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TUESDAY

Everybody wants to like a book like A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey From the Inner City to the Ivy League, the true story of a kid who rises from the worst high school in the District to become a student at Brown University. Unseen is well-reported, but it recounts a story that is perhaps too often told: An underdog beats the odds. Cedric Jennings, a geeky A student in the midst of Ballou High School’s hard-rocks, is easy to root for. Predictably, we find him scorned at Ballou because he’s a bookworm and feeling alienated at lily-white Brown. As nice as it is to hear that the kid made it out of Southeast and into the Ivy League, such stories are best watched on Oprah. But even if Unseen isn’t compelling literature, it should be interesting to hear what author Ron Suskind has to say when he discusses it today—three days after Jennings’ graduation. At noon at Martin Luther King Memorial Library’s Main Lobby, 901 G St. NW. Free. (202) 727-1211. (Ta-Nehisi Coates)