Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “You Have a Brain: A Teen's Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.” as Want to Read:
You Have a Brain: A Teen's Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

You Have a Brain: A Teen's Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  740 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Eight proven principles to help you overcome your self-doubt, conquer your fear of the future, reverse negative thoughts about yourself, and hurdle any other obstacles standing between you and your dreams.

But instead of letting his circumstances control him, Dr. Carson took control of his attitude and actions, leading to his discovery of eight straightforward but revolutio
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by Zondervan (first published January 19th 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about You Have a Brain, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about You Have a Brain

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  740 ratings  ·  110 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of You Have a Brain: A Teen's Guide to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.
Joey T
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Most those who know me know an autobiography is not my first choice but when my mom brought this one to me I decided to give it a chance.
You have a brain! Although this may seem like such a simple concept really it’s something we all “forget” by not using it.
Mr Carson’s story was very inspiring to me. His determination, his fervor, his passion for his medical exams. (Being disappointed because he got a 99 instead of an 100 on a test lol not me).
T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.
Michele Morin
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Even if Ben Carson’s mother had foreknown her son’s future as a neurosurgeon, she could hardly have come up with a more fitting rhetorical question to challenge him throughout his childhood: “Do you have a brain?” Mrs. Carson never doubted the affirmative response to that question, and the resulting story is one that deserves to be told, as much for the re-telling of Dr. Carson’s remarkable life as for the revelation of Sonya Carson’s mothering style that anchored her two sons.

Ben Carson got off
Kate Gordon
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book to everyone! it is meant for teenagers, but I think anyone will enjoy this story and become a better person because of it.
Rachel Miller
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A great read!

Who knew Dr. Carson was so funny...

He presented his medical facts in a way that even someone like me could understand (and I was NOT grossed out either) and made the story so entertaining - it read almost like a wonderful fiction novel.

I will certainly be seeking out more books by this author!

And I know it has nothing to do with it but... I'd vote for him for president too!
Lizzie Lashbrook
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A good reminder of how reading can change someone's future, and teach them to use their brain in ways they never thought of before. Also how to determine and develop your God given talent for the good of others. I liked the Think Big statement in this book that is an acronym for
T - Talent
H - Honesty
I - Insight
N - Nice
K - Knowledge

B - Books
I - In-depth learning
G - God
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Okay, so I'm well past my teenage years. Still, I found this book to be the most inspiring one--other than the Bible, of course--that I've read in a long time. I saw the telefilm Gifted Hands, so, I knew Dr. Carson's story, but, to hear him tell it himself and share what he learned, as well as steps to success, made for wonderful reading. If you're stuck in a rut, I recommend this book to you.
Alexandru Herciu
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doctor Corson is a role model for anyone, not just for a med or future med student, he is the kind of person who had been very poor before becoming so successful and he has never forgotten it. The book is good, I give it 4/5 stars for the fact that the writing is a little underdeveloped, but the message is 5/5 stars, and everyone can understand it. It is not an autobiography, even if sometimes it looks like it, it is a self help book, which is build from his own life lessons. The reason behind i ...more
Thais Winzen
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
inspirational and deeply moving!

Since I had very little knowledge of the author, I picked up this book to help my son gather background information on Dr. Carson for an essay he's writing. I didn't expect it would be such an inspiring book for myself as a mother! I highly recommend this book to parents and teens! A must read!
Geoffrey Abrams
I wish most of the young people can read this book. Yes, we all have BRAINs and it is important that we should THINK BIG!
Syd Carp
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very good and inspirational. I need to start thinking about what I want to do in life and this will certainly help in the future.

Recommended ages 12\13 & up.
Jaina Rose
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blogged
4.5 stars. I'm just really stingy with my fives. This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

It's highly misleading of the synopsis to suggest that the mnemonic is the focus of the entire book. He doesn't even mention it until over halfway through! He spends the first half of the book explaining his own humble beginnings and tracing his path to success. Then he turns around and tells the reader how "you too can become a famous neurosurgeon by following this one simple trick!"

Haha, n
This book deserves more than 5 stars, maybe 9 or 150 or something.

I kept liking how he chose to put things more with every page, but I was still so pleasantly surprised by the second to last page turn, where I saw at the bottom, "It's all right to live by godly principles." I don't care who you are; these days, even the most religious people, when they write for as general an audience as Dr. Carson does, don't really use that adjective. And even though I shouldn't underestimate him by now, I wou
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Fantastic book. It's written for a teenage audience, so the chapters are short and the reading is easy. He still uses some good vocabulary words though.

The first half is a brief autobiographical account that sets the reader up for his lessons on the eight parts of T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. Dr. Carson did an amazing job of boiling down his entire life experience into eight very brief "lessons" or "principles." He has interesting stories from his own life or about people he knows, and he'll keep your inte
J.C. Morrows


Ben Carson is not only a gifted surgeon, he is a wonderful writer – funny, interesting and this book is exceptionally difficult to put down.

Even the descriptions of brain surgery, which should be nothing but gross, had my complete attention because they were phrased in such a way that made them interesting but not at all gross or disgusting.

And the stories about Dr. Carson’s mother… WOW!

No wonder he is such an intelligent and learned man – she is clearly a GENIUS!

