Categories
book reviews

The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal

In 2003, Jonathan Mooney, a dyslexic young man, set out on a journey in a short bus for several months. From a very young age, Jon was told that he would be unable to make anything of himself. But, he beat the odds, graduating from Brown University with a degree in English literature, and wrote a book about his experiences growing up learning disabled.


I loved this book. This particular memoir reminds me of the bullying that goes on in schools, including the schools that I attended in junior high and high school. I was once a target for some bullying in seventh grade, but I eventually overcame it. It was tame verbal teasing, compared to what some of these kids and adults underwent in The Short Bus.

Personally, I think bullying can come from kid’s lack of understanding. Because of a lack of understanding, or because of a hurt they themselves possess, kids bully each other.

The notion that the bullies are hurting did not occur to me until I read this book. I’d always assumed that bullies bullied because they could, because they were mean kids. This makes so much sense to me, especially now that I’m older.

The different stories presented in The Short Bus are ones of triumph: triumph over learning disabilities, or various problems that these kids and adults are facing. It can be as simple as seeking approval, like in Cookie’s situation. It can be as challenging as trying to learn in a classroom, because it is hard to sit still, see, or hear. Reading aloud can be terrifying for kids–and adults–who have dyslexia. ADD or ADHD can make it hard to sit still, or even follow through with directions for some people.

There are so many kinds of disabilities, some I’d heard of, and some I had to learn for myself. It was interesting to learn the origins of various labels such as Asperger’s.

The Short Bus heralds the achievements of young kids and adults alike. This is a physical and mental journey as well, one that focuses on the changes that can occur if you are open to it. I highly recommend this novel, because it is uplifting and extremely positive. This memoir focuses on the abilities of the people mentioned in it, instead of their disabilities.

Here’s the link for Jonathan Mooney’s blog.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

By Meghan B.

Hello! Thanks for checking out my blog! Despite being 29, I haven't lost my sense of child-like wonder for the world around me. I've been making up stories my whole life: My imaginative play with toys as a child has grown up with me, maturing into my imaginative wordplay with fantasy and sci-fi prose as well as free-verse poetry. I thrive on creating something with my hands and with my mind, using either my pen or my keyboard. When I'm not reading, writing, or knitting (or realistically, working), I'm watching Netflix, gaming, or hanging out with the people I love most: my friends, my family, or my boyfriend.

1 reply on “The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal”

Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.