The Other Wes Moore, by Wes Moore
Location: Library


Group Members:
Jon Delp
Sara Costello
Anna Bernard
Ryan Cody
Andrew Fochler
Melissa Noack

1. Introduction whip:

How did you like the book?
How did you respond to a certain character?
What did you care most about in the book?
Describe your level of understanding.

2. Run Through Characters:
•Figure out how to refer to both Wes Moores
•Take about their similarities/differences

3. Questions for discussion starters:
•Compare/contrast two characters (like both mothers of the Wes Moores)
•What would you want to ask the author?
•Did the book remind you of anything else you've read?
•Does the style of the book and writing match its message? How?
•Look at the opening sentence and closing sentence. Talk about it.
•What was your favorite scene or chapter of the book? Why?



Sara Costello:

Poem # 1

Scene: Wes Moore point of view as he is running from his pursuers.

I was running.
The drum in my body was beating faster and harder with every step I took.
Every step away from danger.
It reminded me of native African American music I once heard.
Instead of a drum, people were beating their hands against my heart
in a fast, steady, rhythm.
I looked back to the harsh eyes catching up to me.
The music picked up.
The sounds flooded through my veins.
It vibrated in my head.
It gushed out my mouth with every loud exhale I took.
It made my eyes water.
Tears bouncing off my face.
I was running to the sound of adrenaline.
I was running to the sound of music.

Poem #2
Scene: Wes Moore waking up in military school.

The smell of cooked brown sugar and sour blueberries steamed off the fruit crisp and into my nose.
The careful hands of my grandmother steadily placed the glass pan on the stove.
My senses were overwhelmed with joy.
The image was quickly broken up, pieces of the memory stored away again.
The movement was disrupting the peace that once held my body in a deep slumber.
I yelled at them, those who meant nothing to me,
filling up a room that I didn’t belong in,
in a place I was forced into.
I tried to curl up under the crisp sheets.
It acted as a shield, behind it I could absorb myself in warm memories of home
of family
of friends
of warm fruit crisp.
Outside lay unfamiliar faces in a confining environment.
I let mind wander through the comfort of my home
before the sheets were drawn
the light was forced into my eyes
the faces gathered over me
and I was back in the moment.

Poem # 3
Scene: Similar to Poem #4’s scene except through Wes Moore’s eyes.

My brother isn’t someone you want to become.
He isn’t someone I wanted to become
yet I stand here outside this bank, gun in hand, disguised under dark clothes thinking to myself:
I am my brother.
I am a drug dealer,
I am a murderer,
I am a stealer,
I am a liar,
I am a criminal.
For one seconded, I asked myself if I could ever be someone else.
But I assured myself I was brought into this life
I was forced into this body
this mind
these conditions.
Now it’s time for the play to perform before me
it's time to watch as this body
and this mind
does what it was meant to do
be a criminal.


Poem #4
Scene: The other Wes Moore tries robbing the bank with his brother. Their mother watches in her house as the news flashes in her face on t.v.

My mind was in five different places.
I was thinking about the nervous twitches that seemed to be making their way through my veins.
How tightly my toes were curled.
The strange feeling of having no control over my shaking knees, knocking against each other felt
How the faded orange couch I was sitting at the edge of seemed to be the only thing that remained the same in this stressful life.
The variety of colors projecting off the t.v screen, all seeming to blend together as a thin film of water covered my red eyes.
My mind and body were uncontrolled.
I let the voices coming from the screen travel through me.
It was like my heart was slowly drifting to the bottom of my stomach as the words sunk in.
I took in a quick breath,
as the criminals names appeared on the screen.
“My sons...” escaped my mouth.

