“Same Kind of Different as Me” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent
Ms. G here at COHS recommended this book to me because it was so moving that she couldn’t put it down. It’s quite a tale—and I think you, too, will be moved to tears.
Author Ron Hall is married to a woman who cares so deeply for others that her story is pure inspiration to the reader. Debra Hall’s willingness to not only feed and clothe but befriend the homeless shows us what true faith can do—it knocks the patronizing ego right off the shelf and helps us see the real person we are connecting with. Debra’s faith is the force that lets her recognize Denver Moore as a man for whom God has big plans.
Denver was a homeless African-American who came to the Union Gospel Mission for meals, but who kept himself apart from others and trusted no one–with good reason. Denver grew up in the American South not only under Jim Crow laws, but as a sharecropper—which translates as a sort of modern slavery. He lived in a place that time left behind, where he worked land he didn’t own and owed money to ‘the man’ for bare essentials. He never went to school; being illiterate, there seemed to be no escape for him from desperate poverty. (There’s a story of racism in the book that will chill your bones, but I don’t want to give away the whole book!)
Denver and other homeless people start referring to the Halls as “Mr. and Mrs. Tuesday” because they work at the homeless mission every Tuesday, unlike most folks who are just holiday volunteers. Soon Deborah is spending many days each week helping, organizing outings, and more. Denver’s faith is revived through Deborah’s actions.
When tragedy strikes the Halls, the tables turn and Denver’s friendship helps them keep their faith. As Denver says, using fishing as his metaphor, true friendship isn’t a catch-and-release program. It’s for keeps.
When your teacher asks you to read a biography or memoir, pick this one up and see how ordinary people overcome extraordinary obstacles.