I came across this book one afternoon while searching online for anything to help me, as a Learning Support Teacher, get a better grasp on the emotional delicacies of my students.  I am constantly looking for new ways and ideas to help me help Classroom Teachers, Paraprofessionals, School Administrators and parents/care givers understand some of the struggles  and gain more empathy for my learning support students. 

School is hard.  I’m sure if you took a minute to think back to your school years you can remember a certain assignment, subject or year that could have been tricky for you as a child.  Math was my area of weakness.  And to this day when I think about my time  with that subject , my stomach turns and I get a bad feeling.

Now, take your memory and intensify it by 100%.  That is how many of our students who have specific challenges feel on a daily basis. 

Jonathan Mooney graduated from Brown University with an honors degree in English.

 Now, imagine this:  when Jonathan was younger he was labeled as “dyslexic and profoundly learning disabled”.  He can remember his learning difficulties starting the first day of kindergarten. By sixth grade he was depressed, had an eating disorder, could barely read and was fully immersed in a special education environment. He rode the short bus…

The Short Bus. A Journey Beyond Normal is written to chronicle a two-month long journey from California around the United States in a ‘short bus’.  Jonathan interviews and spends time with families  and individuals of all ages who at one time were labeled ” special education”, “abnormal” or “disabled” just like him.   His trip turned into a four-month, 35,000 mile journey!  We also get a glimpse into Jonathan’s memories with his struggles, hurdles and breakthroughs during his childhood with teachers, different schools and his family.

He uses humor and honesty. I laughed out loud and I cried.

I highly recommend this book for anyone.  I purchased my copy right here in Manila at Fully Booked.  It can also be ordered online via Amazon.com or the Book Depository UK.

The Short Bus. A Journey Beyond Normal by  Jonathan Mooney ©2007