Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (autobiography)

Reviewed by: Kimball, age 15

Benjamin Carson, M.D. is arguably the most talented and successful surgeon in the world. He has saved countless lives and has changed the perception of black people in the world. His autobiography tells how he worked hard to become who he was and all the obstacles he had to face.

Genre: Autobiography

Time Period: 1959-1986


When Ben Carson is eight, his mother finds out that his father is cheating on her and so they divorce, leaving Sonya Carson a single mom of two. Ben explains his early life: coping with not having a father, being ostracized for being black, and how his mother, who had a third grade education and couldn't read, took it upon herself to educate him and made him read until he was at the top of his class in school, and how he and his brother Curtis became top students when before they hadn't considered themselves to be smart, blaming the color of their skin. He discusses how religious he is and how God helped him throughout his life to get a good education, control his anger and deal with racism. He talks about his college experience and the tests he had to study for and when he met his wife and how he saw the hand of the Lord in everything. As a medical doctor he performs many revolutionary and successful surgeries which change understanding of neurosurgery, neuroscience and the field of medicine. A famous example is the separation of two twins joined at the head performed by him and his team. The surgery was almost unsuccessful but in the end the twins miraculously survived.

Themes: You are the master of your destiny, race doesn't matter, trust in God

Recommended Age: 12 and up

Full Disclosure:

Anti-black racial slurs. There are also descriptions of surgeries which are not inappropriate but may cause squeamishness.

Rating: 4 stars

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