Discovering Wes Moore

Discovering Wes Moore

5.0 3
by Wes Moore

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For fans of The Wire and Unbroken comes a story of two fatherless boys from Baltimore, both named Wes Moore. One is in prison, serving a life sentence for murder. The other is a Rhodes Scholar, an army veteran, and an author whose book is being turned into a movie produced by Oprah Winfrey.
Two men. One overcame adversity.

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For fans of The Wire and Unbroken comes a story of two fatherless boys from Baltimore, both named Wes Moore. One is in prison, serving a life sentence for murder. The other is a Rhodes Scholar, an army veteran, and an author whose book is being turned into a movie produced by Oprah Winfrey.
Two men. One overcame adversity. The other suffered the indignities of poverty. Their stories are chronicled in Discovering Wes Moore, a book for young people based on Wes Moore’s bestselling adult memoir, The Other Wes Moore.
The story of “the other Wes Moore” is one that the author couldn’t get out of his mind, not since he learned that another boy with his name—just two years his senior—grew up in the same Baltimore neighborhood. He wrote that boy—now a man—a letter, not expecting to receive a reply. But a reply came, and a friendship grew, as letters turned into visits and the two men got to know each other. Eventually, that friendship became the inspiration for Discovering Wes Moore, a moving and cautionary tale examining the factors that contribute to success and failure—and the choices that make all the difference.
Includes an 8-page photo insert.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Moore adapts his bestselling adult title, The Other Wes Moore, for teens in this thought-provoking and personal narrative about two men with the same name. Moore begins with his own story, which starts in Baltimore and moves to the crack-infested Bronx, military school, Johns Hopkins, and a Rhodes Scholarship. The second part of the book tells the other Wes Moore's journey, which also begins in Baltimore but leads to drug dealing, brushes with the police, and a life sentence for murder. Anecdotes from Moore's early years convey his struggle to form an identitywithin his violent and impoverished surroundings; his love for his family and his core optimism shine through even the darkest moments he recounts. The story concludes with Moore's questions and ruminations about how, regardless of limitations and societal expectations, the decisions an individual makes determine who he or she will become. Moore wisely opens the door for teens to contemplate their own answers and beliefs, while laying out his own experiences honestly and openly. Ages 12–up. Agent: Linda Loewenthal, David Black Literary. (Sept.)
VOYA - KaaVonia Hinton
While Baltimorean Wes Moore was studying abroad in South Africa, the police were searching for a young man who shared his name and hometown. This Wes Moore was wanted for killing an off-duty police officer while robbing a jewelry store. Moore became a Rhodes Scholar, studied at Oxford University, and settled into a fellowship at the White House, but he never forgot about the other Wes Moore, a twenty-four-year-old who was serving a life sentence. Moore began corresponding with him, and after numerous letters and conversations, he saw striking similarities in their life stories. Yet, where one seemed to flourish, the other faltered. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates became a New York Times bestseller, and this version of the story is sure to gain traction as well. Though the writing here is often formulaic and simplistic, this is a gripping memoir about one's response to adversity. It is especially useful to teachers and parents, as it illustrates how locus of control—internal or external—operated in the two young men's lives. Readers interested in the climate of the inner city, particularly the Bronx and Baltimore, during the eighties and nineties will find Moore's descriptions of the birth of hip-hop, the bonds that develop on the basketball court, and the concern about drugs within the community informative. The book closes with a list of resources, such as the Black Star Project and Boys Town, along with a description of the services they provide. Reviewer: KaaVonia Hinton
VOYA - Tony Johnson
Discovering Wes Moore is a good book. The writing is fine. Some teens will want to read it because they can relate to the story and see themselves in it. While on the other hand, some kids will not be interested in it because of the scary fact that the life of the Wes Moore who is in jail could be their own reality. Discovering Wes Moore should be read in schools because it could teach kids a lesson about life that will hit them hard. 4Q, 4P Reviewer: Tony Johnson, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Wes Moore-two different people from the same area with the same name. One graduated with honors from military school and was the first African American graduate of Johns Hopkins to become a Rhodes Scholar. The other Wes Moore landed in prison; he is serving a life sentence for murder. Both men were children of single mothers who worked hard to keep their sons out of trouble and keep food on the table. Why and where did their paths diverge? In 2010, the author wrote of his experiences and successes in The Other Wes Moore (Spiegel & Grau, 2010), and he has now adapted that book for teen readers. He talks of his own accomplishments and life experiences as a kid who might have gone astray had his mother not sent him to Valley Forge. While he was at Oxford, his mother told him of the other young man, and he never quite forgot about him. He started writing him letters, and, surprisingly, Wes responded from prison. The two men struck up a rapport that continued through letters and visits to the prison. This book is well written and is an interesting and engaging story, although it is a bit rushed, at times. It's a thought-provoking read that will cause teens to question their own lives and decisions, and, hopefully, show how adults can lend help, even when they think it's not necessary.—Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews
This story, an adaptation for young people of the adult memoir The Other Wes Moore (2008), explores the lives of two young African-American men who share the same name and grew up impoverished on the same inner-city streets but wound up taking completely different paths. Author Moore grew up with a devoted mother and extended family. After receiving poor grades and falling in with a bad crowd, his family pooled their limited finances to send him to Valley Forge Military Academy, where he found positive role models and became a Corps commander and star athlete. After earning an undergraduate degree, Wes attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. When the author read about the conviction of another Wes Moore for armed robbery and killing a police officer, he wanted to find out how two youths growing up at the same time in the same place could take such divergent paths. The author learns that the other Wes never had the extensive family support, the influential mentors or the lucky breaks he enjoyed. Unfortunately, the other Wes Moore is not introduced until over two-thirds of the way through the narrative. The story of the other Wes is heavily truncated and rushed, as is the author's conclusion, in which he argues earnestly and convincingly that young people can overcome the obstacles in their lives when they make the right choices and accept the support of caring adults. Though awkward, this adaptation still makes for a hopeful and inspiring story. (Memoir. 12 & up)

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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