Book Review

Book Review : Blame My Brain by Nicola Morgan.

BlameMyBrainA comprehensive guide to the biological mysteries that lie behind teenage behaviour.

Contrary to popular (parental) opinion, teenagers are not the lazy, unpleasant louts they occasionally appear to be. During the teenage years the brain is undergoing its most radical and fundamental change since the age of two. Nicola Morgan’s carefully researched, accessible and humorous examination of the ups and downs of the teenage brain has chapters dealing with powerful emotions, the need for more sleep, the urge to take risks, the difference between genders and the reasons behind addiction or depression. The revised edition of this classic book contains important new research, including information on mirror neurons and their effect on the teenage brain.

I was really keen to read this book as soon as I read the blurb. My long term plan post finishing my degree is to work in a library where I get to work with teenagers, I thought this would be a really useful addition to my personal library.

The first thing I must say about this book is how very accessible it is. It is aimed at teenagers and the adults around them, the book is written in a way that both groups will find interesting and helpful but never feel talked down to or overloaded with information. Relevant scientific research is included wherever it is relevant, this again is discussed in a great manner, there’s no need to have a scientific background to be able to understand it.

The book covers six key areas; Emotions, Sleep, Risk-taking, Gender differences, Mental health issues and Brain development in older teens. Each section includes a case study, a description of what’s going on in the teenage brain, some theories of why the teenage brain might work the way it does, some useful facts and hints to help teenagers and parents survive this stage, and a quiz or activity to do. I really liked this structure, I’m sure different readers will particularly like different sections but by presenting the information in a range of ways there will definitely be something for everybody.

I’m obviously no longer a teenager myself, nor a parent of a teenager, but I found it fascinating to be able to think back to my own teenage years and my experiences (and those of some classmates) and finally understand why some people acted the way that they did.

I think this is a really valuable book, since reading it I’ve recommended it to a number of friends who work with teenagers. I know I’ll be referring back to it for years to come.

I hosted Nicola Morgan earlier this week as part of her blog tour to celebrate the reissue of Blame My Brain. She kindly answered my questions about sleep, you can read that here

Blame my Brain is published by Walker Books. Whilst I was provided with a copy of the book to review all opinions are my own.

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