Freshmen summer reading delivers a message of diversity

Jackie Valley

The force behind Kent State’s choice for the summer reading book, A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind, was diversity.

“The summer reading book will always focus on diversity,” said Terri Capellman, director of First Year Experience.

A Hope in the Unseen chronicles the real-life struggles of Cedric Jennings, a black student from a low-income neighborhood, as he enters the prestigious Ivy League at Brown University.

Although most Kent State students cannot relate to Cedric’s background, Capellman said she hoped students “viewed life through a different lens” after reading the novel.

After reading several books, a committee in the First Year Experience chose A Hope in the Unseen because a survey assessment of last year’s freshmen found that students wanted a book that conveyed hope, Capellman said.

The novel expresses the idea that any student can be successful regardless of personal background, Capellman said.

Even so, not all students enjoyed the book.

“This year, it depends upon the student,” Capellman said. “We’ve gotten mixed reviews.”

Freshman Sarah Cucciarre, visual communications design major, thought the book had an interesting topic, but overall, she was not a fan.

“I thought it was really boring,” Cucciarre said. “I put it off for a long time because I just couldn’t get into it because I didn’t like the style.”

Contact news correspondent Jackie Valley at [email protected].