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The Freedom Writers Diary
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Group Reads - Non Fiction > June & July 2020 Non Fiction Group Read - The Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell

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message 1: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11539 comments Mod
Please discuss our winner here.


Jen from Quebec :0) (muppetbaby99) | 56 comments I am so super excited to read this book. The film was released when I was living in Asia, and I couldn't find a copy in English...then, I rather forgot about it for well, YEARS, really. Then, I caught the film on TV randomly--on the SAME DAY that I saw the thread to nominate non-fiction reads! Talk about kismet, eh? (Or KA, as Stephen King would say.) Awesomesauce. --- Jen from Quebec :0)


message 3: by David (new)

David | 126 comments I looked up the book and discovered a real gem, I think. I had heard nothing about this book at all somehow. Long story short: I ordered and I can’t wait to get my hands on it to see if all that praise is deserved.


message 4: by David (new)

David | 126 comments Wow. This is such a good book!
How many folks do we have aboard for this read?


Maggi Harris | 42 comments I’ve started the audible version and love the narrators so far. The story is captivating and so applicable to current events!


message 6: by Joan (new) - added it

Joan I started this a.m., after putting the newspaper aside because it was overwhelming.

On page 15, I found just what I needed - the words of a person who had grown up during a war & survived, optimism intact.


message 7: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11539 comments Mod
I hope to start this after my current audiobook.


Maggi Harris | 42 comments Finished my Audible copy yesterday and loved it! Hands down, I couldn't find anything to subtract points for except there wasn't enough to read.


message 9: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11539 comments Mod
Doesn't appear to be available on audible for me but I will try and get my hands on the kindle version.


Jen from Quebec :0) (muppetbaby99) | 56 comments I HAVE been reading this all along, as you can 'pop in and out', imo. This is the very FIRST book that I've ever bought/read via GOOGLE PLAY on my phone, as opposed to Kindle/Amazon....I really wish this read would continue into August, but alas, I'll just have to revisit this old thread once it becomes, you know- old. lol. --Jen from Quebec :0)


Jen from Quebec :0) (muppetbaby99) | 56 comments *NOTE = Once again, I feel that I must say that I saw the FILM version of this 1st, well before reading the source material. After thinking that the film was great, I shut off the TV, logged on to Goodreads, saw that this group was taking non-fiction group read nominations THAT very day, nominated it, downloaded it and got into reading. Then? BAM- it won the poll! But, just magine my surprise when...perhaps for the first time in my life- I...*hangs head* I...actually think that in this case, THE FILM might be BETTER THAN THE BOOK. **

The format of the book (cramming many different years' worth of student writings into condensed diary entries) has both good + bad aspects to it, with the main NEGATIVE factor being that there's no major character development/nobody to 'root for', no characters that you really 'get to know'. After a few dozen entries, the stories and thus- the students -become interchangeable; and these diaries could've been the work of very few ppl, or a mash up of the lives of dozens of students. Who knows? They all eventually blur and blend together, creating (unbelievably) hundreds of diary entries somehow managing to be severely lacking in different sounding voices/tones...they ALL could have been the work of ONE writer, really, which is NOT what I expected after viewing the strong, vibrant characters in the film....

I was expecting narratives that sounded wildly different from each other with a few 'stand-outs' = instantly recognizable voices/stories and characters that differed wildly.

Instead, each entry/section/class/year/group of students all feel + SOUND LIKE THE SAME PERSON. How can hundreds of teens over the span of like 5 years end up sounding so identical? I assume that this might be due to the group's editing process??

Sadly, these (supposedly) personal diary entries over years of Erin Gruell's teaching various groups of students in different classes wind up seeming NOT so personal and varied. And compared to the students in the film? Forget about it- no comparison. Yep- this time, the film might be BETTER THAN THE BOOK. (Blasphemy, I know). --Jen from Quebec :0)


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