Book Reviews of The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them

The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them
The Freedom Writers Diary How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them
Author: Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers
ISBN-13: 9780767924900
ISBN-10: 0767924908
Publication Date: 12/12/2006
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 67

4.1 stars, based on 67 ratings
Publisher: Broadway
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

25 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a most insprational book on so many levels. The students and their stories are amazing, their teacher and all that she had to overcome to reach her students is truly inspirational and the people they met through their readings continue to inspire all people over the decades.I highly recommend this uplifting and unforgettable book.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is a facinating book, especially if you have never been very close to street crime. It will really open your eyes to another world you may never have imagined with the exception of what's on TV. People struggle in this world and this is a first hand account of that truth. It is gripping, powerfull, and inspiring.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
You will immediately recognize the title of this book because of the movie that has come out with Hillary Swank in the lead role. I have not seen the movie, but I enjoyed the book.

It's kind of different -- written as an inclusive diary of entries by various students (and occasionally the teacher) in a young English teacher's classes in a California high school. The entries trace the progression of how the teacher introduces some innovative teaching lessons, that "catch on fire" with the students, who are supposed to be "unteachable." It goes on to depict how the spirit of the classes goes out to the outside world. It was truly inspiring.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 90 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very good! I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie, but as "timing" would have it, I ended up in the theatre befre I started the book. I really enjoyed both. They were different. BUT, I definitely would have enjoyed both much more if I had "read" then "saw." I recommend you skip the movie until you read the book.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Super book that reminded me of why I got into teaching in the first place. I have not seen the movie that was based on the book, but it was an excellent read.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The moving film-version of this story led me to read the true-life accounts collected in this equally-emotional book, written by kids in the early 1990s whose lives of gang violence and racial hatred seemed ready to consume them before a caring teacher dared to help change the course of their lives. "The Freedom Writers Diary" contains anonymous journal entries from the high schoolers of Erin Gruwell's English classes, and they explore the devastating lives the kids were living at the time. Frequently, the entries detail the violence, hatred, and anger the kids possessed, but they go further than that to reveal the simple, yet honest, truth: despite their environment and other sociological factors, these kids were and are human beings. Read this book for a powerful true-life account of the veracity of the human spirit, and be uplifted and enlightened.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed reading this book. I read it before the movie came out. I've seen the movie and this book is a more in depth look at the students' diaries. Very eye opening!
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com

This is the book that the movie Freedom Writers is based on. These are the diaries of the students put into one book.

There are no names used in the book--each diary entry has a number, so that the students could feel free to write what they wanted without knowing exactly who wrote what. Personally, I think this is a great idea because the diary entries were very open and you could tell the students wrote exactly what they felt.

THE FREEDOM WRITERS DIARY is a truly excellent book, because everything is so real and most of The Freedom Writers had to grow up at an extremely early age. Many had their innocence taken away around the age of ten. The Rodney King riots were going on and the Columbine High School event occurred during the time of the book. These high school students had seen more murder and dead bodies then most people will ever see in their entire lives.

99% of The Freedom Writers have even been shot at. This is an extremely true and eye-opening statistic. Segregation is still an issue in the United States, even though many people don't have to deal with it. This book taught me a lot about tolerance and what happens on the streets of Long Beach, California.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Straight from the front line of urban America, the inspiring story of one fiercely determined teacher and her remarkable students. With powerful entries from the students' own diaries and a narrative text by Erin Gruwell. This story is an uplifting, unforgettable example of how hard work, courage, and the spirit of determination changed the lives of a teacher and her students.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. I am in school to become a teacher and i loved reading the entries and how the students changed over time. This book has been recommended in several of my college courses.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on
Helpful Score: 1
I thought that this was an amazing book. I went to see the movie version in theaters, and I thought that the movie was incredible. Then I found the book on here and I can say, in my opnion, that the book is so much better than the movie. It tells accounts of gang violance and racial wars in the streets of Long Beach, CA. And all the books entries(beside the first entry before each chapter, written by Erin Gruwell) were written by the real-live teenagers that went through this everyday living in Long Beach. Each entry has something to it, an unbelievable truth behind it. It tells of things that you and I only hear about on the news, but these entries were written, as a diary, by the teenagers who have been through it, seen it happen, or may have done it. The power in some of the entries has brought me to tears, and made me understand that the things that happen in this book happen everyday, and are all-too-real.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 115 more book reviews
Erin Gruwell was a first-year high school teacher. She was teaching tough kids in Long Beach, CA. Her students are the lowest at the school so she begins with diaries written by others to have them create diaries of their own. She was able to stay with these students for all four years of high school. The she decided to teach college to new teachers.

I teach. I teach well. An yet I find myself discouraged when I read books like this. Not because of the state of education or students in America. I find it depressing that to be lifted up as a good teacher you must sacrifice everything else in your life. She gives up virtually all her free time, her marriage and sometimes even her reputation. This is why she was only a teacher for 4 years.

