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Learning outside the Lines [Paperback]

Jonathan Mooney
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

25 Sep 2000 068486598X 978-0684865980
Written by two Ivy League graduates who struggled with learning disabilities and ADHD, "Learning Outside the Lines" teaches students how to take control of their education and find true success with brilliant and easy study suggestions and tips. Every day, your school, your teachers, and even your peers draw lines to measure and standardize intelligence. They decide what criteria make one person smart and another person stupid. They decide who will succeed and who will just get by. Perhaps you find yourself outside the norm, because you learn differently--but, unlike your classmates, you have no system in place that consistently supports your ability and desire to learn. Simply put, you are considered lazy and stupid. You are expected to fail. "Learning Outside the Lines" is written by two such "academic failures"--that is, two academic failures who graduated from Brown University at the top of their class. Jonathan Mooney and David Cole teach you how to take control of your education and find true success--and they offer all the reasons "why" you should persevere. Witty, bold, and disarmingly honest, "Learning Outside the Lines" takes you on a journey toward personal empowerment and profound educational change, proving once again that rules sometimes need to be broken.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (25 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068486598X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684865980
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 632,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Jonathan Mooney is a dyslexic student who did not learn to read until he was twelve years old. After attending Loyola Marymount University for one year, he transferred to Brown University, where he graduated with an honors degree in English. Mooney is also the recipient of the distinguished Truman Fellowship for graduate study in the field of learning disabilities and special education.

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I met Leo the Late Bloomer-a lion from a children's book-the morning of my second day of third grade. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A somewhat irreverent, but very practical approach to getting through school by using creative and imaginative techniques, ie, "reading" everything but the text (the class, other students, the teacher, the syllabus), for those who find visual processing difficult. These learning methods are available to all students, and extremely helpful for those who find conventional strategies difficult or unsuccessful. Read it now (middle or high school), then keep it and read it again in college, because with the help of this book you will certainly be able to attend college if that is your educational goal, and you'll be getting better grades and having more fun than you previously thought possible. A great handbook full of very useable tools.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  78 reviews
103 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Tips for ANY Student in College or Graduate School 24 Jun 2005
By Mary McKinney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Jon and David's book is targeted for college students with learning disabilities and/or ADHD. However, the study tips and pointers would be useful for ANY high school student, college student and for most graduate students.

The book begins with the personal stories of the two authors - both kids with a lot of problems who went on to transfer to Brown University and succeed despite all odds. Jon had severe dyslexia and didn't even learn to read until he was 12 years old. He tells the story of poignant struggles in grade school and high school that left his self-confidence in shambles. David tells a harrowing story of school and self-control difficulties that led to heavy drug use and dropping out of high school when he was 15. The story of their frustrations, fears and struggles will resonate with any kid whose learning style has made it difficult to succeed in our school system, and with any parent who has tried to help a child with ADHD or LD problems.

After reading the personal stories of the two authors, anyone reading the book will think: "If these two guys can graduate from high school, and then get into and graduate from an Ivy league school, anyone can. How did they do it?" The next several chapters describe specific, useful study skills and savvy tips for succeeding in the classroom and doing well on tests and papers. Their suggestions are brilliant.

They begin by describing useful techniques and tips for taking class notes -- especially geared for students who have failed at traditional note taking systems and who regularly lose any notes they do take. Jon and David suggest many useful strategies to provide the structure and organization that those of us with LD and/or ADHD typically lack.

After helping students set up excellent note-taking systems, Jon and David move on to classroom participation. Their ideas and suggestions are perfect for any student who is typically shy or intimidated about speaking up in class. This is one of the chapters I wish that every one of my graduate students would read. Again, Jon and David break down a process that may be intuitive to a few students but which baffle many. By taking their suggestions, students can confidently raise their hands, speak wisely, develop better relationships with their professors and improve their grades.

Another chapter that I will assign to the grad students I teach and coach, is a section about reading course material. The tips are geared for students who had difficulties reading and need to learn how to skim material, look for the important sections and retain the material they do read. Wisely, Jon and David point out that most professors assign more than it is possible for students to read. Therefore, they give techniques and tips for making the best use for covering overwhelming amounts of material.

Then writing - the most difficult task for most students - and again, the specific suggestions are so good that they will help all students - not just those with disabilities. Test-taking skills are handled in the final academic chapter. I felt that I learned good tips.

