Yes, I feel it is important for readers to read such novels within the school system because it inspires the reader to look at their own lives, compare them to Sharaud, who "graduated in June" and turned his life around. It could improve them by looking at the mistakes those in the book have made. For example, through this book, students are able to learn how not to be prejudiced. Joyce is known, by teachers, to hold the answers to the mysterious creatures that African Americans are. Basically all that I am stating is that other people can change.
If people with many problems can change, so can other people. These types of books teach the reader that education is necessary even for life skills. Even if not to appear to be at first, one is able to influence others. For example, the teacher can teach a reader at age twenty-three.
By reading this book, students learn how and why to avoid or deal with these similar problems. They can compare their problems with those in the novel. They can improve by looking at the mistakes those in the book have made. For example, through this book, students are able to learn how not to be prejudiced. The teacher teaches the reader that education is very important. If the person wants to succeed in life, he/she must learn that they can not survive on life skills only, but they also need education.
This book encourages the young and old, to think about what others may be forced to deal with in their everyday lives before judging themselves. So while graduating from high school is a normal expectation for others, it was an "unrealistic" goal for the Freedom Writers. This book will not only help educators teach reading and vocabulary skills, but it will also help them reach their students. The Freedom Writers Diary is a powerful book for teens.
These teens, from some of the roughest neighbourhoods in Long Beach, made it obvious to their teacher, Erin Gruwell, that they did not want to learn anything that wouldn't help them survive their own life situations.
Fortunately, however, for all concerned, a monumental event occurred when Ms Gruwell found a picture of an Afro-American student and was able to turn the situation into a character building session comparing the found picture which those pictures drawn of the Jews during the Holocaust. As the session progressed, many of the students began to reveal their personal anger and prejudices and their own tales of abuse including the scars that they had received in their own war of survival.
The book contains the sad, graphic accounts of these student lives shown in the form of 150 diary accounts. Throughout their diaries, these young men and women describe what they have experienced including detailed stories of abuse; explicit street language; and extreme violence. Basically, it takes the reader into the lives of urban America as it reveals the minds of urban youths while sharing the power of a multi-cultural vision.
For many of the students, Ms. Gruwell's methods were their first experience to an adult that encouraged them to view diversity as a chance to learn about other cultures. As they progressed from freshman to seniors under her supervision the students found themselves and their attitudes towards each other and learning changing that they all united calling themselves "The Freedom Writers" in honour of the original Freedom Riders involved in the Civil Rights Movement.
It is not what happens to us that matters, but how we deal with it The Freedom Writers are a perfect example of this. They could have chosen to fight racism with racism, hate with hate, and pain with pain. They found a way and didn't. If we all do what The Freedom Writers have done, and choose to deal inhuman situations in a humane manner, we can make the world a better place and create positive lessons for ourselves and for others.
This book teaches students that even in the direst situations, if you try your best, you can achieve what you are aiming for. It is different because it is real. Erin Gruwell teaches them to be real, to be honest, and to be themselves. From the book, one learns that she started her efforts to reach out to the students, including working a second job, when she was still a student teacher. The book also points out that there were 150 Freedom Writers in five classes, not in one small class.
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 who wrote what. I think this is a great idea because the diary entries were very personal and anyone could tell the students wrote exactly what they felt. This is a very good book and should be used for future reference to help teachers teach students that would be deemed as "Unteachable at-risk."