Parents' Guide to

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

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Young man shares info about disability with honesty, humor.

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

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This book deals directly and honestly with the challenging disease of SMA, providing answers to frank questions kids might blurt out, and offering solid information with good-spirited humor. Author Shane Burcaw is a naturally likable guide to the disease and the impact it has on his daily routines, and he's remarkably able to find the fun in life. On a page about his motorized wheelchair, he labels not only the joystick and leg braces, but also the "tattoo" on his neck. He claims, "I can pop a wheelie with my brother's help." And proving himself a game physical comedian, he illustrates a story about accidentally flipping out of his wheelchair with a close-up of his face, wide-eyed after being upturned in the grass.

Because Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability is illustrated with photos, by Matt Carr, readers get a true sense of what Burcaw and others with SMA look like. Kids with disabilities will be happy to see themselves represented in a no-nonsense, positive light, and other kids will get honest, candid information from a narrator who comes across as a fun friend. The whole book is inviting, closing with, "I love making new friends, so if you see me out and about, don't be afraid to come up and say hello!"

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