Re-read pages 6–7 of The Other Wes Moore and identify the central idea of these paragraphs. Explain what you learned about Wes and Nikki’s names.

The central idea of pages 6–7 of The Other Wes Moore is the meaning behind Wes's and Nikki's names. Readers are told that Wes has two middle names because his parents could not choose between them. His sister, Nikki, is really named Joy after their mother, but she goes by Nikki after the poet Nikki Giovanni.

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On pages 6–7 of The Other Wes Moore, we learn the meaning behind both Wes’s and his sister Nikki’s names. Wes (Westley) was named after his father, a very gentle, kind man. We learn that Wes has two middle names because his parents were unable to agree on one. His father chose “Watende,” which is a Shona word meaning “revenge will not be sought.” His mother chose “Omari,” meaning “the highest.” Nikki’s name is actually Joy, which is the name of her and Wes’s mother. Nikki goes by Nikki because their mother is “obsessed” with Nikki Giovanni, a strong and progressive poet.

Wes’s name in particular has a deeper meaning within the story than what he tells us in this passage. We get insight to Wes’s background, both in terms of his heritage and the kind of people his parents are. There is a sense of expectation and even predetermination in Wes’s name; its meaning seems to fit with his success in life, which exists in sharp contrast with that of the other Wes...

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