You Have A Brain – book review and giveaway

THINK BIGToday, I have another wonderful book by Dr. Ben Carson to review: You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. I also get to offer a copy to a reader through a Rafflecopter giveaway. This has been one exciting read!


Dr. Carson came from a difficult past. A past that I can only read about. I didn’t have to struggle through any of what he did. His past did not define him, though. His mother taught him better. She had a vision for him and his brother and she fought for that vision to come to fruition. The back of the book reads:

Sometimes you have to think big to think smart.

When I was a child, I did not think my brain was capable of doing much of anything. My classmates considered me the class dummy and I saw no reason to debate their conclusion. My mother, however, always believed in me. She knew I had a brain, and she was convinced that brain could be my ticket to a bigger, better world beyond our tiny home and life on the big city streets of Detroit.

And she was right.

Think Big acrostic

Dr. Carson shares a lot about his upbringing, the road he had to travel and the mountains he had to overcome. But he makes it clear that those were his mountains to overcome and he chose to do so. He chose to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.

Through stories and examples, Dr. Carson encourages each of us to THINK BIG.
T – Talent – defining and broadening your definition can open up more opportunities to think big.
H – Honesty – the range of words that honesty incorporates builds character so you can think big.
I – Insight – changes the way you see things, allowing you to think big.
N – Nice – learning how to be nice, and always doing so, shows you new avenues to think big.
K – Knowledge – gaining a wide range of knowledge making you more valuable, you can think big.
B – Books – change not just what you know but who you are and open realms to think big.
I – In-Depth Learning – take initiative and learn deeply what is important; an expert can think big.
G – God – gives us all we are and need; He ties all of these together and give us everything we need to think big.

While this book is directed at teens, there is much to be gleaned from the principles Dr. Carson sets forth in this book. Reading and applying it, you can change your life. Even just applying one of his ideas and principles will create a change in your life.

One of my favorite principles was employed by Dr. Carson’s mother and it is so simple. She would simply ask her boys “Do you have a brain? … You need to use the brain God gave you.” (p.15) The thought behind those words places responsibility where it needs to be and I can see this being a wonderful tool for helping children grasp their responsibility. I’ll be using this phrase, I imagine.

A nice feature of this book is that Dr. Carson included a series of questions at the back of the book. These questions serve a couple of purposes. One set of question is designed to help you think through your true talents. This is one that should be done individually but, if it is a teen working through it, a parent’s input might be valuable on some of the questions. It is always good to bounce your thoughts off of someone. The second set of questions are for discussion. This would help make this book a good book group selection or assigned reading for teens and preteens.

Think Big win

This has been a refreshing look at life. I have enjoyed it tremendously. I can’t wait to read through this with my oldest. We are going to read it, at chapter at a time on our own, and then get together after her sisters are in bed to talk about what she read. To see how it all fits together. To help her see a vision for her future. To discuss and bond and seek God. Because, as Dr. Carson stated

God has give us everything we need to think big. He is what ties it all together. So the better we know the One who designed our brains, the bigger and better we’ll be able to think. Because we cannot ever thing bigger than God. p. 218

At Home.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book and an appreciation certificate for a giveaway, free from Family Christian Stores.  I was not required to write a positive review, and any affiliate relationship does not impact my opinions. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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