Category Archives: Student Success

Normal Sucks

Normal Sucks

Henry Holt and Co.
Hardcover
256 pages • $26.00
ISBN: 9781250190161
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How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines

Jonathan Mooney

“As an accessible primer on reassessing disability and mental health, it’s invaluable, and as an exploration of what it’s like to grow up feeling different, it’s incredibly cathartic.”

—Vanity Fair

Growing up, it didn’t take long for Jonathan Mooney to figure out he was considered not normal. He was a neurodiverse kid diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD who didn’t learn to read until he was twelve, and trying to fit into the box of normalcy cost him his education, his sense of self, his friendships—and nearly his life. The realization that he wasn’t broken but the idea of normal was saved Mooney’s life. Framed as a letter to his own sons, Normal Sucks blends memoir, anecdote, and expertise to show us what happens to kids and adults who are trapped in environments that shame them and tell them, in both subtle and heartbreakingly blatant ways, that they are “not normal” and that they are the problem. Diving into the history of the concept, Mooney explores how people in power have used the term normal for centuries to keep diverse and outsider perspectives silent and compassionately investigates the lasting effects of shame, segregation, and oppression. But Mooney also offers hope—and a way forward—arguing that if we can reorient the ways in which we think about diversity and ability, if we can finally admit that “normal sucks,” then we can truly start a revolution. This inspiring book will move and empower us all to embrace and celebrate our differences.

Jonathan Mooney

© Chris Mueller

Jonathan Mooney’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, HBO, NPR, and ABC News, and he continues to speak across the nation about neurological and physical diversity, inspiring those who live with differences and advocating for change. His books include The Short Bus and Learning Outside the Lines.

The Book of Beautiful Questions

The Book of Beautiful Questions

Bloomsbury
Paperback
288 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9781632869562
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The Powerful Questions That Will Help You Decide, Create, Connect, and Lead

Warren Berger

When confronted with almost any demanding situation, the act of questioning can help guide us to smart decisions. By asking questions, we can analyze, learn, and move forward in the face of uncertainty. But “questionologist” Warren Berger says that the questions must be the right ones; the ones that cut to the heart of complexity or enable us to see an old problem in a fresh way. Drawn from the insights and expertise of psychologists, innovators, effective leaders, and some of the world’s foremost creative thinkers, he presents the essential questions readers need to make the best choices when it truly counts, with a particular focus in four key areas: decision-making, creativity, leadership, and relationships. The powerful questions in this book can help you: identify opportunities in your career or industry; generate fresh ideas in your own creative pursuits; check your biases so you can make better judgments and decisions; and do a better job of communicating and connecting with the people around you. In The Book of Beautiful Questions, Berger shares illuminating stories and compelling research on the power of inquiry.

Warren Berger © Jerome Levine

© Jerome Levine

Warren Berger, an expert on design thinking and innovation, is the author of The Book of Beautiful Questions and A More Beautiful Question—both published by Bloomsbury. Berger also writes for Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, and was a longtime contributing editor at Wired magazine. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, ABC World News, many times on CNN, and as a frequently-used expert source on NPR’s All Things Considered. He lives in New York.

The Book of Beautiful Questions has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

University of Vermont’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Learning Community

A More Beautiful Question

A More Beautiful Question

Bloomsbury
Paperback
272 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781632861054
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The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Warren Berger

“Berger presents a simple three-part framework, the ‘Why-What If-How’ model, to guide effective inquiry . . . One closes Berger’s book newly conscious of the significance of smart questions.”

The New York Times Book Review

Warren Berger shows that one of the most powerful forces for igniting change in business and in our daily lives is a simple, under-appreciated tool—one that has been available to us since childhood. Questioning—deeply, imaginatively, “beautifully”—can help us identify and solve problems, come up with game-changing ideas, and pursue fresh opportunities. So why are we often reluctant to ask “Why?” As Berger shows, the most creative, successful people tend to be expert questioners. They’ve mastered the art of inquiry, raising questions no one else is asking—and finding powerful answers. The author takes us inside red-hot businesses like Google, Netflix, IDEO, and Airbnb to show how questioning is baked into their organizational DNA. He also shares inspiring stories of artists, teachers, entrepreneurs, basement tinkerers, and social activists who changed their lives and the world around them—by starting with a “beautiful question.” A More Beautiful Question outlines a practical Why / What If / How system of inquiry that can guide you through the process of innovative questioning—helping you find imaginative, powerful answers to your own “beautiful questions.”

