Girl" by Anne Frank.  The book goes into depth on a wide range of subjects that the kids wrote.  It's interesting to hear from these students.  It makes for VERY compelling reading to say the least, and Ms. Gruwell, you are an awesome teacher!  I really enjoyed this book.  Some of the subjects get a little repetitive but still the kids express their own opinions.  Read this book, you will be glad you did!
(Gerard's review 2/12/09):

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?


  1. I love Anne Frank and her story. I think it is a must read for all young students and adults alike.
    ~Naila Moon

  2. Sounds great!! This makes me me thing of school. There are lots of memories there. Thanks for sharing guys!

    BTW, i tagged both of you!!


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