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One Book

Normal Sucks

Image Credit: From NORMAL SUCKS by Jonathan Mooney. Copyright © 2019 by Jonathan Mooney. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Company. All Rights Reserved.


2022-2024 Selection

Normal Sucks: How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines

Selected by a university-wide committee to be complimentary with the Campus Theme: Community and Belongingness, both the One Book program and Campus Theme provide a common intellectual experience defined by AAC&U as one of ten high impact practices.

About the 2023-2024 Campus Theme: Community and Belongingness

Campus Theme 2023-2024

Campus Theme 2023-2024


Confessional and often hilarious, in Normal Sucks a neuro-diverse writer, advocate, and father meditates on his life, offering the radical message that we should stop trying to fix people and start empowering them to succeed

Jonathan Mooney blends anecdote, expertise, and memoir to present a new mode of thinking about how we live and learn—individually, uniquely, and with advantages and upshots to every type of brain and body. As a neuro-diverse kid diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD who didn't learn to read until he was twelve, the realization that that he wasn’t the problem—the system and the concept of normal were—saved Mooney’s life and fundamentally changed his outlook. Here he explores the toll that being not normal takes on kids and adults when they’re trapped in environments that label them, shame them, and tell them, even in subtle ways, that they are the problem. But, he argues, if we can reorient the ways in which we think about diversity, abilities, and disabilities, we can start a revolution.
Read more about the book.

The 2022-2024 Selection Committee

Jonathan Mooney

Image credit: (c) Chris Mueller

Jonathan Mooney’s work has been featured in The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times, The Chicago TribuneUSA Today, HBO, NPR, ABC News, New York MagazineThe Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, and he continues to speak across the nation about neurological and physical diversity, inspiring those who live with differences and advocating for change. He is the author of The Short Bus and Learning Outside the Lines. Read more about Jonathan Mooney from the Publisher.


Event/Program Date Location Contact
One Book Day-LMP Showing "Inside Out" (DegreePlus Approved) 9/29/23 UC Theatre
Taco 'bout It Tuesdays 9/12, 10/10, 11/7 ICA Lounge
Neurodiversity Celebration Week
Neurodiversity Week on the Web!
TBD Various Locations
Spring Literary Festival Writing Competition
Learn more about this year's festival!
TBD Various Locations


Connecting the Dots with the Campus Theme
Many programs are being designed to help students make the valuable connection between the book and the theme, both flagship programs are defined as Common Intellectual Experiences, one of ten High Impact Practices defined by AAC&U.

AAC&U's High Impact Practices.

About the 2023-2024 Campus Theme: Community and Belongingness

One Book sponsered programs are designed to meet the requirements for Degree Plus

The mission of the One Book program is to engage first-year students, as well as the campus community, in a common intellectual experience that promotes critical thinking and interdisciplinary conversation. This experience will allow participants to strengthen academic skills, create connections with peers, instructors, and community members, and relate universal themes to personal experience and identity. The program seeks to reflect WCU’s core values and responsibilities as a regionally engaged university.

One Book committee members will serve as ambassadors who aid in integrating reading selection themes into course curricula, campus events, service learning opportunities, and departmental goals. The selection committee comprises individuals from across campus, ensuring that values and views of all academic units are considered and represented.


2023-2024 Outcomes:

  • Foster a sense of community among the first-year and second year classes through shared academic experiences both inside and outside the classroom

  • Provide students with a shared experience upon which to engage in dialogue with WCU fellow students, faculty, and staff

  • Promote interdisciplinary involvement in meaningful learning surrounding themes and content within the One Book

  • Introduce students to the high academic and intellectual expectations at WCU


NEW One Book to be chosen for the 2024-2025 Academic Year in January 2024!

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