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Laughing at My Nightmare

Review

Laughing at My Nightmare

Shane was born with spinal muscular atrophy, which is when the body fails to produce a particular enzyme required for making and maintaining muscle tissue. Aside from having some physical abnormalities, Shane's body slowly and steadily gets weaker. Mentally, he's completely "normal," and has above average intelligence and above average sense of humor. He describes his life, from day-to-day issues like barely being able to chew or move his head, to the friendships and relationships he forms. It's definitely a "faith in humanity restored" book. Shane started a blog, Laughing at My Nightmare, on tumblr, and eventually it morphed into a foundation for spreading laughter to overcome adversity, which lead to a documentary, and also writing this book. I was ignorant of any of that, so this was my first exposure to Shane. 

When Shane revealed his deepest fears and greatest joys, I related to all of it. After reading this satisfying book, I felt like I would enjoy chatting with the author over a cup of coffee.

This wonderful memoir hit all the right notes. It wasn't super sad because Shane Burcaw is wicked funny. It wasn't full of platitudes because Shane's 100% honest and holds nothing back. It was a warm, funny, honest book about a really cool guy, his family, friends and girlfriend. It was about his ambitions and limitations and the way he lives his life. When Shane revealed his deepest fears and greatest joys, I related to all of it. After reading this satisfying book, I felt like I would enjoy chatting with the author over a cup of coffee. Of course, his would have a long, bendy straw. Don't miss this excellent memoir, this glimpse into the daily life a hilarious, remarkable young man.

Reviewed by Trevor P., Teen Board Member on November 5, 2014

Laughing at My Nightmare
by Shane Burcaw

  • Publication Date: October 14, 2014
  • Genres: Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • ISBN-10: 162672007X
  • ISBN-13: 9781626720077