Two boys named Wes Moore grew up to have two very different fates: one an Army combat veteran, youth advocate, author and TV show host, the other a criminal. The two boys grew up in similar situations but made different choices about where their lives would go.
Wes Moore’s second book, Discovering Wes Moore, takes the author back through the process of finding the man whose name he shared, the man who was convicted of killing a police officer during a theft at a jewelry store. Moore will discuss his book with the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle Young Readers at 4:15 p.m. today in the Alumni Hall Ballroom.
The book shows how Moore was able to turn his mistakes around as a young adult, while juxtaposing that with the life of the other Wes Moore, whose mistakes led to a prison sentence.
In the book’s note from the author, Moore explains his motivations in writing the book specifically for young adults.
“I particularly wanted to help that young adult who is on the brink of an important decision,” Moore writes. “One step can determine what a person’s tomorrow will look like; I wanted to help make sure that step was the right one.”
Throughout most of the book, Moore explains his own life experiences, from losing his father at a young age and growing up in a dangerous neighborhood in New York City to acting up at school and flirting with crime on the streets. But his story changes into one of transformation as he describes Valley Forge Military Academy & College — the principles he learned there redirected his goals and his life.
Moore is intrigued to learn that a man in his neighborhood — also named Wes Moore — has been arrested for his involvement in a burglary that resulted in the death of a police officer. Wanting to know about this other Wes Moore’s history, he initiates a correspondence with him. Through their letters, Moore comes to see how one’s actions early in life can have consequences later down the road.