The Freedom Writers Diary

By: Ashley Hill


I choose the Book "The Freedom Writers Diary" by the "Freedom writers" which is 150 students and there teacher Erin Gruwell.

I picked this book because i love to read about other peoples struggles and how they learn to overcome them, and that is what this book is all about. I'm able to compare my own troubling times to theirs even though they don't match up exactly. So this book is basically like having a best friend with me helping myself through things with others stories. I also choose this book because they students that are writing the stories are my age, and that helps me to connect more with the book.


Making a Connection

My book is about teens that live in a bad neighborhood and some rich kids that go to school were all of the teachers don't think the ones who are different are gonna get anywhere in life. So if you were black, Asian, or Mexican you were basically a trouble kid and wasn't really worth teaching. Until one student teacher came in and saw them all differently.

Her name was Erin Gruwell and she thought all of them could learn if someone actually gave them a chance. At first she was scared, she didn't want her students to hate her or think she was just another dumb teacher but her fear was getting in the way of her teaching. She made her most important connection she could have with her students in the classroom one day. A boy named sharaud came into class bouncing a basketball, she knew who he was, a disciplinary transfer from Wilson's crosstown rival. He had been kicked out of his other school because of threatening his other English teacher with a gun (even though it was really just a water gun) and now his man goal of this new school year was to make his new student teacher cry. But a few weeks later he was the one crying. Someone in class had drawn a picture of him with huge lips and wrote pass me on it. When he saw the picture it looked like he was going to cry then when Ms. Gruwell got the picture of him she went off. Saying " This is the type of propaganda that the Nazis used during the Holocaust". Thats when then a student asked whats the holocaust? when she asked the class how many of them knew about the Holocaust no one raised there hands. Thats when she made her first connection with the students and decide from now on out she was gonna get them new books, take them on field trips, and invite guest speakers. She didn't have the money for it but she didn't care she was going to bring history to life for her new students.

Then a new school year came and she had a hole new class of freshmen to start off with; but she was so frustrated! The entire semester the kids hadn't been learning anything because its been one race riot to walkouts all of the time. She tried to find story's that the students would actually relate to. Ones about people being judged because of what color they were. She picked a book written by a girl that was the same age as the kids. Her name was Zlata and her story was about how she went into hiding during the war in Sarajevo and how she had to watch one of her of her friends die. Many of the students in Ms. Gruwell's class related to the story. But instead of it begin a country fighting it was gangs fighting, and it was there family members and friends dying. She made her students write letters to Zlata telling her some things that they could relate to about her story and how they looked up to her. Then Zlata wrote them back! She even came to there school with one of her best friends that she survived the war with and stayed there for a week to hang out with the students. It really motivated the students and got them more excited about all of there projects.
In the spring of 1998 Ms.Gruwells class stood on stage and did something all of them never thought would ever happen, they graduated and got there diplomas. Many of the were accepted to collage and were ready to start there life off good. The group of students overcame the odds that everyone else gave them saying they were gonna fail, and they all had one very special teacher to thank, Ms.Gruwell.

Lets be Honest

I aboustly love this book! The way it invites you in to the real lives of real students is just so welcoming. None of the students hold back what there felling, they say what they want to, and just the sense of how real an honest there begin is just incredible.
I would defiantly recommend this book for anyone who wants to take a step in someone else shoes and see how there life is different than yours and how you compare. This book would be especially good for readers who like to get lost inside there book because some of the stories have so much emotion in them it starts to feel like its your life.

The only part i did not care for about the book was how i couldn't see which student wrote what. I know that was to protect there privacy but it was hard not being able to know that was their story and see if they were doing better now then they were. But that is the only flaw i had. I highly suggest this book to all readers especially high school students going through troubling times.

Like this book? Guess what there's a movie!

If you enjoy the book go watch " The Freedom Writers Diary" movie!

My story: Ms. Gurnwell's views

TEDxConejo - Erin Gruwell - The Freedom Writers