Anna Bernard
The other Wes Moore: creative writing
“Ma! I’m going to play rope with my friends before dinner!” Shani yelled to her mother.
“Alright, be back before dark!” Her mother replied.
Wes always kept a good eye on Shani, his youngest sister, trying as hard as he could to keep her safe. But this day he missed it. He was out with his friends and got home too late to help her.
Shani walked outside to meet her friend Lateshia. Lateshia was considered one of the tough girls in the neighborhood, not to mention her older brother had a reputation of one not to be messed with. This meant Lateshia was off limits too. Her and Shani had been friends for awhile now and were having a good time playing jumprope until another girl showed up. Ingrid, a Puerto Rican girl, had always had problems with Lateshia, and she chose that day to talk about it. This neighborhood in the Bronx is very dangerous; everyone has an image, and they want to appear intimidating. When people disrespect one another, others may get hurt- or even killed.
Ingrid said she heard from one of her friends that Lateshia had spread horrible rumors about her older brother on the street. Ingrid is close to her older brother, much like Shani and Wes, and she wanted to do as much as she could to stand up for him. A few hateful words were exchanged between the two, and Shani made the mistake of getting in the middle. All she wanted to do was help Ingrid because she knew the feeling of trying to protect family. Next thing she knew, Lateshia’s fist was coming towards her face. She stood there shocked, with her hand pressed to her nose to keep the blood from getting on her clothes.
Shani was first shocked her friend would do something like this, especially because she didn’t really have anything to do with their situation. She was aware of the lengths people went to prove a point, but she never thought her own friend would get caught up in it. Wes would have wanted her to fight back, it was important to him to stand up for yourself. She quickly thought about the consequences. She’s seen the trouble people have gotten in on these streets, even just a little fight could put her in a bad place. She’s also seen what her brother has gotten himself into, and she didn’t want to put her mother in any more bad situations like that. So Shani didn’t. She ran into her house and let her mother take care of her.
Shani sat on the couch with her head tilted and holding a napkin to her nose. The door opened and she heard Wes walk through the house. She knew if he saw her like this he wouldn’t let it go. She thought about leaving the room before he came in, so he wouldn’t get worked up but it was already too late. Wes stood in the doorway, just as shocked as Shani was after the punch. He quietly asked what happened and what seemed like seconds after she explained, he was off. She knew he was going to her house, and she almost wanted to stop him. But she also wanted Lateshia to know it won’t be so easy messing with her. When you’re from this part of the city, nothing’s more important than standing up for your family, your crew, and your friends. If you get hurt, you know you have people to fall back on, and they’ll always have your back. Shani liked the idea of having Wes there to help fight her battles.

Ryan Cody:

Poems:

1. Beginning of page 61

In a crazy daze
The other Wes Moore was blazed
By the smokey haze ~ Haiku

2. Pages 87-88

Bad moods filled the air
After all I didn’t care
But then I got smacked ~Haiku

3. Page 52

Mixing and matching the few clothes I had
Going to a new school with no plans was bad
Growing up in a world without a dad
All of these changes make me sad
Will I find meaning?
Will I find life?
All of these girls think they’re my wife
The struggles continue
Will there be light?

4. Page 147

Jewels and gun in hand
I sprinted back to the Oldsmobile
The cops were after me
I was wanted
Dead or Alive
I quickly glimpsed at that cop
And pop.
One twitch of a finger muscle
=
His life terminated
His family devastated
My life behind bars
For good

Jon Delp
The Other Wes Moore: Creative Writing Dialogue


Jon: I just read the book called The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. I liked it a lot!

Nik: I read that too but I didn’t like it.

Jon: Why didn’t you like it?

Nik: I thought it wasn’t interesting enough.

Jon: I thought it was very interesting! I thought it was a good idea how he showed that different choices can lead to different fates and lifestyles.

Nik: My favorite part of the book was when Wes and Wes were talking in prison and they talked about being products of their expectations and not products of their environments.

Jon: That was my favorite part too! I also liked how much both of them have in common. They were both born very close to each other and were both fatherless, but for very different reasons.

Nik: Maybe the reasons that they were fatherless are what led them to make the decisions that they made later in life.

Jon: What do you mean?

Nik: One of the Wes’ dads died. He wasn’t there for him because he wasn’t able to be. Thats the Wes that made the better decisions.

Jon: And the Wes who’s dad chose not to be there grew up making bad decisions! I see what you’re saying!

Nik: Exactly. You know, maybe this book isn’t so bad after all.