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Diary of a Freedom Writer: The Experience

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Survivor... a word continuously thought of when reading this memoir. Upon the release of The Freedom Writers Diary and film adaptation starring Hilary Swank in 2007, New York Times bestselling author Darrius Garrett realized that both book and movie tell the Freedom Writer Story as a whole, but not on a personal level. During speaking engagements, the same questions always Survivor... a word continuously thought of when reading this memoir. Upon the release of The Freedom Writers Diary and film adaptation starring Hilary Swank in 2007, New York Times bestselling author Darrius Garrett realized that both book and movie tell the Freedom Writer Story as a whole, but not on a personal level. During speaking engagements, the same questions always surface: 'Did Ms. Gruwell change you? How did you make it out of the gang life? What stopped you from killing yourself?' Darrius's answers are inside. Diary of a Freedom Writer takes you on a journey beyond the classrooms to the treacherous streets of Long Beach, California. An innocent little boy born in poverty and raised in a violent environment, Darrius became a product of the streets, written off by the school and judicial systems alike, growing up in an environment full of gangs and drugs. He spent his life searching for a father figure until he became a Freedom Writer, motivational speaker, bestselling author, and finally a father himself. His story is that of a man realizing his experiences are what made him the man he has been seeking to be all his life. Upon beating the odds, Diary of a Freedom Writer serves as proof that Darrius's story of struggle, life, change, and hope will uplift, educate, encourage, and inspire.


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Survivor... a word continuously thought of when reading this memoir. Upon the release of The Freedom Writers Diary and film adaptation starring Hilary Swank in 2007, New York Times bestselling author Darrius Garrett realized that both book and movie tell the Freedom Writer Story as a whole, but not on a personal level. During speaking engagements, the same questions always Survivor... a word continuously thought of when reading this memoir. Upon the release of The Freedom Writers Diary and film adaptation starring Hilary Swank in 2007, New York Times bestselling author Darrius Garrett realized that both book and movie tell the Freedom Writer Story as a whole, but not on a personal level. During speaking engagements, the same questions always surface: 'Did Ms. Gruwell change you? How did you make it out of the gang life? What stopped you from killing yourself?' Darrius's answers are inside. Diary of a Freedom Writer takes you on a journey beyond the classrooms to the treacherous streets of Long Beach, California. An innocent little boy born in poverty and raised in a violent environment, Darrius became a product of the streets, written off by the school and judicial systems alike, growing up in an environment full of gangs and drugs. He spent his life searching for a father figure until he became a Freedom Writer, motivational speaker, bestselling author, and finally a father himself. His story is that of a man realizing his experiences are what made him the man he has been seeking to be all his life. Upon beating the odds, Diary of a Freedom Writer serves as proof that Darrius's story of struggle, life, change, and hope will uplift, educate, encourage, and inspire.

30 review for Diary of a Freedom Writer: The Experience

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Anderson

    I got the opportunity to read this book as an eBook today. So I made it a point to get on here and give a review. I love this book. My opinion is that its better than the original Book Freedom Writers Diary only because i felt bad for the students in the book,and at times I felt there was unnecessary cursing in some stories; then I watched the movie and became a fan of the Freedom Writers. But mostly I would say that I bonded with the character Marcus as we share the same first name..lol but als I got the opportunity to read this book as an eBook today. So I made it a point to get on here and give a review. I love this book. My opinion is that its better than the original Book Freedom Writers Diary only because i felt bad for the students in the book,and at times I felt there was unnecessary cursing in some stories; then I watched the movie and became a fan of the Freedom Writers. But mostly I would say that I bonded with the character Marcus as we share the same first name..lol but also his story was amazing in the movie. Then I received a tweet that Marcus is really the original Freedom Writer Darrius Garrett and the link to his new book. So with much interest I bought the eBook for like $10.00 and I'm glad I did so as it was well worth it. I thought the movie was good but Mr. Garrett book is amazing. What I seen in the movie is small compared to the stories he told in his new book. I am a youth leader here at my community center and I thought of each of my kids as I read Mr. Garrett's story. Great Job Mr. Garrett you get 5 stars from me as well as I will buy a hard copy as well to share this with the young people in my youth group. Keep doing what you are doing sir.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Robinson