For more information, please visit www.amorebeautifulquestion.com.

Warren Berger © Jerome Levine

© Jerome Levine

Warren Berger, an expert on design thinking and innovation, is author of the acclaimed book Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Business and Your Life, which was named one of Business Week‘s “Best Innovation & Design Books of the Year.” Berger also writes for Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, and was a longtime contributing editor at Wired magazine. He lives in New York.

A More Beautiful Question has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Bowling Green State University (OH); North Central College (IL); Quinnipiac University (CT); University of South Carolina

Bored and Brilliant

Bored and Brilliant

Picador
Paperback
208 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9781250126658
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How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self

Manoush Zomorodi

Manoush Zomorodi, creator of WNYC’s popular podcast and radio show, Note to Self, led tens of thousands of listeners through an experiment to help them unplug from their devices, get bored, jump-start their creativity, and change their lives. Bored and Brilliant builds on that experiment to show us how to rethink our gadget use to live better and smarter in this new digital ecosystem. Manoush explains the connection between boredom and original thinking, exploring how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive and creative selves without totally abandoning our gadgets in the process. Grounding the book in the neuroscience and cognitive psychology of “mind wandering”—what our brains do when we’re doing nothing at all—Manoush includes practical steps you can take to ease the nonstop busyness and enhance your ability to dream, wonder, and gain clarity in your work and life. The outcome is mind-blowing. Unplug and read on.

Manoush Zomorodi

© Amy Pearl

Manoush Zomorodi is the creator of WNYC’s podcast Note to Self and the co-founder of Stable Genius Productions, a media company with a mission to help people navigate personal and global change. Zomorodi gave a TED Talk about surviving information overload and the “Attention Economy” and was one of Fast Company‘s 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2018. Follow her on Twitter: @manoushz.

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Spare Parts

Spare Parts

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Paperback
240 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374534981
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Los Inventores
Spanish Language Edition
Paperback
224 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374284503

Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

Joshua Davis

Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize

Spare Parts is a delightful book . . . Davis writes well, and he keeps his plot moving swiftly . . . A great American story.”

—Peter Carlson, The Washington Post

In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much—but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot.

And build a robot they did.

They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition—and yet, against all odds . . . they won!

But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story—which became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement—will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan. Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.

Spare Parts is an unforgettable tale of hope and human ingenuity. Joshua Davis offers a moving testament to how teamwork, perseverance, and a few good teachers can lift up and empower even the humblest among us.”—Héctor Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark

“It’s the most American of stories: how determination and ingenuity can bring triumph over long odds. There are too few stories like these written about Latino students. Poignant and beautifully told, Spare Parts makes you feel their frustration at the obstacles and indignities faced by Cristian, Lorenzo, Luis, and Oscar—and to cheer as they rise to overcome each one of them.”—Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey 

“This is important reading . . . Young adults will benefit from from reading and discussing this realistic, eye-opening chronicle . . . Davis pulls no punches as he describes the grim sociopolitical atmosphere that allows the oppression of talented people for no morally acceptable reason. The four young inventors and their struggles helped spur the DREAMers movement.”—Donna Chavez, Booklist (starred review)

“A gratifying human interest story that calls attention to the plight and promise of America’s undocumented youth.”Library Journal

“Davis takes what could have been another feel-good story of triumphant underdogs and raises the stakes by examining the difficulties of these young immigrants in the context of the societal systems that they briefly and temporarily overcame.”Publishers Weekly

Joshua Davis © Sebastian Mlynarski

© Sebastian Mlynarski

Joshua Davis is a contributing editor at Wired and a cofounder of Epic magazine. He lives in San Francisco with his family.

