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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

One Book One Campus: The Other Wes Moore

Resources for students hoping to explore issues central to the 2015-2016 One Book One Campus selection "The Other Wes Moore" in greater depth.


This guide serves as an informational resource for Illinois students and staff hoping to learn more about the 2015-2016 One Book One Campus selection, The Other Wes Moore. Here you'll find more information on:

  • Potential research topics involving poverty and drug crime
  • Discussion questions and ideas for the classroom or small group
  • Biographical information about Wes and his visit to campus
  • Recommended resources for searching on these topics

The infographic above was adapted from the Undergraduate Library's infographic template.
All information on the infographic is also accessible on this LibGuide in screen-readable text.

Discussion Questions

The Other Wes Moore provides several discussion questions helpful in a classroom or small group setting. Some examples include:

  1. The author says to the other Wes, "I guess it's hard sometimes to distinguish between second chances and last chances." What do you think he means? What is Wes's last chance? Discuss the differences in how each one uses that chance and why they make the decisions they do.
  2. Why do you think the incarcerated Wes continues to proclaim his innocence regarding his role in the crime for which he was convicted?
  3. The book begins with Wes and Wes's discussion of their fathers. What role do you think fatherhood plays in the lives of these men? How do the absence of their fathers and the differences in the reasons for their absence affect them?
  4. Wes dedicates the book to "the women who helped shape [his] journey to manhood." Discuss the way women are seen in Wes's community. What impact do they have on their sons?
  5. Why is the idea of "going straight" so unappealing to the incarcerated Wes and his peers? What does it mean for our culture to have such a large population living and working outside the boundaries of the law?