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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
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...
Published on 5 May 2007 by TeensReadToo

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really sure what to make of this
This was an intriguing read.
I found some aspects of this quite difficult to read, as its hard to believe that so many kids in the same class could go through such a wide range of horrendous experiences. (Maybe that says more about my middle class upbringing and naivety than about the actu)al story.
I guess the thing to focus on us the positive outlook and...
Published 6 months ago by Veronica


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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 5 May 2007
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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 by: Taylor Rector
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring read, 1 Oct. 2007
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The youths who took part in the writing project, under the visionary leadership and care of their teachers Erin Gruwell diserve a medal for the way they changed themselves and inspired others. Their heartrending stories have many times brought tears to my eyes. Thumbs up to all of them for overcoming very difficult circumstances and for wanting to make a difference in their lives and the lives of other youths. Keep on going, guys! I think you have already saved many lives with your testimonies. Highly, highly recommend this book for all teachers and educators and anyone interested in the education of our youths, their future and their welfare.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 13 Jan. 2010
By 
Ms. D. R. Lewis "DRL" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book is best read AFTER watching the film, 'The Freedom Writers', with Hilary Swank as Erin Gruwell, to enable the reader to get a full and rounded picture of the characters and events depicted in the book.

But that said, if you don't get to watch the film, don't be put off reading this book!

This book was a rollercoaster of a read, one moment I was crying at the dispair of the lives of some of these kids, the next I was laughing, and sometimes I was laughing AND crying at the same time! But ultimately it is one of THE most heartwarming, uplifting, sweet, funny and inspirational reads I have EVER had.... and I read lots. A MUST READ BOOK!
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad but inspiring accounts, 15 Mar. 2007
This review is from: The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them (Paperback)
This book contains sad and graphic accounts of the lives of inner city students in the form of over 100 personal diary recollections. The students describe in detail physical and sexual abuse. The accounts contain graphic language and often extreme violence, which makes the book unsuitable for all readers, though the nature of these descriptions is a reflection of each student's life and the dangers they face. This book allows the reader to understand the perspective of students and develop empathy for them rather than passing judgment according to abstract and unrealistic standards. Social workers and teachers would gain a lot from this book but it's appeal isn't limited to them.

Other books that I highly recommend are the novel "Nexus" by Morrison and Singh, which offers a poignant journey of people trying to overcome pain at a spiritual retreat and "The Pursuit of Happyness" by Chris Gardner, which has become a movie starring Will Smith.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, 29 Aug. 2007
By 
E. Fifield "Random Annie" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It's not often that I give a book a five star rating. I'm not a book buff, and I don't pride myself on reading classics, but I know when I find a book I love.

The Freedom Writers' Diary is a true account of life in the gangs of Long Beach, California. The students show you a harrowing account of their ever day life via anonymous diary entries. Each has a different story to tell. They'll make you laugh, and perhaps even cry.

I thought it was an excellent read, but I had to remind myself that it's real life, and people are actually going through this. It's a real insight into the kids' lives, and how their upbringing affects their relationships with others.

And let's not forget their teacher, Erin Gruwell that took on a group of 'at risk' teens to show them that they too can make a difference.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 5 May 2007
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them (Paperback)
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 by: Taylor Rector
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it all in under three wonderful, captivating hours., 16 April 2015
This review is from: The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them (Paperback)
After watching the film based on this I had to read it.
I was unable to put this book down and Read it all in under three wonderful, captivating hours.

(also, I convinced the Leeds Libraries to get their first copy of this :)
Below are some quotes from the book which stood out the most when I was reading this:

(diary 40) Society just doesn't care about young people anymore, even if we are the future.
(entry 4. ms gruewell) war is not something that I think of as a domestic problem...

(diary 57) she showed me that excuses will not bring about success and that adversity is not something you you walk with, but something you leap over. the only obstacles are the ones you allow.
(Diary 59) my parents speak to me like i'm a child to wet around the ears to know anything about life.

(diary 75) now when I write, I'll remember Jim's work and what he risked his life for. like him, I am willing to step forward unafraid of who or what lies ahead. after all, history tells me that I am not alone.
(diary 77) it used to be that no one believed in us, but now our whole community is behind us and cheering us on!

(diary 79) the more I read the more I have found out about my peers personal problems. even though I don't have my own sad story, I am willing to help, listen and encourage other freedom writers to tell their stories. people should hear what they go through and understand that no one comes from a perfect home. I believe that the passion behind our stories will speak as loud as the words inside it.

(afterwords diary 7) I know class is tough and so is life, but i'm a tough teacher who molds tough students. tough times don't last, tough people do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and culturally challenging, 23 Aug. 2011
By 
C. Kidd (Dibden, Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I'd heard a lot about The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them by Erin Gruwell and so took some time during our holiday to read it. 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.

It is a truly excellent book, because everything is so real - many 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.

Many of The Freedom Writers have even been shot at; 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. I highly recommend this book for all teachers, youth workers, and anyone interested in the education of our youths, their future and their welfare.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and moving..., 15 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them (Paperback)
I'd seen the Freedom Writers film first by chance, knowing nothing about it and was amazed to find out that it was based on a real person, an incredible teacher. I wanted to find out more about Erin Gruwell and the way she had inspired her class full of 14 year old gangland pupils, even though everyone else had given up on them. She let them read Anne Frank's Diary as a way of reaching them in their own 'war torn' lives and drew them out of themselves by inviting them to write about their own dramatic and threatened lives in their own diaries. Her methods and dedication to the children in her care resulted in their happiness and academic success. Her classroom became their refuge.

This book is a compilation of these teenagers' diary entries and reveals (more than the film does) their lives and the traumas and difficulties they faced even getting to school every day. It shows how much they realized that they loved their teacher. It is inspiring reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 30 Jun. 2009
By 
P. Burley (East Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Awesome is a word that is overused and I try to avoid using it. This film is truly AWESOME. You laugh and cry. I think it is so sad that this amazing teacher is the standard all should strive for rather than it being the exception. Makes me feel ashamed of the standards we accept.
Love the film; an inspiration
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