10 reviews

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
by Wes Moore

Published: 2010-04-27
Hardcover : 256 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 10 of 10 members
Two kids with the same name lived in the same decaying city. One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.
In December ...
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(Two kids with the same name lived in the same decaying city. One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.
In December 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran a small piece about Wes Moore, a local student who had just received a Rhodes Scholarship. The same paper also ran a series of articles about four young men who had allegedly killed a police officer in a spectacularly botched armed robbery. The police were still hunting for two of the suspects who had gone on the lam, a pair of brothers. One was named Wes Moore. 

Wes just couldn?t shake off the unsettling coincidence, or the inkling that the two shared much more than space in the same newspaper. After following the story of the robbery, the manhunt, and the trial to its conclusion, he wrote a letter to the other Wes, now a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His letter tentatively asked the questions that had been haunting him: Who are you? How did this happen?

That letter led to a correspondence and relationship that have lasted for several years. Over dozens of letters and prison visits, Wes discovered that the other Wes had had a life not unlike his own: Both had grown up in similar neighborhoods and had had difficult childhoods, both were fatherless; they?d hung out on similar corners with similar crews, and both had run into trouble with the police. At each stage of their young lives they had come across similar moments of decision, yet their choices would lead them to astonishingly different destinies.

Told in alternating dramatic narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Those interested in obtaining a copy of the discussion questions I wrote for this book should email
by Librarian50 (see profile) 09/24/13

How much difference might either of their lives have been if drugs were not commonplace in American cities?
What differences between their families did exist that might have played a role in their different outcomes?
by HarrietD1 (see profile) 02/28/12

Education in America (throughout the country and vs. internationally)
Opportunity (how to recognize "another chance" vs "last chance"
Race vs Class (which makes a greater difference, are the two interchangable, etc.)
by itsColleen (see profile) 11/24/10

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Baltimore/W.Indies/Cuban/S. African themed foods could be served.
by HarrietD1 (see profile) 02/28/12
e.g., the steak sandwiches or subs he describes in the book or any of the meals he mentions having with family or on his travels

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by sltaylor (see profile) 01/12/19

  "Main theme: No excuses - no exceptions"by nbaker (see profile) 01/08/18

My daughter is going to read this book with a group of 9th graders who are entering an educational program geared towards helping kids who come from families where typically no one goes to c... (read more)

by MillieLee (see profile) 03/20/16

by Lauramay (see profile) 07/23/14

  "A Tale of Two Families"by Librarian50 (see profile) 09/24/13

Rhodes scholar Wes Moore came across a news story about a man who was sought in connection with an armed robbery that led to the death of a police officer. He was struck by the fact that he... (read more)

  "Worth It but Pieces Missing for me"by HarrietD1 (see profile) 02/28/12

This was a good non-fiction read and interesting comparison of lives and how the choices and circumstances we live can affect the outcome. However, I felt there were parts that were too simplistic or... (read more)

  "Expected More"by netmayo (see profile) 01/01/12

I was a little disappointed. It is definetly a book that would inspire a discussion but I thought it would be more powerful.

  "The Other Wes Moore"by krulak15 (see profile) 02/25/11

After having seen Wes Moore speak at a conference last summer, I was a little disappointed by the book. Wes is a very powerful speaker, but I don't think he is as powerful as a writer. The contrast was... (read more)

  "The Other Wes Moore"by Candyb (see profile) 02/25/11

Certainly a glance into a Baltimore I knew existed but have never experienced. Quite moving...the kind of support a child receives makes all the difference in his success and confidence in himself.

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