BOOK REVIEWS

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

UPDATE TIME: 2018-10-15 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:1626727716
LANGUAGE:English

"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.

"Highly accessible book for youngsters to learn about what it is like for Shane with his disability. The illustrations are expressive and explanatory. There is even a detailed diagram of him in his wheelchair which shows all the different parts. The story poses 1 question in a brightly colored, amusing way and then Shane gives us the answer. Shane tells the reader how he eats, plays, and lives. I like that he also talks about being made fun of. The story is upbeat and offers readers a chance to stare and study ways Shane may be different without having to stare at a real person. It's ok to look and study in a book, but not always so nice to do so in person. The author's note at the end explains a little more about the disability Shane has, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). It also explains his job at the nonprofit he began with his cousin. Sadly, the author's note reads a little more as an advertisement than as an informative note. It's still a 5 star book though. He has done an excellent job in understanding questions young children may have and answering them in a non-threatening way!" 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.

" Shane Burcaw is living with spinal muscular atrophy and in his books he personifies living with disability. With humor and candor, he shares information which many might wonder, but few ask. His books are important in realizing we are all different---and all have great gifts. I admire the work he is doing. " said.

"This is such a great book to answer curious kids' questions about people with disabilities, and to promote awareness and understanding. He mixes in humor to keep the topics from being too heavy handed. The end notes talk more about him and what he has done- I particularly liked how the t-shirt in the book has the name of his nonprofit, but you don't learn about it unless you choose to read more.

I had all the 2018 award winners lined up at the front of the classroom and all the students wanted to read this one. The book satiates their curiosity and Burcaw's sense of humor keeps them laughing along the way.
" said.

" What a great way to help bridge the gap between the disabled and those who are curious about them! The author explains his genetic spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in easy to understand terms and provides a frequently asked questions format detail of what it means to have SMA in everyday life. Highly recommended. " said.

" This book serves to do more than developing empathy for persons with a disability. I would choose this book if I were teaching a health and safety class to young children. In a simple way, this book both humanizes and informs youth about safety and accessibility for people with Spinal Musclar Atrophy. I chose "El Deafo" by Cece Bell, 2014 as a fiction twin text. I chose this because it serves to further normalize people using handicap devices. " said.

December 2018 New Book:

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