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Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  18,137 ratings  ·  1,976 reviews
Gifted Hands by and about Ben Carson, M.D., is the inspiring story of an inner-city kid with poor grades and little motivation, who, at age thirty-three, became director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Gifted Hands will transplace you into the operating room to witness surgeries that made headlines around the world, and into the private mind ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 26th 1996 by Zondervan (first published February 10th 1992)
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J R No. Turns out parts of it aren't true either.…moreNo. Turns out parts of it aren't true either.(less)
Anne Marie Gifted Hands tells the story of Dr. Ben Carson, who went from a inner city kid living in Detroit, to a world renown neurosurgeon. Its a very inspiring…moreGifted Hands tells the story of Dr. Ben Carson, who went from a inner city kid living in Detroit, to a world renown neurosurgeon. Its a very inspiring story and I highly recommend it. (less)

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  18,137 ratings  ·  1,976 reviews

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Jun 20, 2007 rated it it was ok
This is supposed be inspirational, but it seems to show how blessed and special Ben Carson is. I appreciate his message, but I come away not inspired but frustrated. What happens when folks pray and God says no or they don't get the same result Carson did?
And if it's supposed to be inspiriational why only one chapeter on his big thing, Think Big?
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Stop what you're doing. Read this right now. I did a gigantic project on this book. My God I loved it. It was simply remarkable.

The whole story of his life is inspiring, and the book causes you to become very emotionaly attached to Ben Carson as a character. I, at least, felt his struggles, victories, and failures quite strongly. If it's being rated by emotional investment, it gets 5 stars. If its being rated for writing style, it gets 5 stars. The voice is powerful and has a sincere tone to it
Mar 26, 2008 rated it liked it
I'd give this book 3 1/2 stars, maybe even 4, but I'm not quite sure.

I love the story, particularly the beginning where he talks about his mother. (She's the reason I read the book -- I had heard a little teaser of the story at a presentation by Jim Trelease and wanted to hear more about her.) She is an incredible person and did what every mother should do -- give her kids a chance to be better and do more than she did.

Ben Carson and his brother were raised in inner-city Detroit, with their odds
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: twice-read
Ben Carson is a gifted surgeon...and I wish he just stayed in his lane instead of taking on politics but that's a different discussion for a different time...

Gifted Hands is inspiring as he gives all the credit to God for what he has accomplished.

I feel the story borders on fantasy, and doesn't show him as a hard worker. It would have been more refreshing if things didn't seem to just "come" to him.
Recommended by Honey for a Teen's Heart, this promises to be an excellent story.

Wonderful, wonderful! This book is all about education and the importance of it. But, instead of being preachy, it's a great story. Even my 7 (almost 8) year old doesn't want to miss a bit of it. Some of the things we have tried to teach our kids are reiterated in this book. Yippee! Also, there is the wonderful aspect of faith in God and miracles throughout the pages of this book.

Book on tape is read by the author!

Uncle Tootie
Dec 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If his hands are so gifted, how did he write such an awful book? In "Gifted Hands", Dr. Ben's arrogance, holiness, and fairy tales ceaselessly damage what should be an inspiring story. Further, God makes multiple cameos in Ben's life to provide money ($10 bills found on the ground) test answers (don't waste your time studying kids, just pray), and of course, gifted hands (blessed hand-eye coordination, Ben would have been an unbeatable ping-pong player). Unfortunately, God forgets to give Dr. Ca ...more
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to be inspired
This was a beautiful and inspirational book! Not only did a poor black man living in the ghetto of Detroit get an amazing education, he also became one of the most famous neurosurgeons in America.

