I’ve been reading this book for a while, as it was a friend’s book club choice. It follows two boys, both named Wes Moore, as they battle humble beginnings and eventually follows them into adulthood. One of the Wes Moores becomes a Rhodes Scholar, the other goes to prison for murder.
The premise is undeniably interesting and is told from the voice of the Rhodes Scholar, Wes Moore. As the cover states, the book is tragic in that one of the boys could have just as easily been the other. However, this becomes largely debatable in the fact that their stories aren’t all that similar. The biggest difference being that one family sends their son away to military school, while the other, in spite of good intentions, loses theirs to a crumbling environment of drugs and a lack of education.
I recently saw the documentary Waiting For Superman, which tackles many of the same issues. The primary question being, “How well can a child succeed without education? Especially if that child lives in poverty or around crime.” I couldn’t help but feel that if I were taking a sociology class in college, both the film and the book would be on the syllabus. They both provide a well-rounded look at the problems in our school’s education systems in addition to just how much your immediate environment affects you. If you’re interested in the issue, I would recommend both.
I thought this post would compliment Kelly’s review of the Accidental Billionaires, primarily because of the narrative non-fiction voice which Wes Moore adopts throughout. I have some of the same issues as Kelly does in reading narrative non-fiction and though Wes Moore’s expository writing and research was excellent, the writing did fall short when it came to dialogue and pushing the narrative into scene. All in all, if you’re an avid non-fiction reader, you’ll find this enjoyable.
Author: Wes Moore
Date Read: April 2011
Source: Powell’s Books