Monday, August 26, 2013

Book Review: Discovering Wes Moore

Have you ever wondered how your life might have turned out if you made even one different choice?  Have you thought about all the people, circumstances, and outside influences that have shaped your life, for better or worse? In his book, Discovering Wes Moore, author Wes Moore does just that. 
The text on the book's inside cover grabbed my attention:
   Even as a young boy, Wes Moore knew that his parents expected him to be a good kid.  But after his father died suddenly, Wes's family moved to a new neighborhood and things changed.  Wes started to skip school and hang out on the street, and he ran into trouble with the police.  His mother intervened and sent him to a military academy, much to Wes's dismay.  It wasn't an easy adjustment, but thanks to his mother's love and his own hard work and discipline, Wes got his life on track.
   Years later, when Wes was a senior in college, he read a newspaper article about a man who shared his name.  This Wes Moore, who had also grown up fatherless in a nearby Baltimore neighborhood, was serving a life sentence for murder.  Compelled to write to the other Wes Moore, Wes was surprised weeks later to receive a reply.  Letters led to visits, and so began a friendship between two men who seemed to have little in common besides their name.
   "The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine," Wes says.  "The tragedy is that my story could have been his."  How did two boys, initially alike in so many ways, end up taking such divergent paths?  In this gripping account, Wes Moore reflects on how struggles can define us and explores the choices that made all the difference between two lives.
Discovering Wes Moore was adapted from his first book, The Other Wes Moore, because the author wanted to tell his story for young adults who may be going through the same struggles that he did as a teen.  As he says in the introduction, "I particularly wanted to help that young adult who is on the brink of an important decision.  One step can determine what a person's tomorrow will look like; I wanted to help make sure that step was the right one."   This book reminded me that my actions, even small ones, have consequences that can't always be anticipated. 
I highly recommend Discovering Wes Moore -- it's a fast read that will really make you think.
Lisa U.
CC Library

No comments: