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

2 Ratings: 5.0
A book by The Freedom Writers

When Gruwell was a first-year high school teacher in Long Beach, CA, teaching the "unteachables" (kids that no other teacher wanted to deal with), she discovered that most of her students had not heard of the Holocaust. Shocked, she introduced them to … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: The Freedom Writers
Genre: Reference, Nonfiction
Publisher: Broadway
1 review about The Freedom Writers Diary : How a Teacher...

Freedom Thinkers

  • Jan 17, 2007
Erin Gruwell is what is best about the young generation of teachers. She understands that understanding takes communication, that teaching takes listening, and that learning takes participation. Much like "Dead Poets Society," Gruwell and her students demonstrate how one iconoclastic teacher can impact hundreds of seemingly unreachable students.

Aside from being a great book on breaking the mold to break through to students, "The Freedom Writers Diary" is a great read, especially for anyone interested in glimpsing the heart and soul of Generation Next. More than that, it takes readers into the lives of urban America revealing the minds of urban youths. As a professor privileged to teach in DC in a graduate school with no majority race, I can attest to the power of shared multi-cultural vision. "The Freedom Writers Diary" will inspire all readers, whether teachers or any profession.

Recently the book has been catapulted into the news by the Perry County, Indiana school board's decision to suspend an English teacher for using it in class, even though 149 out of 150 parents gave their approval. The reason given was the raw language used. This certainly is a fair and necessary warning to give readers. Working with teenagers, it is obvious that none of the language would be new to them. The book, in my opinion, does not glorify the language. Rather, it reveals the struggles teens face today. A well-led discussion by a mature adult could help teens to face issues with more maturity themselves. But, as always, I report; you decide. So feel free to visit the link to the web report at:

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction , Soul Physicians, andSpiritual Friends.

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