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

The Freedom Writers Diary

How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them

By: Erin Gruwell, Freedom Writers, Miep Gies (Foreword by)

Paperback

Published: October 1999
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$20.90

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 powerfulentries 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.

Forewordp. xiii
Freshman Year--Fall 1994
Ms. Gruwell's Diary Entryp. 1
First day of schoolp. 6
Racial segregation at schoolp. 8
Getting "jumped"p. 9
Race riot on campusp. 11
Buying a gunp. 12
Death of a friendp. 14
Gang initiationp. 16
"Rushing" a sororityp. 17
Taggingp. 20
Proposition 187: Discriminationp. 22
Dyslexiap. 23
Juvenile hallp. 24
The projectsp. 26
Russian roulettep. 27
Freshman Year--Spring 1995
Ms. Gruwell's Diary Entryp. 30
Romeo and Juliet: Gang rivalryp. 33
Teenage love and running awayp. 34
Coping with weightp. 36
Learning about diversityp. 38
Oklahoma bombingp. 39
Farewell to Manzanar: Japanese internment campsp. 40
Overcoming adversity panelp. 41
John Tu: Father figure vs. absent fatherp. 43
Freshman turnaroundp. 45
Sophomore Year--Fall 1995
Ms. Gruwell's Diary Entryp. 47
Homelessnessp. 51
Cystic fibrosisp. 54
Shynessp. 55
Twelve Angry Menp. 55
Honors Englishp. 57
Medieval Timesp. 58
Lesson on tolerancep. 60
Toast for changep. 61
Change for the betterp. 63
Testifying in murder casep. 64
Teenage alcoholismp. 67
Shopliftingp. 68
Anne Frank's diaryp. 71
Teen diaristsp. 71
Zlata's Diary--Bosnia vs. L.A. riotsp. 73
Peter Maass: Article on Bosniap. 74
Zlatap. 76
Sophomore Year--Spring 1996
A Letter to Zlatap. 78
Ms. Gruwell's Diary Entryp. 79
Meeting a Holocaust survivorp. 84
The woman who sheltered Anne Frank's familyp. 85
"Moment"p. 87
Zlata accepts our invitationp. 89
Dinner with Zlatap. 90
Diverse friendshipsp. 91
"I am a human being"p. 92
Terrorismp. 94
Day of tolerance: A field tripp. 96
Doing speedp. 98
Basketball for Bosnia: Weightp. 101
Zlata's Letterp. 103
Divorcep. 104
Friends join classp. 106
Letter from Miepp. 107
Junior Year--Fall 1996
Ms. Gruwell's Diary Entryp. 108
Racist teacherp. 112
A grandmother's deathp. 114
Race riotp. 117
Grade accountabilityp. 119
Suicidep. 120
Running awayp. 121
Getting a jobp. 123
Misogynyp. 125
Molestationp. 126
Boyfriend abusep. 129
Domestic violencep. 131
Child abusep. 133
Death of brotherp. 136
Junior Year--Spring 1997
Ms. Gruwell's Diary Entryp. 139
Anne Frank's friends visitp. 142
Masking fearsp. 143
Living in the projectsp. 144
Dyslexiap. 147
Letter from Miepp. 148
Student editingp. 150
Abortionp. 151
Catalysts for changep. 152
Freedom Ridersp. 154
An American Diary . . . Voices from an Undeclared Warp. 156
Fund-raiser concertp. 158
Freedom Writer poemp. 159
Freedom Writers unitep. 160
Strict fatherp. 162
Arlington Cemeteryp. 164
Lincoln Memorial: Freedom Writers have a dreamp. 165
Covering up the swastikap. 166
Hate crimesp. 167
Holocaust Museump. 169
Dr. Mengele's experiment with twinsp. 170
Dinner with Secretary Rileyp. 172
"Stand"p. 173
Secretary Riley receives Freedom Writers' diaryp. 175
Candlelight vigilp. 177
Departing D.C.p. 178
Returning a family herop. 181
Jeremy Strohmeyer: Murderp. 183
David Cashp. 184
Peace march for Sherrice Iversonp. 185
Senior Class Presidentp. 187
Separation anxietyp. 188
Staying togetherp. 190
Senior Year--Fall 1997
Ms. Gruwell's Diary Entryp. 192
Cheryl Best: Inspirationp. 195
"Eviction Notice"p. 197
Financial problemsp. 198
Illegal immigrantp. 200
The first Latina Secretary of Educationp. 202
Pursuing filmmakingp. 204
Road not taken: Contemplating collegep. 205
Finding a mentorp. 206
Being a mentorp. 208
Los Angeles Times articlep. 210
A letter from prisonp. 211
Deadbeat dadp. 212
Sorority hazingp. 214
Fear of losing a fatherp. 216
Death of a motherp. 218
Senior Year--Spring 1998
Ms. Gruwell's Diary Entryp. 221
Guess? sponsorshipp. 223
Spirit of Anne Frank Awardp. 225
New York City roommatesp. 227
Celebrating Anne Frankp. 229
Abuse of powerp. 230
Peter Maass: The role of a journalistp. 232
Book agentp. 233
Getting publishedp. 234
Basketball playoffs: Teamworkp. 235
A lesson from Animal Farmp. 237
Attitude adjustmentp. 238
Introducing Senator Barbara Boxerp. 241
Attention deficit disorderp. 242
Homosexualityp. 244
Prom queenp. 245
"Whoever saves one life saves the world entire"p. 247
Breaking the cyclep. 249
Football all-Americanp. 251
Baseball dilemmap. 253
A college acceptancep. 254
Fear of abandonmentp. 255
Teenage pregnancyp. 257
Southwest Airlinesp. 259
Computers for college!p. 260
The giving tree: Crackhead parentsp. 261
Graduation Class Speakerp. 263
From drugs to honorsp. 264
Overcoming the oddsp. 267
Graduation!p. 268
Epiloguep. 272
Acknowledgmentsp. 278
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780385494229
ISBN-10: 038549422X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 316
Published: October 1999
Publisher: Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc)
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.2 x 13.4  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 1