Last night James and I watched the movie Freedom Writers, starring Hilary Swank. What a great movie. And a fabulous tie-in to the 8 Ball Chicks book. The movie is the true story of Erin Gruwell, a first-time teacher who gets a job in the inner city of Los Angeles. Many of her students are in gangs. Within her very racially diverse classroom, Gruwell helps the students to find common ground through reading about war, and violence, and keeping their own journals. It is an extremely powerful film. Plus, it has a scene in a library! What more could you want from a movie?
Since it is Banned Books Week, I was reminded that about a year ago I read a news article about the book Freedom Writers Diary - a book that Gruwell wrote with her students. It seems a teacher in Perry Township, Indiana lost her job for attempting to use the book with her own at-risk students. Here's the story.