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Book DescriptionThe 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 DC 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 402 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
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