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The Soloist By Steve Lopez - The Peay Read

2012 - The Other Wes Moore

Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? Wes Moore, the author of this fascinating book, sets out to answer this profound question. In alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world

- From Random House

 

Excerpt from The Other Wes Moore

"I looked at the map and was momentarily struck dumb. There was nothing I wanted more than to join my friends, to see my family, to leave this place. To see my mother. Here was my squad leader, for whom I had no love, giving me what felt like one of the greatest gifts I had ever received. The burden of loneliness was suddenly lifted. Someone finally understood me. This map was my path to freedom. This map was my path home.

When I looked up from the map and into the eyes of Sergeant Austin, happiness overwhelmed me. I smiled uncontrollably and thanked him. "I will never forget you!" I proclaimed. He rolled his eyes and simply said, "Yeah, just get out of here." He stood up from the chair, and I got up and snapped to attention, showing the first real sign of respect I had given him since walking through the gates. As he exited the room, shutting the door behind him, my mind was spinning. I began to plan my great escape."