A hope in the unseen: an American odyssey from the inner city to the Ivy League

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The inspiring true story of a ferociously determined young man who, armed only with his intellect and his willpower, fights his way out of despair. At Ballou Senior High, a crime-infested school in Washington, D.C., honor students have learned to keep their heads down.  Among the mere handful of students with a B average or better, some plead to have their names left off the "Wall of Honor" bulletin board; others hide during awards ceremonies; only a few dare to raise their hands in class.  Like most inner-city kids, they know that any special attention in a place this dangerous can make you a target of violence. But Cedric Jennings, the lanky son of a jailed drug dealer, will not swallow his pride, though each day he struggles to decide who he wants to be.  With unwavering support from his mother, he studies and strives as if his life depends on it--and it does. The summer after his junior year, at a program for minorities at MIT, he gets a fleeting glimpse of life outside Ballou--an image that burns in his mind afterward and fills him with a longing to live in such a world.  In his senior year, walking a gauntlet of sneers and threats, he achieves a 4.02 grade-point average and then the impossible: acceptance into Brown University, an Ivy League school. At Brown, finding himself far behind most of the other freshmen in his academic training and his knowledge of broader culture, Cedric must manage a bewildering array of intellectual and social challenges.  Cedric had hoped that at college he would finally find a place to fit in, but he discovers he has little in common with the white students, many of whom come from privileged backgrounds and party hard while acing tests. Even the middle-class blacks have trouble understanding Cedric, a straight-arrow church kid from the ghetto who seems like an obvious product of affirmative action.  As he struggles to master classwork and think like a scholar, he realizes that faith alone can take him only so far.  Having traveled too far to turn back, Cedric is left to rely on his intelligence and his determination to keep alive his hope in the unseen--a future of acceptance and reward that he struggles, each day, to envision. Ron Suskind first wrote about Cedric Jennings in a pair of articles for the Wall Street Journal, which later won the Pulitzer Prize.  Now, having spent three years at Cedric's side, Suskind delivers a triumphant coming-of-age odyssey that includes us all.  Eye-opening, sometimes humorous, and often deeply moving, A Hope in the Unseen weaves a crucial new thread into the rich and ongoing narrative of the American experience.
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 4f8abae2-8389-fc53-1b40-2e8ca61fe6c5
Grouping Title hope in the unseen an american odyssey from the inner city to the ivy league
Grouping Author suskind ron
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-07-20 22:45:09PM
Last Indexed 2018-07-21 00:42:07AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level UG
accelerated_reader_point_value 24
accelerated_reader_reading_level 7.5
author Suskind, Ron,
author_display Suskind, Ron
available_at_catalog Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Biography
detailed_location_catalog Main Library - Adult Biography

It is 1993, and Cedric Jennings is a bright and ferociously determined honor student at Ballou, a high school in one of Washington D.C.'s most dangerous neighborhoods, where the dropout rate is well into double digits and just 80 students out of more than 1,350 boast an average of B or better. At Ballou, Cedric has almost no friends. He eats lunch in a classroom most days, plowing through the extra work he has asked for, knowing that he's really competing with kids from other, harder schools. Cedric Jennings's driving ambition--which is fully supported by his forceful mother--is to attend a top-flight college.

In September 1995, after years of near superhuman dedication, he realizes that ambition when he begins as a freshman at Brown University. In this updated edition, A Hope in the Unseen chronicles Cedric's odyssey during his last two years of high school, follows him through his difficult first year at Brown, and now tells the story of his subsequent successes in college and the world of work.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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lexile_score 1080
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
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owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
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primary_isbn 9780767901260
publishDate 1998, 2010, 2015
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recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
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subject_facet African American college students -- Biography, African American teenage boys -- Education -- Washington (D.C.), Brown University -- Students -- Biography, Electronic books, Frank W. Ballou Senior High School (Washington, D.C.) -- Students -- Biography, Jennings, Cedric Lavar -- Childhood and youth, Jennings, Cedric Lavar -- Knowledge and learning
title_display A hope in the unseen : an American odyssey from the inner city to the Ivy League
title_full A Hope in the Unseen An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League, A hope in the unseen : an American odyssey from the inner city to the Ivy League / Ron Suskind
title_short A hope in the unseen :
title_sub an American odyssey from the inner city to the Ivy League
topic_facet African American college students, African American teenage boys, Biography, Biography & Autobiography, Childhood and youth, Education, Jennings, Cedric Lavar, Knowledge and learning, Nonfiction, Sociology, Students