Poverty, education, violence and crime - these are all important issues learned in the true story of The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore, a captivating narrative that proves that even in the most grievous life, any human has the power to reach happiness. Written by a main character himself, this novel takes place in the late 1900s to early 2000s, telling the tale of two young boys with the same name, who unknowingly grew up in the same neighborhood in the decaying city of Baltimore, and lived incredibly similar lives. So how did one of them end up in jail for life on conviction of murder, while the other became a Rhodes Scholar, one of the youngest officers in the entire United States military, and a White House Fellow?
Growing up poor and fatherless, both Wes Moores had families not only trying to keep them warm with food on the table, but desperately ensuring they stayed in school and safe from bad influences all around them. But eventually, as money grew tighter and both families couldn’t afford to spend every waking hour watching their sons, staying alive became the only thing on the Weses’ minds - the boys gave in to the drugs, criminals and violence littering their streets, and began to slip onto the wrong path from a very young age that neither of their families could keep them from.
This novel is not only for human rights activists, but for any person looking for the truth on how easily one’s life can change and the motivations behind it. The Other Wes Moore will leave readers questioning reality as it shares the perspective of both Wes Moores who pleaded desperately in despair for their own lives as they made one final attempt to change it all - one failing, and one succeeding. Readers may also find themselves sympathizing for the criminal Wes Moore, suddenly grasping just how alike both him and the other Wes are, as the author interviews him throughout the book in the very jail he stays in to this day.
Heart-breaking yet heart-warming, this motivational story teaches the crucial importance of choosing to stay on the right path, no matter how tempting the wrong path can be in a time of darkness.
An inspiration to all, the author Wes Moore hopes the book will “provide young people with a way to identify with success as a possibility, and a reason to believe that a story that begins with struggle, apathy and the pain of loss can still have a happy ending”. Whether the readers believe it was coincidence or a much greater reason that led to the men’s two separate fates, everyone can close the book with a new outlook on life.