The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore


Author:  Wes Moore

Title:  The Other Wes Moore

Genre:  Nonfiction

Publication Date:  2010

Number of Pages: 182

Geographical Setting:  Baltimore, the Bronx

Time Period: late 1970s to present

Plot Summary:  Two boys grew up in West Baltimore at the same time.  Neither of them had a father figure, both were in low-income households, both struggled in school and were pressured to make poor choices.  Both of them are named Wes Moore.  One of them is now serving a lifetime prison sentence, whereas the other is a Rhodes Scholar and businessman in New York City.  This book tells the story of parallel lives that turned out drastically differently.

Subject Headings:  Memoir, African American, coming of age story

Appeal:  engrossing, issue-oriented, layered, vivid, well developed, tragic, hopeful, urban, gritty, candid, frank, unembellished

3 terms that best describe this book:  Honest, inspiring, real

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  1. My American Journey by Colin Powell:  The author mentions this as a very influential book in his life and about how much he admires Colin Powell, a fellow soldier.
  2. Losing My Cool by Thomas Chatterton Williams:  A memoir about a young black man growing up on the poor side of town and the decisions that led him to a successful life.
  3. Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc:  Journalist LeBlance spends ten years with two impoverished families in the Bronx, where Wes Moore spent his middle school years.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

  1. Monster by Walter Dean Myers: Like the Wes Moore that participated in a robbery and ended up in prison, this book portrays the social and economic struggles of a young African American man who makes a few bad decisions.
  2. Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton:  Set in South Africa, where Wes Moore studies abroad, the prize winning book describes a father’s pain upon learning that his son was sentenced to the death penalty.
  3. The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon:  An urban youth growing up in the early 80s struggles with the issues of race and violence.

Laura Melton


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