Title: Not so different : what you really want to ask about having a disability
Author: Shane Burcaw
Recommended for: Grades 1-4
Call Number/Link: E 362.43 BUR
Synopsis: Shane Burcaw was born with a rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy, which hinders his muscles’ growth. As a result, his body hasn’t grown bigger and stronger as he’s gotten older—it’s gotten smaller and weaker instead. This hasn’t stopped him from doing the things he enjoys (like eating pizza and playing sports and video games) with the people he loves, but it does mean that he routinely relies on his friends and family for help with everything from brushing his teeth to rolling over in bed.
Comments: This is a great book to start a conversation about disabilities with grade school kids. The photographs by Matt Carr are funny and engaging, which perfectly matches the text by Shane. The book is both realistic and lighthearted. My favorite story is about how he flipped out of his chair while playing soccer with friends (remember to always strap in!) and my favorite picture is the side view of his motorized wheelchair with labels like “joystick” and “rocket boosters.”