As a friend put it: "What the the educational system in America needs are distance runners not flashy sprinters." If you are a new teacher, please don't read this book. Find a mentor who has been teaching for 10 years. It will be far more practical and helpful for you.

The best review I have seen: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/19/opinion/19moore.html?ex=1169960400&en=03ab43adeddfe1ed&ei=5070
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 15 more book reviews
i enjoyed this book. it gave me some great insight and a lot of food for thought hearing from so many young folks wanting to change the world. it inspired me to think about what would happen if every teacher could treat their classroom full of kids the way that this teacher did. i want an update on where the freedom writers are now!
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on
A book about kids with a sad story to tell and a teacher who wants to listen. They all write a diary about their lives to show to the teacher. The teacher cares about their education and fights for it. Very inspirational!
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This was such a great book. I really really loved it. I haven't seen the movie yet and i think the book will no doubt be better. Well worth the time i spent and i would read it again. I think this woman was placed by God right where she was needed the most & WOW what a teacher she is!!!
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 68 more book reviews
Amazing teens! Very honest and heartbreaking but hopefull!
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 12 more book reviews
Interesting enough read...another story of a teacher done good. The students' diary entries are at times eye-opening.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 49 more book reviews
The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell is a compilation of diary entries of approximately 150 students in a Los Angeles school. Ms Gruwell, a first-year teacher, steps into a world of despair, hatred, and anger and ends up teaching her at risk students more than English. Through imagination, enthusiasm, and determination Ms. Gruwell begins an education of tolerance and acceptance in a world where high school students carry guns for protection, where racism and hatred is deep and suffocating. She exposes the kids to the atrocious intolerance of the Holocaust and the Bosnian War with books like Night by Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, and Zlatas Diary: A Childs Life in Sarajevo. Through these books their eyes and minds are opened. Like Anne and Zlata, Ms Gruwell assigns the students to write their own diaries. This book is the result of four years worth of selected diary entries that takes the reader through the mindsets of the students and Ms. Gruwell as they all journey from disparate strangers to a family.

I saw the Freedom Writers movie years ago when it first came out and thought it was inspiring. Anyway you look at it, Ms Gruwell is amazing. This teacher put everything she had into making a difference. She worked tirelessly as a teacher, then worked another job to take students on field trips or bring key speakers right to their classrooms. The movie, however, only focused on a few of the students, whereas the book gives us a glimpse into so many more students liveslives I cannot imagine. Each person has a story to tell whether its about abuse, hunger, shootings, being overweight, or having cystic fibrosis. Most live in a war zone; an undeclared war that tear their lives apart. Drugs and violence are prevalent.

Though the conditions and situations the students live with are depressing, the book is uplifting. Its a lesson for all to overcome adversity and plow forward, to educate ourselves and move in a positive direction. If these kids can block out the negativity of the surrounding world and focus on accepting others for who they are while concentrating on their future in a positive way, even striving to go to college, then we, who dont have such obstacles, should be able to soar. Read other reviews at http://readinginthegarden.blogspot.com
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 26 more book reviews
Awesome, inspiring book and so very interesting all the way through!
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 8 more book reviews
Inspiring.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 56 more book reviews
There is some strong language in this book, but overall, it is a good book. It gets its point across in a meaningful way. I think I enjoyed this book all the more being a teacher.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com

This is the book that the movie "The Freedom Writers" is based on. These are the diaries of the students put into one book.

There are no names used in the book--each diary entry has a number, so that the students could feel free to write what they wanted without knowing exactly who wrote what. Personally, I think this is a great idea because the diary entries were very open and you could tell the students wrote exactly what they felt.

THE FREEDOM WRITERS DIARY is a truly excellent book, because everything is so real and most of The Freedom Writers had to grow up at an extremely early age. Many had their innocence taken away around the age of ten. The Rodney King riots were going on and the Columbine High School event occurred during the time of the book. These high school students had seen more murder and dead bodies then most people will ever see in their entire lives.

99% of The Freedom Writers have even been shot at. This is an extremely true and eye-opening statistic. Segregation is still an issue in the United States, even though many people don't have to deal with it. This book taught me a lot about tolerance and what happens on the streets of Long Beach, California.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 12 more book reviews
Felt that it wasn't as "pure" as the author would lead you too believe. Seems edited for effect.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 213 more book reviews
Great book. Really great. Heartbreaking in parts.
reviewed The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them on + 85 more book reviews
I thought the movie was better. The story of what this teacher did is truly amazing, but this book is tough to get through. It is just a collection of diary entries from different students, so it's difficult to follow a story. In the beginning I struggled to determine whether I was reading the same person more than once or whether every entry was from a different person. It wasn't until the end that I figured out that each entry was from a different student. I would read the book BEFORE seeing the movie if you haven't already seen it.