Thursday, July 11, 2013

Discovering Wes Moore by Wes Moore

This autobiography of a man named Wes Moore has an interesting twist. While it is mainly the story of the author's life and the circumstances that led him from a life on the streets to a successful military career and a Rhodes scholarship, it is also the story of another man named Wes Moore who grew up under similar circumstances but ended up imprisoned. The author's story is compelling by itself—he lost his father at age three and his mother struggled and sacrificed to keep him on the right track. The other Wes Moore's story gets less time in the book—he lived in the same Baltimore neighborhood, but fathered several children at a young age, got into drugs and crime, and was arrested for his part in the murder of a police officer. The two Wes Moores have become friends and the author's point is to show how fine the line is between their two lives. He credits many people with watching out for him, caring about his future, and holding up high expectations for his behavior and education. This is the young people's version of the same story by the same author. Unfortunately, it felt too simplified to me. While I like the story I think that even middle or high school kids would be able to handle more depth and complexity. However, this may appeal to kids who will see themselves in the two Wes Moores. I think it would be best received by middle schoolers—and it would certainly be a good choice for a biography assignment.

No comments: