Although, I do like the idea of naming the students after the real freedom riders (at least she gave some credit to where she got the name from) I thought this book was more about Gruwell’s resume than it was about her students. Throughout the book she does some fantastic things and I can not think for the life of me why would an individual with so many connections want to be a teacher in the first place? Does she really have connections, is all of this stuff true?
I mean was it just natutral for her to have all those good things happen right in a row? (What luck, Spielberg, Connie Chung, Diane Sawyer, Congress, Oprah?) She published a book and next thing you know she is selling it and touring oversees. I mean I wrote a book (“I Charge Y’all, Buy The Word!”) and Barnes and Nobles has it on its book list. I even have a few reviews and I never toured oversees to sell my book.
I’m not comparing myself to Gruwell but if all this is true, she lived a life way above average and there is something she is not telling us. This is not realistic (I guess she was a rich girl anyway, I mean she even met the guy from the rat pack, right?) at all.
But besides the fact, even if it is all true, it seems more like braggadoccio than it does authenticity. The only part in the novel where I felt she was involved with her “heart” was when her father died. Even then, she was talking about how people said she should not speak at the event because she was under too much stress (right after she received news of his death) but in her strength she managed to speak to audiences regardless of the fact that she had just received bad news concerning her father.
She can’t go one moment without revealing her “inner strength” to her audience. Then, I love when she tries to pass it off like she is such a modest person, who you fooling?