Laughing at My Nightmare

Laughing at My Nightmare
Written by Shane Burcaw

Shane Burcaw 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.

Primary Source Pairing:
Laughing at My Nightmare is a look inside Shane’s life in the most intimate way. He is not only an advocate for himself but for people who live all types of disabilities. For this primary source pairing, invite students to examine a picture of Shane and his brother. Additionally, use the many primary sources embedded in the book. To read more from Shane, check out his Tumblr.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What other details can you see
  • What feelings do you have while looking at this picture?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Shane and his brother: Tumblr