First I was able to see its movie "The Freedom Writers Diary" starring Hilary Swank as Erin Gruwell. I was totally struck by the story because it tackles about Racism, Holocaust, Segregation, and Violence. Every scene in the movie was really inspiring, making me want to read their diary entries.
I tried looking for this book, but it was really hard to find. As I was checking books at Book Sale (Mall of Asia branch), I accidentally ran my fingers through this book. I was really enthralled so I bought it. I was so excited, and started reading it...
The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing To Change Themselves and the World around Them.
by The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell.
There is this new English teacher in Wilson High in Long Beach, California. She is White. And Her name is Ms. Erin Gruwell. Most of the class, at first, don't like her for the fact that she is white, and most of her students were not (except for one boy, who felt outcast in his class). Each of these students has a story to tell--different races comes different backgrounds, and Ms. Erin, as their teacher, is trying to figure it out in order to help those kids. Thus, she gave them all journals for them to write everything they wanted to tell--their voices, their stories.
Some students were victims of sexual harassment from their uncles, some were involved in gang war. Some of them have a broken family, some were victims of poverty. Some were teased, some were repulsed. Some Asians and Latinos were illegal migrants, Some African-Americans were discriminated to the extent. Some have illness and some were drug-addicts. Some had abortions, some were raped. Bottom line is: They were all victims no matter what their differences were. Despite their differences in colors, they are all the same, victims of injustice. They called it "An Undeclared War."
Erin did everything in order to reconstruct their dilapidated spirits upon reading all their journals. She introduced to them Anne Frank, a Jewish girl, who was a victim of Holocaust, for the fact that they can relate to her. Erin also invited Miep Gies, the kind lady who hid the Frank family, as a speaker. They were all inspired by her story of courage. They told her that she was a hero, but she said "No. I am not a hero, but all of you here."
Erin also invited Zlata Filipovic, a teenager who was a victim of war in Saravejo. More or less, she is said to be the present Anne Frank. She also wrote a diary as she hid from the war. She was also invited by Erin to be a speaker for the Freedom Writers. I was really struck by her answer when she was asked what her race is. Instead of saying what her race really is, she said "I am a human being, just like all of you." Zlata, indeed, is an epitome of justice and equality for the youth.
Little by little, the Freedom Writers started to establish their dilapidated selves, and also they have inspired many youths by their bravery and determination, creating a drastic change in the whole world.
Indeed, they are a catalyst of change in the society.
I genuinely believe that this book is a must read! It is based on a true story that happened many years ago. This book will help you enlighten your mind about racial discrimination. It did inspire me, so I have a strong feeling that this book will inspire you too. (^o^)
Full of real-life drama.
It's really a page turner.
Two thumbs up to the Freedom Writers!!!
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