Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having A Disability

NotSoDifferentNot So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having A Disability
Written by Shane Burcaw, Illustrated by Matt Carr

Publisher’s Summary:
A picture book answering the questions young children ask Shane Burcaw about his wheelchair and life with Spinal Muscular Atrophy with equal parts optimism, humor, and empathy.

Primary Source Pairing:
Shane Burcaw is funny, inspiring, and informative. His book gives the reader a chance to experience his life from his perspective. For this primary source pairing, use the text itself as the primary source. Read the book slowly and give students a chance to study the photographs of Shane. Encourage students to make connections to how Shane navigates the world to how they move and play. If funds allow, purchase or collect multiple copies of the book to give students a chance to follow along during storytime.

As a lesson extension,  pursue the opportunity to have Shane Skype with your school. More information about his presentation is available on his website:

Questions for Discussion:

  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What’s happening in the image?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett