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Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story about Brain Science

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  2,637 Ratings  ·  421 Reviews
Phineas Gage was truly a man with a hole in his head. A railroad construction foreman, Phineas was blasting rock near Cavendish, Vermont, in 1848 when a thirteen-pound iron rod was shot through his brain. Miraculously, he survived another eleven years and became a textbook case in brain science. But he was forever changed by the accident, and what happened inside his brain ...more
ebook, 96 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Houghton Mifflin
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Erika It has quite a bit of neurology and science, and can be graphic talking about the injury, but our twelve year old liked it. No sex or profanity or…moreIt has quite a bit of neurology and science, and can be graphic talking about the injury, but our twelve year old liked it. No sex or profanity or anything that would exclude kids from reading it. It is gross though!(less)
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Joe
In order to provide this book with a proper evaluation, my reciprocal ages must weigh in.

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science
A review by Joe Prince, Age 31

Grisly. Stomach-churning. Disgusting. These are adjectives that aptly describe the first chapter - nay! paragraphs - of John Fleischman's brief but explosive account of the freak accident that inspired deeper study of brain science.

Compelling. Engaging. Witty. These are adjectives that aptly describe the entire book. Fl
...more
Karla
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, ebook
I'd never heard of Phineas Gage until I read The New England Grimpendium. Even though he is a hella famous local boy and trailblazer-by-accident in the study of neuroscience, he wasn't trotted out in grade school classrooms to gross out the kids while teaching them important stuff at the same time. Which boggles the mind because it's a highly effective way to instruct. C'mon, teachers. GET WITH THE PROGRAM. Does America want more brain scientists? Then teach them about Phineas Gage when they're ...more
❆ Crystal ❆
3 stars. What an amazing story. It's amazing he survived. It's short but a great read. I enjoyed.
Lars Guthrie
Nov 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Fleischman opens ‘Phineas Gage’ at full tilt, September 13, 1848, ‘a minute or two away’ from an accident that can only be described as freakish. Gage was working with gunpowder, blasting through solid rock as the foreman of a railroad construction gang in Vermont.

The tool of his trade was a tamping iron, three and a half feet long, a little less than two inches round, one end pointed like a spear to set a fuse, the blunt end used to tamp down earth over the gunpowder.

Something went wrong
...more
Dorian Becerra
This book is about Phineas Gage a survivor of a large Iron rod going through his head. This is his story of how this affected brain science forever and his. I liked this book because I've been amazed of how he could survive this accident and I wanted to know more about it. I would recommend this book to people who like brain science.
عمران
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“If you talk about hard core neurology and the relationship between structural damage to the brain and particular changes in behavior, this is ground zero.”

Unless you’re a neuroscientist, you’ve probably never heard of Phineas Gage (I hadn’t until a few days ago). He was born in 1823, and he gained a remarkable level of fame during his lifetime. He’s still famous in certain circles – not for having done anything particularly interesting or impressive, but for having something done to him.

Specif
...more
Burnie Lancaster
Knowing absolutely nothin about neuroscience, I found this fascinating and right at my level! Since there is so little known about Phineas Gage’s life, I can’t imagine an adult version being any better.
Patrice Sartor
GENRE: Non-fiction, biography, brain anatomy, science.

SUMMARY: Phineas Gage suffered a horrendous accident in 1848 when a tamping iron exploded through his skull. Amazingly, Phineas walked away from the accident, and lived for another eleven years. He was a changed man, however. His personality became harsher and less socially adept. He became prone to swearing and shortness of temper. After the incident Phineas was able to interact well with children and horses, and he worked with horses for ma
...more
Barb
I've always been fascinated by the story of Phineas Gage. I've had the book 'The Only Living Man with a Hole in His Head' by Todd Colby Pliss on my list of books to read for a while now. So, this book caught my eye. It's so short it was no trouble to work it into the reading rotation.

The story of Phineas Gage's brain injury is fascinating stuff, an accidental discharge of explosives sent a three foot long iron tamping rod through the man's skull. Minutes later he walked on his own into town to g
...more
Lindsey Jones
History, science, and psychology collide in this short, engaging read! The story of Phineas Gage is fascinating: not only the initial accident, but also the aftermath of the accident on Phineas's life and the developments in brain science and medicine. Fleischman does a great job of interweaving Gage's story with scientific explanations and historical medical developments. This writing style will enable young readers to make sense of technical content due to relevance. The inclusion of images ar ...more
Mary
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ao-heo, children
I really enjoyed this book and will have my children read it, but we will be discussing one aspect of it for sure.
The author said that "Humans have always argued about what makes us human." Then goes on to say, "The case of Phineas Gage suggests that we are human because our frontal lobes are set up so we can get along with other humans." I beg to differ.
Our frontal lobes are not what makes us human. Would we say a brain injured dog is something other than a dog? A brain injured horse is not a
...more
Brianna Preston
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short but engaging read in simple terms about what we've learned over the years about the brain. How did Phineas Gage survive, and what altered him so dramatically?
Kim
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Name: Kim Deniker

APA Citation: Fleischman, J. (2002). Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Genre: Biography, Nonfiction

Awards won: ALA Notable Children’s Books, 2003; New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age, 2004; Book Report, 11/1/2002; School Library Journal, 3/1/2002; Booklist, 3/1/2002; Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA), 6/1/2002; Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books starred, 5/1/2002; Wilson’s Children, 10/1/2010; Five Owls, 6/20
...more
Lauma
I am very interested in brain science and have read several adult books on the subject. I was excited to see a book that introduced this topic to young adult readers. However, I think most children would be primarily drawn in with the title and illustration on the cover and want to read about the gory details, rather than learning about the brain research that came from studying the 11 years that Phineas Gage survived after a metal rod was driven through his skull in a railroad construction acci ...more
(NS) Lauren
Interest/Grade Level: 6-12

Phineas Gage was truly a man with a hole in his head. A railroad construction foreman, Phineas was blasting rock near Cavendish, Vermont, in 1848 when a thirteen-pound iron rod was shot through his brain. Miraculously, he survived another eleven years and became a textbook case in brain science. But he was forever changed by the accident, and what happened inside his brain will tell you a lot about how your brain works and what makes us who we are.

