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One Book

Normal Sucks


2022-2023 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: Mental Health and Wellness: Awareness, Support, and Community Care, 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 2022-2023 Campus Theme: Mental Health and Wellness: Awareness, Support, and Community Care

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

All Rights Reserved.

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 Selection Committee

Jonathan Mooney


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.

IMAGE CREDIT: (c) Chris Mueller


Event/Program Date Location Contact

One Book Day!

Mindfulness Yoga

No prior experience required!

September 27th 11AM-12PM


The Way I'm Wired: Artist Reflections on Neurodiversity

*Aligned with Campus Theme!

8/16-12/9 Bardo Fine Art Museum 828.227.ARTS (2787)
Taco 'bout It Tuesdays 9/13, 10/10, 11/8 ICA Lounge

Lunch and Learn!  Nutrition and Healthy Eating with Claire Allison at the Cafe 

11/28- 12/2 Cafe

Neurodiversity Celebration Week

Neurodiversity Week on the Web!

March 13-19  Various Locations


Spring Literary Festival Writing Competition

Learn more about this year's festival!

March 20-23 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.

About the 2022-2023 Campus Theme: Mental Health and Wellness: Awareness, Support, and Community Care


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.

The One Book Experience Will:

  • Introduce clear expectations of academic performance and engagement
  • Create opportunities to reveal and explore notions of community
  • Reflect the University’s mission and core values
  • Integrate book themes into course curricula, particularly transition course curricula
  • Encourage interaction among peers, instructors, campus and local community members
  • Foster interdisciplinary discourse and partnership
  • Offer diverse perspectives and cultural exploration
  • Stimulate student self-discovery and personal development
  • Inspire participation and support from faculty and administrators by clearly conveying the book’s relevance to   the academic experience and student enrichment
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