Tag Archives: student success

Normal Sucks

Normal Sucks

Henry Holt and Co.
256 pages • $26.00
ISBN: 9781250190161
ebook icon
audiobook icon

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

288 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9781632869562
ebook icon

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

Spare Parts

Spare Parts

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
240 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374534981
ebook icon
audiobook icon

Los Inventores
Spanish Language Edition
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 illuminates the human side of two polarizing political issues: immigration and education.”

The Washington Post

In 2004, four undocumented Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 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 kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT. This was never a level competition, and yet, against all odds . . . they won! But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story 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, co-founder of Epic magazine, and the author of The Underdog, a memoir about his experiences as an arm wrestler, backward runner, and matador. He has also written for The New Yorker, and his writing is anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best Technology Writing. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Spare Parts has been adopted for more than forty First-Year Experience programs:

Alamo Heights High School (TX); Broward College (FL); The Browning School (NY); California State University – Los Angeles; Cedar Valley College (TX); Chemeketa Community College (OR); Concordia University (TX); Des Moines Area Community College (IA); 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); Sacramento State University (CA); Salem State University (MA); Santa Ana College; San Jose State University (CA); Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ); Stony Brook University (NY); Texas A&M University; University of Alaska – Southeast; University of Houston – Clear Lake (TX); University of North Carolina – Charlotte; University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science; University of Michigan College of Engineering; Washington State University, Vancouver; Winthrop University (SC)

Continue reading

How to College


How to College

St. Martin’s Griffin
304 pages • $16.99
ISBN: 9781250225184
ebook icon

What to Know Before You Go (and When You’re There)

Andrea Malkin Brenner and Lara Hope Schwartz

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—“with suggestions that are spot on” (The New York Times Book Review)—is here to help. Andrea Malkin Brenner and Lara 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 transition 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.


The Stressed Years of Their Lives

The Stressed Years of Their Lives

St. Martin’s Press
336 pages • $28.99
ISBN: 9781250113139
ebook icon
audiobook icon

Helping Your Kid Survive and Thrive During Their College Years

B. Janet Hibbs, Ph.D., M.F.T and Anthony Rostain, M.D., M.A.

“I can think of no better guide than The Stressed Years of
Their Lives for overwhelmed parents and stressed-out kids for navigating these turbulent times. This is required reading for the college set.”

—Brigid Schulte, author of The New York Times bestselling Overwhelmed

With campus hazards like binge drinking and sexual assault making routine headlines and the skyrocketing rate of college mental health problems, parents are rightly concerned about “letting go.” The transitional years of late adolescence and young adulthood are a time when mood disorders, substance abuse, and other serious mental health challenges emerge. When family psychologist Dr. Hibbs’s own son came home from college mired in a dangerous depressive spiral, she turned to Dr. Rostain, a nationally recognized expert in child and adolescent psychiatry. He understands the arcane rules governing privacy and parental involvement in students’ mental health care on college campuses—the same rules that sometimes hold parents back from getting good care for their kids. Now these two doctors have combined their expertise in adolescent and young adult mental health care. From their years of clinical and personal experience, they have assembled a practical and compassionate guide for every parent of a college or college-bound student who wants to know what’s normal, what’s not, and how to help and intervene before it’s too late.

B Janet Hibbs

© Michael David Robinson

Anthony Rostain

© University of Pennsylvania

B. Janet Hibbs, Ph.D., M.F.T. has held faculty positions for more than 15 years in graduate programs for psychologists and marital and family therapists. She is the author of Try to See It My Way: Being Fair in Love and Marriage.

Anthony Rostain, M.D., M.A. is a nationally-recognized expert in child and adolescent psychiatry, and a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Permission to Feel

Permission to Feel

Celadon Books
304 pages • $28.00
ISBN: 9781250212849
ebook icon
audiobook icon

Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive

Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

“We often create a false dichotomy between thinking and
feeling. In this dichotomy, thinking is important, strong,
and adaptive, but feeling is not. Marc Brackett shows us
how emotions—and our ability to feel, understand, and use
them—are key to fulfilling our potential.”

Carol Dweck

In his twenty-five years as an emotion scientist, Marc Brackett has developed a remarkably effective plan to improve the lives of children and adults—a blueprint for understanding our emotions and using them wisely so that they help, rather than hinder, our success and well-being. The core of his approach is a legacy from his childhood, from an astute uncle who gave him permission to feel. He was the first adult who managed to see Marc, listen to him, and recognize the suffering, bullying, and abuse he’d endured. In the decades since, Marc has led large research teams and raised tens of millions of dollars to investigate the roots of emotional well-being. His prescription for healthy children (and their parents, teachers, and schools) is a system called RULER, a high-impact and fast-effect approach to understanding and mastering emotions. RULER has been proven to reduce stress and burnout, improve school climate, and enhance academic achievement. This book is the culmination of Marc’s development of RULER and his way to share the strategies and skills with readers around the world. It is tested, and it works.

Marc Brackett

© Horacio Marquinez

Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University. Marc has received numerous awards and is on the board of directors for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). He is co-founder of Oji Life Lab, a digital emotional intelligence learning system for businesses. Marc also consults regularly with corporations like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google on integrating emotional intelligence principles into employee training and product design.

Lead from the Outside

Lead from the Outside

256 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781250214805
ebook icon
audiobook icon

How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change

Stacey Abrams

“Abrams’s own grit, coupled with her descriptions of much stumbling and self-doubt, will make Lead from the Outside touch you in a way few books by politicians can.”

The New York Times Book Review

Leadership is hard. Convincing others—and yourself—that you are capable of taking charge and achieving more requires insight and courage. Lead from the Outside is the handbook for outsiders, written with an eye toward the challenges that hinder women, people of color, the working class, members of the LGBTQ community, and millennials ready to make change. Stacey uses her hard-won insights to break down how ambition, fear, money, and failure function in leadership, and she includes practical exercises to help you realize your own ambition and hone your skills. Lead from the Outside discusses candidly what Stacey has learned over the course of her impressive career in politics, business and the nonprofit world: that differences in race, gender, and class provide vital strength, which we can employ to rise to the top and create real and lasting change.

© Courtesy of Stacey Abrams

After eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, Stacey Abrams became the 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, where she won more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. She has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels. Stacey is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award.

Lead from the Outside has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Spelman College (GA)