I am a clinical psychologist and professional coach to graduate students and university faculty. I'm going to recommend this book to many of the graduate students I work with. Plus, when my children are in high school, I'm going to suggest that they read and apply these tips - even though they don't show any signs of the kind of academic struggles that Jon and David so compellingly describe.

Bravo to these courageous young men who have done a great service to any struggling students by writing this book. I'm sure that we're going to hear more from them over time.
76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Study skills for the way you learn and much more. 28 Aug 2000
By Dyslexicman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Even if you are not one of us different thinkers, you need this book. This book is so much more than a study skills book. It is a guide to taking control of your life as well as YOUR education. The key word here is YOU! We all know the education system sucks for those of us that happen to think out side the box. "One size fits all" education has beaten us down long enough. Cole and Mooney have once again proven that just because some kids have trouble in school doesn't mean they are not smart! They didn't set around and think up ways to improve grades they lived these methods and wrote this book while in school. Let the education Phd.'s think about that for a minute while you get this book and get on with your life! This book is also about helping kids. The proceeds go to Project Eye to Eye A non-profit organization started by the authors to pair LD kids to LD college students as mentors. So do yourself and some at risk kids a favor and BUY this BOOK.
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Much Needed Voice! 26 Aug 2000
By Pamela A. Oswald - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Learning Outside the Lines" is a must read for any college student, but especially students with learning or attentional differences. As a special educator I was impressed with the quality of advice and learning strategies Mr. Mooney and Mr. Cole set forth in their handbook. Many of the study strategies outlined are the same strategies taught in quality classrooms for the learning different. The upbeat philosophy of "Learning Outside the Lines" gives hope to anyone who doesn't seem to "fit" into the traditional educational system. I have brought this book into my elementary resource classroom to show my students with learning differences that they too can succeed despite their own struggles with learning outside the lines of the typical classroom. I also think it is time for our students to find their own voice and become a part of their own educational revolution. The personal stories of Mr. Mooney and Mr. Cole gave me great insight into the struggles of students with learning differences and how the educational system can crush their natural talents with "a one method fits all" philosophy. "Learning Outside the Lines" is a very readable book for students, parents, teachers or anyone who lives, thinks or learns differently.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning Outside the Lines 22 Aug 2000
By Laura - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book has inspired me to want to read and write more often. I have been learning outside the lines all my life, but it took me over 40 years to discover that's what I was doing. I, like David Cole, have ADHD. Then I find this book by two authors who have turned a disability into a success story. I wish every teacher, parent, and student could read this book!
"Driven to Distraction" by Dr. Hallowell, was another book that made me feel this way, but "Learning Outside the Lines" was even easier for me to read. It is written in the way I like to read. It has bold headings and short paragraphs. It gets right to the point and I don't have to spend a lot of time reading descriptive words, I get the picture as I'm reading this book.
I feel the passion these two authors must have felt when they wrote this book. They are not giving you theory. I was doing so many of these things they talked about when I was in graduate school for Library Science and was put on probation for having such low SAT scores. I hadn't read more than five books from cover to cover when I began graduate school. It was the first time in my life I got A's! I can tell you from experience what these authors have written here should be seriously taken into consideration in our educational society. Maybe it is time for an educational revolution! What we need is more books like this one instead of looking for a cure with a pill or kids trying to self medicate with drugs and alcohol. After reading this book I felt like there are so many more success stories just waiting to happen.
Like they say in the book, you don't have to follow their methods exactly, what's important is that you find what works for YOU! This book is not just a guide, it's a true success story! I didn't just read this book, I experienced it! Read it and experience it for yourself!
84 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I think I'm going to require this for my Ed Psych students 9 Sep 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am a Ph.D. student in School Psychology. I am one of those people who gives those tests that decide the fate of children in school. We aren't all bad. I myself was diagnosed with ADD as a child and have spent much of my life trying to find those tricks and strategies to help myself succeed in a world I don't feel I quite fit into. I think this book is an excellent resource for people with and without disabilities if they want to succeed in school. I teach Educational Psychology to college students and by making this book required reading, my students learn valuable study skills AND they get a chance to hear first-hand accounts of growing up with disabilities. What more could I want? Well done, guys.
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