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The Other Wes Moore Discussion Questions

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

''The Other Wes Moore'' is a nonfiction book that examines how very similar lives can follow very different paths. These questions can help your students work through these ideas and consider the book's message in their own lives.

The Other Wes Moore

The Other Wes Moore is a 2010 nonfiction autobiography/biography by author Wes Moore. It is, on one hand, Moore's autobiography. Simultaneously, it is a biography of another man named Wes Moore, also born and raised in Baltimore who ended up not as a successful author but instead serving life in prison. The Other Wes Moore explores the subtle differences that can take people down extraordinarily different paths. The following questions can help guide students through the themes and structure of the book. These questions are intended for high school students, but are also designed to be easily adaptable for middle school classrooms.

Questions about Structure and Facts

  • In your own words, what is The Other Wes Moore about? Is this fiction or nonfiction? How do we know that everything in this story is real? How does the author establish this? How does he establish his credibility on these topics?
  • How does the author frame the purpose and main ideas of this book from the very beginning? How does this impact the way we approach this book?
  • Who is Wes Moore, author of this book? What do we learn about him? What has his life been like? Who is the other Wes Moore? How does the book's author find out about the man in prison? Why does the author feel such a connection to the man in prison? How does he discover this connection? How does the author explain this?
  • How are the two Wes Moore's different? How have their lives been different? How have their choices been different? How are they similar? How have their experiences, circumstances, and choices been similar? At what point in their lives do these two men seem to have had the most in common?
  • How is the information in this book organized? What are the three phases of life that the author uses to structure the book? How does this help us connect the experiences of both Wes Moore's?
  • If you were to take on a project like this, do you think you would uncover any family secrets as Moore did? Would this be easy to handle? How did the author feel about the things he learned about his own family history? How did he feel about his similarities to the other Wes Moore?

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