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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Laughing at My Nightmare

Laughing at My Nightmare

Shane Burcaw

Roaring Brook Press


With acerbic wit and a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw's Laughing at My Nightmare describes the challenges he faces as a twenty-one-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to having a girlfriend and everything in between, Shane handles his situation with humor and a "you-only-live-once" perspective on life. While he does talk about everyday issues that are relatable to teens, he also offers an eye-opening perspective on what it is like to have a life threatening disease.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adults

chapter 1

a "normal" day

The sound of my cats trying to kill each other startles me awake. Oreo and Roxy don't get along very well, probably because Oreo is a prissy prima donna who cares only about herself, and...

Praise for Laughing at My Nightmare

“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

Reviews from Goodreads

Shane Burcaw

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.

image of Shane Burcawo
FireRock Productions

Roaring Brook Press

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