by MsShort
Last updated 8 years ago

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"This is the story of two boys living in Baltimore with similar histories and an identical name: Wes Moore. One of us is free and has experienced things that he never even knew to dream about as a kid. The other will spend every day until his death behind bars for an armed robbery that left a police officer and father of five dead. The chilling truth is that his story could have been mind. The tragedy is that my story could have been his." (loc. 26)

"Wes went back to school immediately after leaving the juvenile detention facility...He enrolled...but knew pretty quickly he would not last long. He was two years older than the other kids in his grade from repeating a grade and losing time being locked up. Teachers already dealing with overcrowded classrooms didn't have the time to teach Wes the basics he'd missed. Wes's attendance became sporadic, and once his first child was born, he just stopped going." (loc. 1903).



"Where was God when people didn't make enough money to feed their families? Where was God when kids were selling rocks at twelve years old, and their parents encouraged it because the kids were the main breadwinners in the home? Where was God when a young boy came home from a school that was as uninterested in him as he was in it? Where was God when a kid had a question and looked to his friends in the street for an answer because his father was locked up and his mother strung out?...'F--- God...If he does exist, He sure doesn't spend any time here in West Baltimore'." (loc. 2352)

"As Wes thought...the image of his five-year-old daughter came to him. For much of her life, Wes had been gone...he had missed many of the milestones in her growing up. The situation at home had become even more tenuous...The kids were basically living with Wes's mom...Wes had to reconsider what it meant to be a father. He wanted to protect his young daughter, shelter her." (loc. 2407)


"Mary was not the least bit concerned about her son's new dilemma. 'Not only did you lie to me but you were selling drugs and keeping them in my house! Putting all of us in danger because of your stupidity. I don't want to hear your sob story...Now get out of my room." (loc. 1233)

Check out the author's website.

"Wes has spent every day of his life since 2000 in the Jessup Correctional Institution, a maximum-security facility in Maryland." (loc. 2937)

"And the most important occasion of that eventful year was getting married to Dawn, the most remarkable woman I know and the best friend I have." (loc. 3013)

"The formalities that usually accompanied my prayers--'dear most heavenly father' and 'most gracious and everlasting God'--were replaced with very simple, blunt, and direct requests like 'Help!' and 'Please don't let me die like this.' ...Instantly, my entire body was sucked out of the plane, and I heard--felt--the aircraft speed away. I thrashed around in the wind...I was counting in my mind, as I was instructed to, and as I hit the longest three seconds of my life, I felt a sudden jerk, and my body was lifted dozens of feet when my main parachute automatically opened...My equipment was functional, my training was sound, my faith confirmed." (loc. 2277)


"My mother decided soon after our move to the Bronx that I was not going to public school. She wasn't a snob, she was scared...Just as the street corners of the Bronx had changed, so had the public schools. Things were falling apart, and the halls of the school were no exception or refuge from the chaos outside." [...] "My mother saw Riverdale [Country School] as a haven, a place where I could escape my neighborhood and open my horizons. But for me, it was where I got lost." (loc. 849)


"Loneliness enveloped me...My friends seemed far away, and in that distance I became aware of the contingent nature of my relationship with my crew. We loved one another, but how long would we mourn the absence of any one of us? I’d seen it happen a million times already, kids caught out there in one way or another—killed, imprisoned, shipped off to distant relatives. The older kids would pour out a little liquor or leave a shrine on a corner under a graffiti mural, or they’d reminisce about the ones who were locked down, but then life went on, the struggle went on. Who really cared? Besides my mother, who would even miss me?" (loc. 1364)


The common bond of humanity and decency that we share is stronger than any conflict, any adversity, any challenge. Fighting for your convictions is important. But finding peace is paramount. Knowing when to fight and when to seek peace is wisdom." (loc. 2836)

Moore, Wes. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2010.




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