- File Size: 2988 KB
- Print Length: 256 pages
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (October 14, 2014)
- Publication Date: October 14, 2014
- Sold by: Macmillan
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00J6U7JUY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,739 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$10.99|
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Laughing at My Nightmare Kindle Edition
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“Burcaw has spent most of his life in a wheelchair with progressively debilitating spinal muscular atrophy, but instead of soberly presenting the ups and downs of a potentially bleak existence, he pens an uplifting, laugh-out-loud memoir that calls out the absurdity of his circumstances, and the joy he finds in the everyday.” ―Booklist
“*Laughing at My Nightmare is an unforgettable memoir.” ―VOYA, STARRED REVIEW
“With snark, swagger and self-deprecation, Burcaw explains from the beginning how SMA has shaped his mission . . . With reflections camouflaged in wisecracks, Burcaw demonstrates that a little humor goes a long way.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Burcaw's narrative will resonate with readers, who will laugh along with the funny stories, cringe at the awkward moments, and tear up at the emotionally charged parts. A poignant story that provides a fresh perspective on life.” ―School Library Journal
“*It's engaging, inspirational, and eye-opening.” ―Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
Shane Burcaw is a twenty-one-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. He is currently a junior at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, studying English. Shane runs a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money for muscular dystrophy research.--This text refers to the paperback edition.
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BUT … as Shane himself says, he's just a normal guy. He doesn't want to be pitied and he doesn't want to be special. In fact, he's sort of making fun of all that, turning "aw" & "ow" on its head (to "wa-wo," I guess).
BUT … Shane is definitely a talented writer. He's funny and expressive and moving. He has a distinctive "literary voice."
BUT… this is a good, quick, and gripping read. It's unfortunate that the publishing pros have relegated it to the "teen" market because it would be good for anyone of any age.
Full disclosure: I, too, grew up with spinal muscular atrophy, just like Shane. I identify with many of the experiences he describes here. Some of it cuts so close to the bone that it makes me shiver. That's not funny, I want to scream, when for example he describes being herded to the wheelchair section at a talk Michelle Obama gave at his school, separated from his friends. That's tragic!
Yet isn't it also illegal to ghettoize wheelchair folks, to deprive them of at least one "companion" seat? I do wish Shane had a stronger sense of disability rights, of his place in a broad community with a proud and deep history. Not to make the book all serious-like and angry and boring. Just so he'd have some righteous anger. His mission to fit in, to undermine the sense of "tragedy" and "nightmare" that pervades disability, to blur the distinctions of what's considered "normal," is exactly what the movement is all about. It's not just about gaining acceptance for yourself, Shane, but about making the world more respectful of and good-natured toward alla God's chilluns, no matter how they roll.
Still, what's great about this book is it's not a rant. He's not on a soapbox (I guess soapboxes used to be big, or something). His candor is startling and refreshing. His humor is fresh and infectious. Yes, I did laugh out loud multiple times. But in some ways this is actually a very deep and serious book. At least to me. Maybe that's because I'm not a teen anymore.
So power to Shane! Read his book! Recommend his book! Give it as a gift this holiday season! Your friends will thank you. Maybe Shane himself will thank you. He seems like that kind of guy.
Even if he never did post a blurb for MY book.
This book is wonderfully written, and he is clearly a talented writer. He uses humor throughout the book to tell a story and show how he deals with difficult problems life throws at him. He is very honest about his feelings, anxieties, and future, and trust me he does not hold back(this could be good or bad depending upon your sense of humor). And that is what I like about him the most, he opens up and shows you that he is vulnerable(like all of us are). The book tells you about his most funny, awkward, and emotional moments of his life. Some of the stories in the book are unbelievable(and some very funny)! This is a great read and I believe a must read if you have a person in your family with a disability.
Can't wait for the next book Shane!