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 powerful entries 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.
Erin Gruwell is now a visiting professor at California State University, Long Beach, where some of her students are Freedom Writers. 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.
- With powerful entries 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 Writer’s Block Myth is a grounded and inspirational guide for what every writer and creative person wants – to live their joy in the process and to create. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or new to the page, The Writer’s Block Myth is like no other book on writer’s block or the creative life out there.
Created for people living in the real world and presented like a conversation with a good friend, it offers a framework to shift your thinking and integrate writing as part of your life, whatever your circumstances.
You’ll learn how you’re still a writer even when you’re not putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. How stuck on the page is not about writing so you can focus on the right things to move forward. You’ll understand the many ways to define your process and why it matters.
Included are the voices and stories of other writers for inspiration and examples for how to apply the principles presented, plus short, easy exercises & tools to support you. You’ll have your greenlights––your permission slips––for doing it your way.
The Writer’s Block Myth is a culmination of hundreds of hours of conversations and work with writers, artists, and creatives, as well as interview-conversations conducted with writers of all levels, interests, and experience. This book is for every writer, whether professional or new to the page, who’s experienced being stuck, and knows what feeling blocked looks like. It’s for those who feel a split in their creative life and life in the real world, who want to be seen and validated to do what they love to do – write and create. This book is for every person who wants to stay on their feet to live, work, and create at their best, feeling lasting creative freedom.
Put it on your desk, kitchen counter, or bedside table. Carry it in your bag. Refer to it often. It holds the keys to get past stuck, complete your goals, feed your creative Soul, and guide you to experiencing lasting creative freedom.