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The Short Bus : A Journey Beyond Normal - Jonathan Mooney

The Short Bus

A Journey Beyond Normal

Paperback Published: 27th May 2008
ISBN: 9780805088045
Number Of Pages: 288

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"What makes this journey so inspiring is Mooney's transcendent humor; the self he has become does not turn away from old pain but can laugh at it, make fun of it, make it into something beautiful."--"Los Angeles Times"

Labeled "dyslexic and profoundly learning disabled," Jonathan Mooney was a short-bus rider--a derogatory term used for kids in special education. To learn how others had moved beyond labels, he bought his own short bus and set out cross-country, looking for kids who had dreamed up magical, beautiful ways to overcome the obstacles that separated them from the so-called normal world."The Short Bus" is his irreverent and poignant record of that odyssey, meeting thirteen people in thirteen states who taught Mooney that there's no such thing as normal--and that to really live, every person must find their own special way of keeping on. "The Short Bus" is a unique gem, propelled by Mooney's heart, humor, and outrageous rebellions. Labeled "dyslexic and profoundly learning disabled with attention and behavior problems," Jonathan Mooney was a short bus rider--a derogatory term used for kids in special education and a distinction that told the world he wasn't "normal." Along with other kids with special challenges, he grew up hearing himself denigrated daily. Ultimately, Mooney surprised skeptics by graduating with honors from Brown University. But he could never escape his past, so he hit the road. To free himself and to learn how others had moved beyond labels, he created an epic journey. He would buy his own short bus and set out cross-country, looking for kids who had dreamed up magical, beautiful ways to overcome the obstacles that separated them from the so-called normal world.
In "The Short Bus," his humorous, irreverent, and poignant record of this odyssey, Mooney describes his four-month, 35,000-mile journey across borders that most people never see. He meets thirteen people in thirteen states, including an eight-year-old deaf and blind girl who likes to curse out her teachers in sign language. Then there's Butch Anthony, who grew up severely learning disabled but who is now the proud owner of the Museum of Wonder. These people teach Mooney that there's no such thing as normal and that to really live, every person must find their own special ways of keeping on. "The Short Bus" is a unique gem, propelled by Mooney's heart, humor, and outrageous rebellions. "By the end of "The Short Bus," Mooney will have you wondering just where the deficits lie: with kids so labeled or the labelers themselves . . . Although many of those recollections are sad and discomfiting, Mooney uses self-depreciating humor to diffuse anything that smacks of a pity party. Most important, he celebrates the immense diversity of human minds, reminding us that there is much to learned from those who make their home somewhere beyond 'normal.'"--Carole Goldberg, "Newsday" "What makes this journey so inspiring is Mooney's transcendent humor; the self he has become does not turn away from old pain but can laugh at it, make it into something beautiful."--Susan Reynolds, "Los Angeles Times" "By the end of "The Short Bus," Mooney will have you wondering just where the deficits lie: with kids so labeled or the labelers themselves . . . Although many of those recollections are sad and discomfiting, Mooney uses self-depreciating humor to diffuse anything that smacks of a pity party. Most important, he celebrates the immense diversity of human minds, reminding us that there is much to learned from those who make their home somewhere beyond 'normal.'"--Carole Goldberg, "Newsday
""Author Jonathan Mooney buys and retools an old, short school bus--the symbol of special education in America--and drives it around the country for four months, seeking out people who are disabled or diagnosed or labeled with some sort of academic or social difficulty. The resulting book combines the story of a raucous road trip and a more serious look at how Americans view those of us who are different."--Bill Lohmann, "Richmond"" Times-Dispatch
""By the end of this provocative, even radical book, he'll have you wondering just where the deficits lie: with kids so labeled, or the labelers themselves . . . Mooney packs a lot into his long trip on the short bus . . . He pilots the short bus across America, with us as passengers, to visit men and women who do not, cannot and will never 'fit in, ' and are all the more talented, frustrated and fascinating because of the far-from-ordinary ways their brains work."--Carole Goldberg, "The Hartford Courant
""In this wonderful memoir, John Mooney charts his passage out of ableism and saneism. Along the way, he teaches us the possibility of joining him in a state of mind beyond the binaries of the normal and the pathological."--Bradley Lewis, MD, PhD, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University "Many kids with physical, mental, and learning disabilities have ridden the 'short bus' to special-education classes, signaling that they were different, singled out, not 'normal.' Mooney was one of those short bus children who hated school because he was dyslexic and couldn't read until he was 12. In 2003, a few years after he graduated from Brown University, he cowrote a book on learning disabilities and began a career of public speaking on the subject. Then he set out on a journey. He bought an old short bus and traveled from Los Angeles to Maine to Washington and back to L.A., stopping to visit with various people who were also not 'normal.' Along the way, he confronted his own preconceptions and assumptions about people with autism, Down syndrome, deafness and blindness, ADHD, and other so-called disabilities. In this book, he deals with the question of 'What is normal?' This is a story about a young man coming to accept himself, but also a cautionary tale about what happens in schools, in the workplace, and in society when people fail to recognize that everyone is normal,

"* "Endearing... Mooney's boundless empathy will surely console those who also face the worst that crust school children and the educational bureaucracy have to offer." - The New York Times Book Review."

Prologue: The Short-Bus Storyp. 1
Everyone in Their Right Place
You Are Responsible for the Safe Operation and Cleanliness of This Vehiclep. 15
The Lightning Fieldp. 30
The Hole in the Doorp. 42
Steel Boxes, Crushed Carsp. 57
The Sound of One Hand Clappingp. 68
Welcome Pest Controllers Associationp. 91
How to Curse in Sign Languagep. 106
I Don't Know, I Don't Remember, It Doesn't Seem to Matter Anymorep. 123
Burning Man
I Can't Remember to Forget Youp. 133
The Turnaround Dancep. 146
Big Things, Little Thingsp. 167
Katie's Book of Lifep. 180
Black Rock City's Bell Treep. 201
The Eccentrics
Driftwood Beachp. 221
Things Not to Share-at Firstp. 233
What Is Left, After What One Isn't Is Taken Away, Is What One Isp. 258
Author's Notep. 269
Acknowledgmentsp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780805088045
ISBN-10: 0805088040
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 27th May 2008
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Inc
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 13.3  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.25
Edition Number: 1