The Freedom Writer’s Diary
By: Erin Gruwell
Being a first-year teacher is difficult, but working with at-risk kids is even harder. Erin Gruwell had enough and decided to find a way to make her lessons reach the hearts of her students. Using classic literary diarists, Anne Frank and Zlata Filipovic, as examples she challenges her students to look within and find the parallels in their own lives. This one simple thought, turned into a life-changing project, while those students became known as The Freedom Writers.
Even though this book is set-up to resemble a diary, with dated entries and numbers representing the different students’ entries, the consistency and the coherency make for a touching tale. The book progresses through each year in the students’ learning all the way to the celebratory graduation day. Readers will be able to grasp each student’s progress and their hearts will swell with pride. A few pictures are included to help “see” the students and their teacher, while the foreword by Zlata Filipovic, proves the amazing reach that this one teacher created. This is a heart-lifting read.