Baltimore in the 1970s was a rough place. Around every corner were gangs of drug dealers and thieves, and the word murder was commonly used as much as it was committed. Growing up was especially hard for Wes, whose father had died when he was very young. Later on in his life, Wes learned that there was another man who grew up not far from himself, who shared his name. But their fates went in the opposite direction. Both boys had a troubled childhood. The other Wes was fatherless as well, and both battled moving and bad friendships. Friendships that led the other Wes to becoming a drug dealer in his early teens, and eventually taking part in a robbery and murder of a police officer. Both got in trouble with the police. Wes had trouble at academic school, and his mother eventually sent him off to military school. Finally finding his place and respect, Wes graduated from John Hopkins University and became a Rhodes Scholar. Both Wes’ were in the same situation. So how did their paths lead in completely opposite directions? Wes was so fascinated by this, he decided to visit the other Wes in Prison and find out more. Maybe it was because the other Wes grew up without an older man to be his role model. Or maybe it was his neighborhoods in his early life. But in the Novel The Other Wes Moore, written by Wes Moore, Wes finds out “the chilling truth that his story could have been mine. And the tragedy that my story could have been his.”
I would rate this book 5/5 stars for its depth and moral. A story may begin with a struggle, but you can still stand strong and become a great person. Because of certain language and content, my age recommendation is 13+. But of course, a mature reader below that age is welcome to read it if they see fit.