Diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at age two, Shane Burcaw has little memory of his life without a wheelchair. As his disease progresses, Shane must rely more heavily on those around him to survive, and he knows that his life will be severely shortened by his condition. But Shane refuses to let his situation dominate his thoughts and actions. Where many people would become depressed and bitter at the injustice of the disease, Shane responds with humor and goodwill. Though the odds are overwhelmingly against him, Shane starts his own nonprofit, Laughing at My Nightmare, INC., a movement dedicated to helping others meet adversity with positivity.
I LOVED this book! Shane is both hilarious and honest, presenting the struggles of his life while still being grateful for every experience. This is not your typical “sick lit” book. Shane doesn’t want your sympathy. His message is simple: you have no excuse not to live every day to its fullest; no excuse not to work hard to achieve your dreams and make life better for others. Though he would certainly have every right to complain about his circumstances in life (how many of us take for granted the “simple” ability to walk?), Shane instead decides to take what he has and run (or wheel) with it. Founder of a nonprofit, motivational speaker, significant social media personality, and now an accomplished author, Shane has accomplished more (with less!) than others may have thought possible. But Shane never lets the opinions of others limit his life choices. If you are interested in more of what Shane has to say, follow him on Twitter at @shaner528 and on Tumblr: http://laughingatmynightmare.tumblr.com/
*YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, Finalist, 2015
For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.