    This was such an enlightening and inspirational book. The author wrote from the heart and I could see the face of "Marcus" from the film as I read this book. The story about his life and the behind the scene story of the Freedom Writer experience was captivating. I have become a true fan of Mr. Garretts writing and plan to tell everyone that I can about how great this book is as I feel this book just as many others will be one of the hands down greatest memoirs written that slip through the crac This was such an enlightening and inspirational book. The author wrote from the heart and I could see the face of "Marcus" from the film as I read this book. The story about his life and the behind the scene story of the Freedom Writer experience was captivating. I have become a true fan of Mr. Garretts writing and plan to tell everyone that I can about how great this book is as I feel this book just as many others will be one of the hands down greatest memoirs written that slip through the cracks and stays under the radar because of who the author is as well as the misconception that people will think its just the same story they have read in the previous book and seen in the movie but its so far from the truth.I appreciate the fact that the book didn't have an unlimited amount of cursing in it as you can see the maturity and growth of this young man as the chapters progresses Unlike other books this is authentic and very real. I heard him speak at a conference that I attended a few months ago and he talked about this book and its everything that he said it would be and more. I'm glad I read it and I hope millions of other avid readers pick it up as well.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julie Rodriguez

    I truly love this book...I appreciate the struggle that the Freedom Writer wrote about and his story of being homeless. I can honestly see this being another Freedom Writer movie

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sefakor Amaa

    Could not put it down - compelling and relevant. I was struck by the raw honesty of the struggle to survive against all odds. In this autobiography of his life (to this point) and the Freedom Writers "Experience", Darrius opens it up and speaks to souls of all ages. Having purchased a pre-release copy I have got to have a classroom set!!! Well done Darrius - your Mom is smiling and we are all proud of you!!!. Could not put it down - compelling and relevant. I was struck by the raw honesty of the struggle to survive against all odds. In this autobiography of his life (to this point) and the Freedom Writers "Experience", Darrius opens it up and speaks to souls of all ages. Having purchased a pre-release copy I have got to have a classroom set!!! Well done Darrius - your Mom is smiling and we are all proud of you!!!.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bill Greenwald

    This was such an enlightening book...I can tell this young man wrote from the heart as I read I could see the face of the young man "Marcus" in from the film. I truly enjoyed this book and plan to share with my students when the school year starts back. I have so many Darrrius Garretts in my class that will be motivated by Mr. Garrett story. Great job sir. This was such an enlightening book...I can tell this young man wrote from the heart as I read I could see the face of the young man "Marcus" in from the film. I truly enjoyed this book and plan to share with my students when the school year starts back. I have so many Darrrius Garretts in my class that will be motivated by Mr. Garrett story. Great job sir.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jamia

    The Bomb.com

  7. 4 out of 5

    Angie ~aka Reading Machine~

    Many of us have probably seen the movie The Freedom Writers. Yet how many of us have wonder about the people behind The Freedom Writers. Diary of a Freedom Writer:The Experience takes us on an in depth look into Darrius Garrett's life and how Erin Gruwell helped change not only his life but every member of The Freedom Writers. I was always curious about the people behind The Freedom Writers. When Darrius Garrett asked me to review his book I jumped at the opportunity. I found this book to be a wo Many of us have probably seen the movie The Freedom Writers. Yet how many of us have wonder about the people behind The Freedom Writers. Diary of a Freedom Writer:The Experience takes us on an in depth look into Darrius Garrett's life and how Erin Gruwell helped change not only his life but every member of The Freedom Writers. I was always curious about the people behind The Freedom Writers. When Darrius Garrett asked me to review his book I jumped at the opportunity. I found this book to be a wonderful addition to The Freedom Writer movie. I learned that everyday people can be truly special and remarkable in their own right too. Diary of a Freedom Writer:The Experience takes you on a journey of self-discovery, hope, lost, heart break, and most of all happiness in yourself. Definitely reading this book has made me look at my own life and wonder~Can I dare to dream too? The answer is yes I can dream too. I'll admit I'm usually not a fan of biographies but I found this one too compelling not to read. I've asked myself several questions and now I'm going to be searching for the answers to those questions. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is curious about The Freedom Writers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I received this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I was already familiar with the Freedom Writers' story having seen the movie and also having had the opportunity to see Manuel Scott speak at an orientation for teachers. Darrius Garrett's book presents a fresh perspective on the story and allows you to take a walk in the life of one of the Freedom Writers. Not only does he take you into Erin Gruwell's classroom, but also offers you a behind the scenes look at what his life was li I received this book as part of a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I was already familiar with the Freedom Writers' story having seen the movie and also having had the opportunity to see Manuel Scott speak at an orientation for teachers. Darrius Garrett's book presents a fresh perspective on the story and allows you to take a walk in the life of one of the Freedom Writers. Not only does he take you into Erin Gruwell's classroom, but also offers you a behind the scenes look at what his life was like outside the classroom. His writing allows you to truly put yourself in his shoes and imagine what you would do in the situations he faces throughout the book. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the Freedom Writers' story especially other educators. It reminds us how important it can be to look beyond what we see in the classroom and to consider how a student's home life can impact their school experience.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shereen Rafea