What impressed me so much was his mother's determination; she was only 13 years old when she got married and, to make things worse, she became a single parent when her husband left her.Despite all this,she knew how important education and faith would be for her sons; she encouraged them to read books a
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Carson tells about his youth growing up in a poor black neighborhood in Detroit. Apparently when he was eight years old he decided he wanted to become a physician. He speaks highly of his mother keeping him on track toward his goal. He tells of going to Yale and feeling he did not belong there amongst the wealthy students. He went on to the University of Michigan for his medical school. He is one of eleven African Americans to become a board certified neurosurgeon. He became head of pediatric ne ...more
I’m so happy that I read this. Carson’s story is wonderful and uplifting. He experienced so many struggles and yet became a better person and his faith in God has been strengthened. I love how grounded he remains despite all of his incredible contributions to the field of neurosurgery. He attributes most of his success to God, his mother, and his medical team. His perseverance and humility are truly admirable. To me, this book should be required reading for all high school students, as well as a ...more
Veronica Trotter
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-that, throwback
Loved the book. It's crazy that I've known of Dr. Carson for years. I went to see him speak at TSU in Nashville some years ago while I was in dental school at Meharry Medical College. I purchased the book then... That was early 2000's. I just decided to read it in its entirety. I was pleasantly surprised that a lot if his story paralleled mine. Not so much the educational part of tough up bringing, but his thought processes. I underlined and highlighted so much because I was surprised to find - ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like to read about highly successful people. Ben Carson is one of them. This takes you from his living in Detroit and being raised b a single mom who insisted he achieve success... through his education and eventually to his historic surgery of separating Siamese Twins joined at the head.

He’s a devotedly religious man who credits God with giving him his talent and skills as a brain surgeon. He’s an example for the youth of the world to emulate.

He’s gotten a lot of crap in the news the
Sarah Grace Grzy
Very inspiring and encouraging! I really enjoyed this book.
Jonna Higgins-Freese
Feb 19, 2015 rated it did not like it
I have read dozens of memoirs, but seldom any by "celebrities"/superstars. Now I know why. The first part of the book, in which Carson recounts his early childhood and the difficulties he overcame at that time, as well as his gratitude to his mother, was readable. He has a particular point of view -- one that focuses on personal responsibility instead of systemic/structural readings of social problems (i.e., academic performance of African Americans). Fair enough. Many of the factors he narrates ...more
Jul 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Ben Carson tells his life, his past, as he remembers it. And tells it in a style and simplicity to mentor faith coupled with hard work. He tells the earliest years to a 4 star level and also the separation operations on the babies to nearly a 5. But much of the middle is more mindset and locations rather than the essence it must have taken to continue in his physician's particular slot. But that's Ben too- he does some things extremely well and others are just more holistically generic, IMHO.

May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
From inner city (Detroit) Ben Carson, a poor black kid , raised by a very determined single mother , to whom he dedicates the book , becomes a renowned neurosurgeon changing children's lives at John Hopkins Medical Center. An inspiring true story of determination, persistence , and faith. This 2011 reprint, with a forward by his mother, who was one of 24 siblings and married at age 13 (Can that be right ? wow ) is out in trade paperback and is a very quick read. Take two hours and restore your f ...more
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is the true story of a remarkable man, and what led to his success. Dr. Carson is the head pediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins. He began his life as a child in Detroit, Michigan. His Mom, who Dr Carson attributed much of his success to, was one of 20 plus siblings. She married at 13, and when Ben and his brother were young boys, they found out that his dad was a bigamist. When he left Ben's family, he was never seen by them again. Ben's Mom's third grade education assured her the necessi ...more
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I saw this man in clips from the National Prayer Breakfast and was so impressed by him. Learning more about him, I found out that he was a world renowned neurosurgeon out of Johns Hopkins. One of my sons needed brain surgery as an infant so I probably know more information about the brain than the typical stay at home mother, I have even met doctors that I know more than (sad). My second reason for finding him interesting is that my son-in-law is in residency for neurosurgery and everyone tell m ...more
Tim Chavel
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hope that Ben Carson will run for President. This is the type of person we need to lead America back to our foundation. In his book "Gifted Hands" he shares his life story and what a story it is. Raised by a single Mom, he grows up without much of material things. He worked very hard to become a world renowned neurosurgeon. This book was also produced as a movie. I trust you will enjoy the quotes below:

