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Discovering Wes Moore

By: Wes Moore


How can two similar lives end up so differently? Wes Moore’s life started off well with two loving parents and a nice home. However, after the unexpected death of his father, Wes’s life takes a turn for the worse: his now single mother had to move her family and Wes had to adjust to a new, rougher neighborhood.  His mother worked multiple jobs so that he could attend a private school, but it caused him to be torn between two very different worlds.  He had to have 2 different personalities to get along: class clown at his rich-kids school and tough-guy with his neighborhood friends.  His grades suffered from skipping classes so his mother threatened military school if he didn’t get his act together. The threat became a reality after he got into trouble with the police.  At first appalled at the routine of his strict, new school, Wes soon found his place and thrived in the high expectations of the military environment.  He pulled his life together and succeeded beyond his own imagination.  Years later, he read of another man with the same name who came from a similar neighborhood, and frighteningly similar home circumstances.  The other Wes Moore was serving a life sentence in prison.  How did their lives end up so differently?  One man’s story could have been the other’s.  This is a reflective story on the power of expectations and choices and how they can make a difference in our lives.

Prepared by Jill Webb, Children's Librarian, Farmington Community Library, Farmington, Michigan