This informational bo
...more
Laurel
This is the true story of Phineas Gage, a railroad worker in the mid 1800's who suffered a brain injury after a 3-foot iron rod shot through his head. He not only survived, but (at least initially) appeared to be physically unaffected. That is, he could still walk, talk and perform normal daily tasks as usual. But he was not the same man. Once even-tempered, he now seemed to lack social skills, and often broke out in an unexpected temper.

Gage is one of the earliest documented cases of severe br
...more
James Govednik
This thorough book, for ages 10 and up, offers a glimpse into the life of the famous subject as well as great science info on the brain, a bit of science history, and a bit of investigation into some of the mysteries surrounding Phineas Gage after his injury. The format is very easy to follow, and there are great supporting photographs and diagrams. The author avoided turning the story into a science textbook and instead manages to adopt an interesting story-telling style when necessary to keep ...more
Nancy
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very short, 96 pages, but powerfully good book. If you are interested in the science of the brain, and in wonderfully well written, unique medical mystery stories...this is a great one. It is set in the mid 1800's and has some wonderful illustrations and information along with the story. I will also be checking out the website recommended by the author for more "Neuroscience for Kids." I just love this field. Along with Dr. Oliver Sachs books, much weightier reads of course, this is o ...more
Linda
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so this is a kid's book but it sure made brain science clear to me. Before Phineas Gage accidently shot a thirteen pound tamping rod through his brain in 1848, and survived, practically nothing was known about the brain. This short book,75 pages, describes Phineas' accident and medical care along with practically the entire history of medicine. Fascinating and a lot of information packed into a quick, easy to understand read. Illustrated. How many neurons do we have in our brains? Ten billio ...more
Matthyas
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science by John Fleischman is a very interesting book about how a man had a tamping iron shot through his head. The book goes on to find out how Phineas Gage had survived the rod through his head. Going throughout the book all about the old beliefs of brain science and the newest beliefs of the brain. Read tht ebook to find out more about this true, fascinating story.
Kara
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography

Teachers - please put this book in the hands of any student interested in science. It breaks down the very cool things the brain can do into a middle school reading level, but absolutely stuffed full of cool facts, pictures, drawings, history and the beginnings of Modern Science, all on a very human level.
Suzanne
Very interesting but definitely not an easy read. This book tells the true story of a man who had a steel rod impaled through his head and survived. It also looks at the science behind how he could survive and the reasons for the personality changes he underwent. This is on a middle school reading list, but the science is a stretch for their comprehension.
Tracy
Jun 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chris Swensen, Jeff, Corbin
Got this for Ryan and ended up reading it myself. It's a true story about a man who had a tamping iron (basically a pike) shot thru his head in a railroad building accident. He lived, and his case is now a very famous study for brain science. Pretty amazing. Ryan gave it four and a half stars.
jmjester
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
#bookaday This is a perfect addition to our nonfiction unit. It's gruesome enough to suck you in, contains just the right amount of information on brain science and its history to challenge our students, and is engaging in manner. If Fleischman decides to write other middle grade books, I'm in.
Malorie Demo
the book seemed to drag on a bit.
Jody
May 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting children's book on this ever fascinating story. I heart Phineas. Well, probably not post-head trauma Phineas.
Renae
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rachelle DeMunck
Interesting and a bit disturbing...but really a great book.
Brooke Bischoff
Phineas Gage, truly a man with a hole in his head. Working just like most people do everyday, Phineas was just having an off day on September 13, 1848. He was a railroad construction foreman and had been doing the same job for a while and became pretty much a pro at what he did. But instead of having everything run smoothly, something goes wrong. As some of his co-workers look over they see Phineas with a thirteen-pound iron rod that was shot right through his brain. Minutes pass and yet he’s st ...more
Dawn
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read about a young American man leading a group of men in their quest of railroad track construction near Cavendish, Vermont, and injured during a dynamite blast which should have only displaced the granite rock. The accident happened on September 13, 1848, and Phineas seemed to literally walk away from his Iron tamper being shot through his head, from his cheek and behind his left eye all the way through the top of his skull. He was able to walk, talk, and remember what had happened ...more
Emilie
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kind of hard to rate, because it's not the usual sort of thing I read, but it was very good for what it was, I thought.

The children's librarian I talked to said that sometimes there are more children's books about interesting subjects than books aimed for older people. Examples she gave were books about dinosaurs and books about presently alive animals.

This particular book is aimed at middle graders. I didn't think it dumbed down the subject, though. I am interested in how the brain works, and f
...more
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John Fleischman, who is now the science writer for the American Society for Cell Biology and a magazine freelancer whose work appears in Discover, Muse, and Air & Space Smithsonian, was working in public affairs at Harvard Medical School when he wrote Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science.

In addition to writing for science publications, Fleischman was a senior editor at
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