The Freedom Writers Diary: How A Teacher And 150 Teens Used Writing To Change Themselves And The World Around Them

by Erin Gruwell, Erin The Freedom Writers

Crown Publishing Group | October 12, 1999 | Trade Paperback

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER & NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

Straight from the front line of urban America, the inspiring story of one fiercely determined teacher and her remarkable students.

As an idealistic twenty-three-year-old English teacher at Wilson High School in Long beach, California, Erin Gruwell confronted a room of "unteachable, at-risk" students. One day she intercepted a note with an ugly racial caricature, and angrily declared that this was precisely the sort of thing that led to the Holocaust-only to be met by uncomprehending looks. So she and her students, using the treasured books Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo as their guides, undertook a life-changing, eye-opening, spirit-raising odyssey against intolerance and misunderstanding. They learned to see the parallels in these books to their own lives, recording their thoughts and feelings in diaries and dubbing themselves the "Freedom Writers" in homage to the civil rights activists "The Freedom Riders."

With funds raised by a "Read-a-thon for Tolerance," they arranged for Miep Gies, the courageous Dutch woman who sheltered the Frank family, to visit them in California, where she declared that Erin Gruwell's students were "the real heroes." Their efforts have paid off spectacularly, both in terms of recognition-appearances on "Prime Time Live" and "All Things Considered," coverage in People magazine, a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley-and educationally. All 150 Freedom Writers have graduated from high school and are now attending college.

With powerful entries from the students' own diaries and a narrative text by Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers Diary is an uplifting, unforgettable example of how hard work, courage, and the spirit of determination changed the lives of a teacher and her students.

The authors' proceeds from this book will be donated to The Tolerance Education Foundation, an organization set up to pay for the Freedom Writers' college tuition. Erin Gruwell is now a visiting professor at California State University, Long Beach, where some of her students are Freedom Writers.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: October 12, 1999

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 038549422X

ISBN - 13: 9780385494229

Found in: Reference and Language

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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

by Erin Gruwell, Erin The Freedom Writers

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.79 in

Published: October 12, 1999

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 038549422X

ISBN - 13: 9780385494229

About the Book

A previous edition of this book was published: Broadway Books, 1999.

Read from the Book

Freshman Year Fall 1994 Entry 1 -- Ms. Gruwell Dear Diary, Tomorrow morning, my journey as an English teacher officially begins. Since first impressions are so important, I wonder what my students will think about me. Will they think I''m out of touch or too preppy? Or worse yet, that I''m too young to be taken seriously? Maybe I''ll have them write a journal entry describing what their expectations are of me and the class. Even though I spent last year as a student teacher at Wilson High School, I''m still learning my way around the city. Long Beach is so different than the gated community I grew up in. Thanks to MTV dubbing Long Beach as the "gangsta-rap capital" with its depiction of guns and graffiti, my friends have a warped perception of the city, or L B C as the rappers refer to it. They think I should wear a bulletproof vest rather than pearls. Where I live in Newport Beach is a utopia compared to some of neighborhoods seen in a Snoop Doggy Dogg video. Still, TV tends to blow things out of proportion. The school is actually located in a safe neighborhood, just a few miles from the ocean. Its location and reputation make it desirable. So much so that a lot of the students that live in what they call the "''hood" take two or three buses just to get to school every day. Students come in from every corner of the city: Rich kids from the shore sit next to poor kids from the projects . . . there''s every race, religion, and culture within the confines of
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From the Publisher

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER & NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

Straight from the front line of urban America, the inspiring story of one fiercely determined teacher and her remarkable students.

As an idealistic twenty-three-year-old English teacher at Wilson High School in Long beach, California, Erin Gruwell confronted a room of "unteachable, at-risk" students. One day she intercepted a note with an ugly racial caricature, and angrily declared that this was precisely the sort of thing that led to the Holocaust-only to be met by uncomprehending looks. So she and her students, using the treasured books Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo as their guides, undertook a life-changing, eye-opening, spirit-raising odyssey against intolerance and misunderstanding. They learned to see the parallels in these books to their own lives, recording their thoughts and feelings in diaries and dubbing themselves the "Freedom Writers" in homage to the civil rights activists "The Freedom Riders."

With funds raised by a "Read-a-thon for Tolerance," they arranged for Miep Gies, the courageous Dutch woman who sheltered the Frank family, to visit them in California, where she declared that Erin Gruwell's students were "the real heroes." Their efforts have paid off spectacularly, both in terms of recognition-appearances on "Prime Time Live" and "All Things Considered," coverage in People magazine, a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley-and educationally. All 150 Freedom Writers have graduated from high school and are now attending college.

With powerful entries from the students' own diaries and a narrative text by Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers Diary is an uplifting, unforgettable example of how hard work, courage, and the spirit of determination changed the lives of a teacher and her students.

The authors' proceeds from this book will be donated to The Tolerance Education Foundation, an organization set up to pay for the Freedom Writers' college tuition. Erin Gruwell is now a visiting professor at California State University, Long Beach, where some of her students are Freedom Writers.

About the Author

ERIN GRUWELL, the Freedom Writers, and her nonprofit organization have received many awards,  including the prestigious Spirit of Anne Frank Award, and have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Prime Time Live, Good Morning America,  and The View, to name a few. All 150 Freedom Writers went on to graduate from Wilson High. She lives in Long Beach, California.

From Our Editors

The Freedom Writers are a collection of students in Long Beach, Calif., once thought to be lost causes. With the guidance of a 23-year-old teacher, the students learned to relate to books like The Diary of Anne Frank and Zlata's Diary. Consequently, they learned to make a difference in their own lives and in the world around them. By showcasing the writings of these 150 now-college-bound students The Freedom Writers Diary demonstrates what anyone can do if someone believes in them.
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