“You’ve The Captain of Your Ship”
If things go bad for you-
And make you a bit ashamed,
Often y
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
EXCELLENT BOOK. A surgeon's long journey from knife-wielding, street fighter in Detroit to master of the scalpel--a leader in pediatric neurosugery. I admired the way he gave God credit for his successes and the influence of his mother, who only went as far as 3rd grade herself. ...more
Lisa Asanuma
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this for a biography paper I did in elementary school, and I'm embarrassed to say that it usually takes a school assignment in order for me to read nonfiction (something I'll have to change, as I'm now obviously out of school). I really should re-read this, because I don't remember much about it at all, except for what the Cuba Gooding Jr. TV movie stirred up for me, and the fact that Dr. Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist, along with, of course, the basics of the brilliant procedure Carso ...more
John of Canada
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any one who loves motivation,and a positive message.
I first became aware of Ben Carson when he was being interviewed and said about politics:"it isn't brain surgery...brain surgery is harder".Dr. Carson has written one of the best motivational books I've come across.He describes his craft/art well,he is always kind,honest and admirably grateful.He is not afraid to honour his belief in God.I am sort of glad he didn't become President.A man of his class and character shouldn't have to deal with a vicious prevaricating media.
This is the second biogr
Lauren Cecile
I really admired him way back then.
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book! I really enjoyed reading about Ben Carson and his story. The whole premise of this book can be shared in Ben's statement that
"It's my belief that God gives us all gifts, special abilities that we have the privilege of developing to help us serve Him and humanity."
Ben Carson shares his life story, starting from when he was eight years old and the events and people that played a major role in forming who he was and his beliefs. One of his biggest influences was from his mother,
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Written in 1990, Gifted Hands is the autobiography of Ben Carson, who became director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins at the ripe old age of 33. Growing up in Detroit, the son of a single black woman with a third grade education, it would be expected that Carson would dissolve into inner city oblivion. Instead, because of his mother's vision of potential, Ben and his brother both rose to prominence in their respective fields.

I found his mother's story to be inspiring. A simple demand
Jr Bacdayan
My dad gave me this book and made me read it. It's basically the autobiography of Dr. Ben Carson, a world renowned neurosurgeon that made headlines worldwide for his part in the first successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head. The first half of the book is about his life. From his childhood through med-school, through his marriage and his children. His story is very interesting. He comes from a broken family, his mother raised him and his brother by herself in down-to ...more
Jan 30, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a well written book. I have mixed reviews of Ben Carson. His talent and drive is unmeasurable, and his most admireable quality is his relationship and respect for God. But there isn't much he does not htink of himself. His arrogance in his own abilities at times put me off. Several times in his book her dismisses everyone else's opinion and continues to do as he pleases. I am not sure whether that is a lesson for me in needing to belive in yourself or permission to be completely self-abs ...more
Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)
"I emphasize that active learning from reading is better than passive learning such as listening to lectures or watching television. When you read, your mind must work by taking in letters and connecting them to form words. Words make themselves into thoughts and concepts. Developing good reading habits is something like being a champion weightlifter. The champion didn’t go into the gym one day and start lifting 500 pounds. He toned his muscles, beginning with lighter weights, always building up ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-romance
Rating: 5 stars.

I love Ben Carson. I love everything he stands for, I him him as a person and I love his love and belief in God. I was given this book by my mum when I was 12, to hell me get through a rough patch in life. I had started skipping classes due to bullying and problem in my home life and this helped me get out of that place. His story inspired me to actually try my best in school.
I really appreciated the Christian faith of Ben Carson and how he isn't afraid to mention how much it made up his perspective and life. At times I was prepared to hear more of his struggle in being a black male in the white world of the medicine, he was very fortunate that most of it was positive and didn't stop him from achievement. ...more
John Avanzato
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A short, easy to read autobiography which gives a glimpse into the difficult and fascinating journey of one our nations most talented surgeons. If you want to know who Ben Carson is and what he is all about then this is a must read.
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Benjamin Solomon "Ben" Carson, Sr., M.D. is an American neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States by President George W. Bush in 2008. ...more

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