    Raw, simple and honest. LOVED IT. Facts: this book is a memoir (not a diary) of one of the Freedom Writers ( see movie), Darrius. It tells the story of a boy growing up under the influence of drugs and gang violence. Then he meets a teacher who changes his life forever. While the movie focused on the teacher and the class, this book is Darrius's chance to tell the world more of his personal story. Terrific result. A fast, yet effective read. Darrius describes each stage in his life like a camera Raw, simple and honest. LOVED IT. Facts: this book is a memoir (not a diary) of one of the Freedom Writers ( see movie), Darrius. It tells the story of a boy growing up under the influence of drugs and gang violence. Then he meets a teacher who changes his life forever. While the movie focused on the teacher and the class, this book is Darrius's chance to tell the world more of his personal story. Terrific result. A fast, yet effective read. Darrius describes each stage in his life like a camera zooming in on important milestones and moments. He adds bursts of creativity here and there with poetry and reflections. While the style did not always seem in-sync to me (past tense voice clashing with present tense) , this little book is a beautiful story of surviving , perseverance and tolerance .. Oh and of course it's about the power of a great teacher :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shauna Passic

    Authentic, raw, and inspirational. I admire the courage that Mr. Darrius Garrett had to not only share his story with the world, but to also rewrite the path he would take in life. There were so many wonderful quotes that I underlined throughout the book that really made me think. Thank you Darrius, for sharing your compelling and courageous story with us. I love how you talked about how Faith kept you going in the end of the book. Faith has been something I too have had to rely on throughout my Authentic, raw, and inspirational. I admire the courage that Mr. Darrius Garrett had to not only share his story with the world, but to also rewrite the path he would take in life. There were so many wonderful quotes that I underlined throughout the book that really made me think. Thank you Darrius, for sharing your compelling and courageous story with us. I love how you talked about how Faith kept you going in the end of the book. Faith has been something I too have had to rely on throughout my life. I hope that you and your family have many more happy new memories and dreams in your future. God bless!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Very moving memoir of Darrius Garrett, one of the freedom writers from the movie of the same name. The writing is often awkward and ungrammatical, but Darrius' voice rings strong and true as he speaks of his life growing up surrounded by drugs, danger, and poor self-esteem. He vividly paints his journey from a scared and angry kid to the kind, gentle and inspirational man he is now. I shed a few tears during my read, out of sorrow, then out of power of his inspiration. Thank you, Darrius. Very moving memoir of Darrius Garrett, one of the freedom writers from the movie of the same name. The writing is often awkward and ungrammatical, but Darrius' voice rings strong and true as he speaks of his life growing up surrounded by drugs, danger, and poor self-esteem. He vividly paints his journey from a scared and angry kid to the kind, gentle and inspirational man he is now. I shed a few tears during my read, out of sorrow, then out of power of his inspiration. Thank you, Darrius.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Allena Heckman

    I have received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I loved his story it moved me and showed that here is truth behind someone can change if they want to. It has a bunch of emotions threw out the book by just reading what he has gone threw in life and how he turn it all around. I will read this to my children so they can hear how you can do anything if you set your mind to it. Thank you Darrius for the book i loved it!!!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jr. Duron

    This was a beautiful book of overcoming! It broke down ghetto terminology that sadly I already knew. It was such an inspiring movie from a child from the hood and changing his view from a beautiful teacher!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin Mansoor

    I though it was excellent book and film to read and watch in school. At home as well when I got it on dvd. I would give an award for best education film for RS. Thank You!!!!!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Agwu

    To read any book without having to buy it

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel Bautista

    I saw the movie and thought it was great, therefore I read the book and let me just tell you that it's as good as the movie. I saw the movie and thought it was great, therefore I read the book and let me just tell you that it's as good as the movie.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erynne

    wow! This was very inspiring and i loved it. I found it to read for a nonfiction book for school and I'm glad I read it. I hope it can impact others the way it has me. wow! This was very inspiring and i loved it. I found it to read for a nonfiction book for school and I'm glad I read it. I hope it can impact others the way it has me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andy Plonka

    Kudos to Darrius Garrett for not only his book but showing tremendous self discipline to turn his life into something of which he could be proud rather than accepting that he was the product of his environment and therefore not responsible for his own actions.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This book is a great companion book if you love the Freedom Writer's Diary. It follows the life of Darius Garrett, otherwise known as 'Marcus' in the Freedom Writer's film. definitely worth reading. This book is a great companion book if you love the Freedom Writer's Diary. It follows the life of Darius Garrett, otherwise known as 'Marcus' in the Freedom Writer's film. definitely worth reading.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Antonia

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jay Narquist

  22. 4 out of 5

    Zhané

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carlos Santos

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hendrickson

  26. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brinley

  28. 5 out of 5

    Toya

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jammie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Annette

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