The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
by Wes Moore
Hardcover- $14.99

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 ...

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  "The Other Wes Moore" by itsColleen (see profile) 11/24/10

  "Other Wes Moore" by floccart (see profile) 01/25/11

This is a great book to use to open a discussion. It's a testament to how powerful a family can be. One Wes Moore's family was willing to give up everything to put him on the path to a successful future, the other Wes Moore had no one. The closest to an adviser he had was the older brother who ultimately lead him into the armed robbery that put him in prison for life.

  "The Other Wes Moore" by rudyhurley (see profile) 02/20/11

This is a very interesting book and I look forward to discussing it.

  "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.

  "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 interesting, but I think this book could have gone further.

  "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.

  "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 and this man had the same name and that they both grew up in Baltimore. Most of us would have shaken our heads at the coincidence. Moore didn't. In an attempt to find out how two lives that had began in such similar circumstances had turned out to be so different from each other, he wrote to the other Wes Moore in prison, They continued to correspond and eventually the Rhodes scholar visited the inmate. In his book, Moore describes the difficulties he and the other Wes Moore experienced growing up in a single-parent home in a poor urban community and the efforts their mothers made, successful or not, to keep them out of trouble. He explores the chances they got to change their lives and offers his thoughts on what made a difference for him. The members all liked this book and gave scores ranging from 3 to 5. The average was a solid 4.1.
The Other Wes Moore was excellent selection for our library's observance of Black History Month. Highly recommended for book clubs interested in urban problems, race relations, nature vs. nurture, fate vs. choice, and similar issues.

  "" by Lauramay (see profile) 07/23/14

  "" by MillieLee (see profile) 03/20/16

  "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 college -- kids who have the aptitude and abilities to do so, but are in need of positive reinforcement outside the home. She asked me to read it and give her my thoughts.

To be gin with, this book immediately brought to mind a saying of Oscar Wilde: "Misfortune one can endure -- they come from outside, they are accidents. But to suffer from one's own faults -- ah, there is the sting of life!"

Two boys, both black, exact same name and same neighborhood but one finishes life as a Rhodes Scholar and decorated veteran and the other a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without parole. They each started out life on an even playing field - so just what unbalanced the scales?

My main takeaway from this story was the continued theme I found shouting from each page "No excuses -- no exceptions." If a person wants to, they can find every excuse in the book why their life has not turned out well, why they can't catch a break in life, why it is normal for them to remain in a life of poverty, crime or low ambitions. But when you break down all the excuses -- and that's usually all it amounts too (excuses) -- the only person that can hold you back in life is yourself. Is it easier to build a successful life if you are surrounded by successful, positive and encouraging parents, friends and family? The answer is a resounding "Hell yes." Is the road more difficult for someone who lacks constant positive mentors? The answer is absolutely the same.

But for me what I gleaned is that at some point SOMEONE in a family or generation of lost souls, had to break the circle. Someone stepped outside their comfort zone and broke the cycle and chose to make a difference -- to create a better way of living. It's not an easy task, and no one says the road will be smooth, but once the mold is broken, it opens the doors for future generations to carry the torch farther down the road.

There is much food for thought and a wealth of discussion to be found in this book. Positive actions, positive words and an optimistic attitude breeds success. Who knows -- each of us could unknowingly be one of those mentors that another silently watches and listens to. Each of us, at some point, have made a conscious decision on the direction of our own fate.

The book ends with a beautiful poem (and great words of wisdom) by Sir William Ernest Henley:

Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

  "" by sltaylor (see profile) 01/12/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 08/05/19

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