Just one word: FANTASTIC!! It made my day!
This book is real. It's the most real thing I ever read. The story/diary entries are so inspiring.
I am totally overwhelmed by the violence described in the book. It's real life! These kids live in constant fear of being shot and maybe losing their lives. Yet they still have a dream. And then here comes Erin Gruwell, their guardian angel who goes all out to help them. Without her, these kids may end up going down the same paths their parents and relatives go. But it moves me when I find they are so willing to try when given the opportunities. Although I am a very different group, different academically and socio-economically, I think there is something that is basic to all whether they are kids in "da ghetto" or in an elite school. It is love for one's own life and love for the world. It is the willingness to give oneself a chance to make a difference. We teachers just have to work in different ways to help our students go after their dreams!
The books mentioned in this book also quite naturally come to my reading list. I found "Night" and "Zlata's Diary." I already have Anne Frank but it's a thick book and may not be so easy for my students to read in English. I wonder if the Chinese teachers have ever thought about doing such reading for their courses. Such books must be more relevant than all these classical Chinese essays.
One more thing to mention is the errors in the book. I suppose they must have proofread the book many, many times, but there are still quite a few errors. I don't remember reading anywhere in the book that all the errors are intentionally left uncorrected. So maybe the Freedom Writers should spend some more time proofreading the next edition!