Spare Parts has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Alamo Heights High School (TX); Broward College (FL); The Browning School (NY); Cedar Valley College (TX); Chemeketa Community College (OR); Concordia University (TX); Hesston College (KS); Hood College (MD); Johns Hopkins University (MD); Kansas State University; Lafayette Public Library and School District (LA); Lewis University (IL); Metropolitan Community College – Maple Woods (MO); Miami University (OH); Monroe Community College (NY); Naugatuck Valley Community College (CT); Nash Community College (NC); North Iowa Area Community College; North Lake College (TX); Norwalk Community College (CT); Oakland University, The Honors College (MI); Pasadena City College (CA); Providence College (RI); Queensborough Community College (NY); Rutgers University, Honors College (NJ); Salem State University (MA); Santa Ana College; Stony Brook University (NY); Texas A&M University, University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science; University of Michigan College of Engineering; Washington State University, Vancouver; Winthrop University (SC)

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How to College

How to College

St. Martin’s Press
Paperback
272 pages • $16.99
ISBN: 9781250225184
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What to Know Before You Go (and When You’re There)

Andrea Malkin Brenner and Lara Hope Schwartz

Available in May 2019

The transition from high school—and home—to college can be stressful for students and their families. Students and parents arrive on campus unprepared for what college is really like. Academic standards and expectations are different from high school; families aren’t present to serve as “scaffolding” for students; and students have to do what they call “adulting.”
Nothing in the college admissions process prepares students for these new realities. As a result, first-year students report higher stress, more mental health issues, and lower completion rates than in the past. In fact, up to one third of first-year college students will not return for their second year—and colleges are reporting an increase in underprepared first-year students. How to College is here to help. Andrea Malkin Brenner and Lara Hope Schwartz guide first-year students and their families at any point in the transition process, during the summer after high school graduation and throughout the school year, to prepare them to succeed and thrive as they transition and adapt to college. The first practical guide of its kind, this book draws on the authors’ experience teaching and working with thousands of first-year college students over decades.

Andrea Malkin Brenner

© Carly Glazier

Lara Hope Schwartz

© Mike Olliver

Andrea Malkin Brenner  consults with colleges who wish to create their own first-year transitions courses. She was a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at American University for 20 years.

Lara Hope Schwartz teaches in the Department of Government at the American University School of Public Affairs (SPA) and is the Director of the Project on Civil Discourse. She came to the SPA after a career as an attorney, civil rights advocate, and strategist.

Choose Wonder Over Worry

Choose Wonder Over Worry

Wednesday Books
Hardcover
256 pages • $25.99
ISBN: 9781250175250
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Move Beyond Fear and Doubt to Unlock Your Full Potential

Amber Rae

“If you are a fan of impactful memoir, or a devotee of advice columns, you’ll probably love Choose Wonder Over Worry—and if you’ve been side-eyeing self-help for as long as you can remember, now might be the time to forget everything you thought you knew.”

Bustle

Why do we hold back from pursuing what matters most? Why do we listen to the voice inside our head that tells us we’re not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough? How can we move beyond the fear and doubt that prevents us from creating a life that reflects who we truly are? Choose Wonder Over Worry is your official invitation to face your fears, navigate your discomfort, and rewrite the “worry myths” in your mind that keep you from being your best and truest self. Journey with inspirational speaker and artist Amber Rae as she connects you with your voice of worry and wonder, teaches you to listen to your emotions rather than silence them, and encourages you to seize your dreams. Through a thoughtful blend of vulnerability, soulfulness, and science, Amber Rae guides you in expressing the fullness of who you are and the gifts you’re here to give. You don’t have to be held back by worry when wonder awaits you every moment of every day. Worry or wonder: which will you choose?

Amber Rae

© Masha Maltsava

Amber Rae is an author, artist, and speaker devoted to inspiring people to express the fullness of their gifts. She’s been featured on the BBC, ABC World News, The New York Times, Time, Fast Company, Tim Ferriss’s blog, and more. Previously, Amber helped launch six best-selling books as chief evangelist of Seth Godin’s publishing experiment and started an “accelerator for your life” called the Bold Academy. She lives in Brooklyn and around the world.

 

 

 

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