Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-07-09 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

"Sibert Medal Nominee (2018)

This is a fabulous book that shows how people with disabilities are not really any different than anybody else. Shane Burcaw has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a type of Muscular Dystrophy, and he has been in a wheelchair his entire life.

Through a fun question and answer format, he answers questions such as, What's wrong with you? Why is your head so much bigger than the rest of your body? How do you do things? and more!

The accompanying photographs were taken by Matt Carr and they are fantastic, as well!

I highly recommend this book to everyone!
" said.

"What a conversation starter! It is said that many difficult topics are made accessible by humor and Shane Burcaw, is one funny guy! The most uncomfortable of questions is tackled head on from the start, "What's wrong with you?" and the answer is the best!, "Absolutely nothing is wrong with me. I'm just a little different." From that page on Burcaw answers what are probably the most common questions many differently abled people face. He is candid, funny, and through the photographs of himself, his family and friends, communicates that he is someone the reader would most likely love to meet and become friends with, I know I would! This book will empower differently abled students to share their stories and will create understanding in readers of how there is much more to a person than how they move, speak, or the equipment they use in everyday life. " said.

"2018 Siberr Honor Book

Themes: Spinal Muscular Atrophy/SMA/not so different

This is a nice book about how despite Shane's differences, he enjoys things everyone else does and he's not afraid to be himself. He's also not afraid or ashamed to answer any questions that we may have.

"Why do you look so different? That's a great question! My name is Shane, and I was born with a disease that makes my body grow smaller and weaker as I get older instead of bigger and stronger. Living with this disease means that I've used a wheelchair for most of my life and often rely on my family and friends to help me do all my favorite things - like eating pizza, participating in team sports, and playing video games. Since many people are curious about me, I decided to answer some of the questions I'm asked head-on in this book. Go ahead and take a look! Although I need a little more help than you might, you'll see that I'm not so different." - inside left jacket flap
" said.

"Not So Different: What you Really Want to Ask about Having a Disability was one of the honor books in 2018 for the Robert F. Siebert medals. After reading it, it is obvious why. With clear headings, real answers, relatable moments, all sprinkled with humor, this book was both engaging and informative. Shane Burcaw, the author of this book goes straight into the hard hitting question right on the first page: "What's wrong with you?" He adds photos of himself as a young child, his family members, and shows a glimpse of how he gets around in the world. He writes facts, but easy enough to understand for a young child. He adds in humor and funny stories from his childhood that makes him like any other person. Which ultimately is his goal for this book. It is definitely a recommended book for any age to help people have a better understanding of a disability and be able to have answers to questions they may never have the courage to ask in real life. " said.

"This would be so easy to read aloud in a k-2 classroom or book talk and leave for older students to read and discuss in small groups. The book is organized by the kinds of questions kids would ask Burcaw, the author who has spinal muscular atrophy. The first question is "What's wrong with you?" -- a question children would want to ask, but might not. Burcaw's response to the first question ("absolutely nothing is wrong with me") and the tone of the book, in general, are friendly and conversational as he describes this disease and his daily life. The layout and design of the pages--pictures of when he was a kid, pictures of his family and even a picture of a tyrannosaurus rex are appealing and will draw students in. I finished this book wanting to know more about Burcaw and the not-for-profit he has started to educate the world. Don't skip the author's note at the end. Lots of classroom potential.

ALA Sibert Honor Award 2018 winner - very worthy of it.
" said.

"The humorous presentation of Shane Burcaw's daily life using both seemingly un-posed as well as staged photos is #ownvoices, making it a powerful way to build empathy. It could be read aloud to a 4-year-old, or read alone by a 10-year-old or even older - especially (but not only) if the reader has had limited exposure to people with spinal muscular atrophy -- the tone of voice and the specific descriptions of Shane's life seem like they would have a wide appeal.

Answering all the questions that children and tweens often want to know means that readers will have a context and a basic understanding when they do meet someone with SMA, so each person with SMA will not have to start from scratch with informing everyone.

The inclusion of many humorous anecdotes and general silliness gives readers many ways to relate to and connect with Shane.

The excellent quality of the publishing (photos, layout, and entire presentation) shows how far children's publishing has come - they are meeting high standards of creation, editing, printing, and appeal as well as useful content. FINALLY!
" said.

"This book offers a candid look into the world of someone who lives with a serious physical disability. Shane presents the basics about his disease, living with a disability, using a motorized wheelchair, and the family and friends who help him every day.

I love that he presents the information in a matter-of-fact way and that it is easy to understand for children of all ages. I also love that he shows that no matter what challenges he has physically, he has found a great deal of success in his life and career.

Between attending college, starting a nonprofit organization, and traveling far and wide to speaking engagements (not to mention getting a tattoo), Shane's life is full and rewarding.

Even though there are things that he cannot do, he shows the reader a small bit of what he can (including getting in trouble and getting hurt when being reckless).

Overall, I think this is a wonderful book and will help children understand that despite facing physical challenges, people who have a disability are more like us than they are not.

After reading others' reviews and discovering that he has written a YA book, Laughing at My Nightmare and publishes a blog with the same name, I had to check it out. Shane is an amazing and inspiring young man.
" said.

"Meet Shane Burcaw who has spinal muscular atrophy (a type of muscular dystrophy) and wants readers to know what he's really like, how he manages everyday tasks, what his hobbies are, and what he can and cannot do. Burcaw's goal in sharing a bit of his life through words and photos is for kids to realize he isn't so different from them.

One of the most dynamic young men I met in California, who had a stunning number of friends, was confined to a wheel chair due to muscular dystrophy as well. Ever since meeting this young man, I've had a better understanding of those with such conditions and just what they are capable of. For those who haven't had the privilege of meeting such a person, Shane Burcaw fills a much needed gap of breaking down barriers. We often fear what we don't understand. So meet Shane, gain understanding, and the next time you come across someone in a wheel chair look at them like a normal person. Brucaw's book is short and simple but very eye opening. A must have for every school.
" said.

September 2018 New Book:

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