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WCU Stories

One Book Committee makes its selection for Fall ’22 first-year students

By Marlon W. Morgan

Western Carolina University’s One Book Committee has chosen “Normal Sucks: How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines” by Jonathan Mooney as the book to be distributed to all first-year students during orientation.

This academic year’s choice was selected to be complementary with the 2022-23 Campus Theme, Mental Health and Wellness: Awareness, Support, and Community Care. Both the One Book program and Campus Theme provide a common intellectual experience designed to be high impact for students.

One Book

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

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 12, the realization 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.

 The One Book Program is headed into its ninth year. Its mission is to engage first-year students, as well as the campus community, in a common intellectual experience that promotes critical thinking and interdisciplinary conversation. Students are instructed to read the book before fall semester. It is a requirement for all students enrolled in a first-year transition course. The program is sponsored by the Office of Student Transitions in the Division of Student Success.

One Book is sponsored by the Office of Student Retention. Please contact Caroline LeBoeuf, Student Transitions Coordinator at: 

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