New York Times best-selling investigative journalist Ron Suskind based this book on his Pulitzer Prize winning articles about Cedric Jennings, a black youth struggling to survive one of D.C.'s toughest school districts. A moving portrait of inner city life, A Hope in the Unseen offers a view of life through the eyes of someone trying desperately to make his way up from the bottom.More
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- Adam Evans
Gritty and hopeful
I loved the hope in this book. Cedric was neither too good to be true, nor a real "bad boy", despite where he came from and some of the anger that engendered.
Ron Suskind did a fantastic job juxtaposing the smarts of this young man with the rigeurs of an Ivy League school, and the fallout of higher education for those who receive scholarships for an education for whcih they are simply ill-prepared.
I loved this book. It neither sugar-coats the life on the street that Cedric and his mother lived, nor gives us gratuitous shock value for the hard life that Cedric is subjected to.
I found myself rooting for Cedric, even while I was angry at an education system that short-changed him and kids like him; the kids have the smarts, but are not nurtured because the school system is so focused on dealing with the realities of a tough neighborhood. Classes are large, high absenteeism, gangs, drugs, guns... just everyday occurrences.
I have started to seriously question race, and what that has to do with how one looks at the world. As a Canadian, I have witnessed the government's inquiry into First nations residential schools and the effect they have had on subsequent generations. The high school described in this book reminds me of the Native school I volunteered at several years ago.
it is gritty and real and hopeful... worth your time!