I refuse to sp
Jasmine Brandt
Not being much of a nonfiction fan, I happened to see this in a Walmart store and thought, "Ok, I only buy books if they are on sale or in a used bookstore, or something except full price in store for a brand new book!" So, being me, I made a mental note to get it from the library.
And I did.
And I'm so glad I did.
This book is so touching, not like some other "motivational/inspirational" books you read. He starts out raw, honest, and simple. He tells his story. Then, gradually, he explains his pri
Caitlyn Sahlberg
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book to anyone! It is written specifically for teenagers but adults could still enjoy this book. I am not a big reader, but this book was written clearly and it was very easy to read. Dr. Ben Carson gives advice on what things made him successful through the acronym T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. The letters stand for Talent, Honesty, Insight, Being Nice, Knowledge, Books, In-Depth Learning, and God. The last chapters of the book go through each one of these topics in more detail. Thi ...more
Amy Talbott
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Carson has some wonderful ideas that can benefit young and old alike from all financial backgrounds. Our society today is one that feels entitled to things they have not worked for, yet Dr. Carson reminds us that this country was founded by men and women who didn't assume others would do for them. in fact those men and women assumed it was their responsibility to Think Big to better themselves and our country.
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book. Ben provides very intriguing background information as he was growing up and how he made it to becoming a neurosurgeon. Ben provides the reader with his philosophy of T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. and explains in detail each individual point.
He started out as the class dummy and eventually made it all the way up to an world renowned neurosurgeon. This book teaches how to use your brain to your full potential and really provides great insight on Ben Carson's views.
Jackson Park
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really like Ben Carson as a writer and public figure. I believe our nation needs a man like him as President. In this book he gives a brief synopsis of his story and then the simple principles he lives by that have pushed him towards success. Let's just say that this book inspires me to read more books.
Joseph Wengerd
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book starts a bit slowly and seems more like the work of a ghost writer in the early stages. As it progresses, it seems more heartfelt and is written better. Dr. Carson's chapters on books and in-depth learning are necessary for all young people to read. They give a wonderful perspective on the hard work and reward of learning.
Spence Van
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In the outstanding book, You Have a Brain, authored by Dr. Ben Carson, he illustrates his life journey and the struggles he had to go through during his escape from poverty in order to become successful. Through his journey Carson offers an abundance of wisdom, life lessons, and a path to success through his acronym T.H.I.N.K.B.I.G. Carson’s life right from the beginning shows the struggle he will have to pave his way through by having resilience in himself. From the beginning of the book, to th ...more
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

I want to start off by saying this book can definitely be targeted towards all ages, but in my opinion, the ideal target for this book is teenagers about to enter high school. It's a quick and easy read. This book offered some good advice, but it wasn't really ground-breaking or life-changing for me...However, this may be due to the fact that I am not at that specific age.

In the first half of the book, Carson talks about his early life and his career as a neurosurgeon. This part is m
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Although no longer a teen, I found this book to be interesting and inspiring because people –whether kids, teens, or adults – are constantly learning and can always strive to be and to think bigger and better. I definitely think teens can benefit from reading it as Dr. Ben Carson offers useful advice on how to identify one’s strengths and constructively craft their strengths to use them for the good of the world.

Some highlights that especially jumped out at me:

Be careful not to confuse informa
The Bookworm Cafe
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teenagers
I see why this book is called a teen’s guide to Think Big. I’ve read Think Big before but reading this book felt like having Ben Carson speak to my teenage self. If you have a teenager who has doubts about the importance of reading, leadership, making smart choices and living a lifestyle of learning, then this book will speak sense into that teenager.

I love the style of writing, it’s like you are in a one on one session with Ben Carson and he is speaking directly to your teenage brain.

This boo
Noah Jalbert
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"You Have a Brain", a novel from Ben Carson, who is a neurosurgeon and philanthropist, was inspired by the up-bringing of a young black man in America. Carson goes into detail about his struggles in school as he, his mother, and his brother bounced around the country trying to find a place to settle. Carson had no idea about the direction of his life until one of his teachers began to push him to strive for more and to go to college. His story was is hugely beneficial to someone like me who is a ...more
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you have read Dr. Carson's autobiography Gifted Hands (whether the original version or the edited version for younger readers), some of the events described in this book may seem familiar. However, this book encourages readers to use their brains, as Dr. Carson's mother was fond of telling her sons growing up, for something good. Using the acronym THINK BIG, Dr. Carson explains how each step can help readers develop the skills and abilities they need to pursue their goals. The target audience ...more
Priscilla Cho
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was inspiring to see how Carson worked his way through many obstacles and hardships with the limited resources he was given. Even through these difficulties, he was still a kid. Sometimes I read inspirational novels and I believe that to achieve something great, one has to have a superhuman character. Carson shared that in the midst of working incredibly hard, he still had thoughts and moments that all kids have. It made the book very relatable.
Mrs Kelly Benning
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent! Dr. Carson's fascinating life is an inspiration. Every American should read how he rose from the depths of poverty to become one of the world's foremost pediatric brain surgeons. Equally impressive is his mother, an illiterate (albeit intelligent) woman from a family of 24 siblings, whose faith in Jesus Christ guided her as a single mother raising two sons in Detroit.
Karin Jenkins
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. I'm fascinated by his story. Being a guide book it was understandably, but slightly annoyingly redundant. Towards the end of each half of the book, he mentions running for president which makes the whole book seem like a ploy to target young voters. But otherwise, amazing story and excellent advice.
Edwin Martin
Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this before wrapping and giving it to an Angel Tree teenager for Christmas. Carson gives a good overview of his life. Not sure how appealing it would be to an average American teen, but worth a try as a Christian giving some hope to the next generation.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: #26 You Have a Brain 1 3 Apr 06, 2019 02:22PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • End of the Spear
  • The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected
  • De ce iubim femeile
  • Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact
  • Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose
  • Why Don't Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom
  • Moromeții I (Moromeții, #1)
  • Origins: How Earth's History Shaped Human History
  • Хаана ч байсан хэрхэн Парисчууд шиг байх вэ
  • Allen Carr’s Easy Way for Women to Quit Smoking (Allen Carr's Easyway)
  • The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens
  • The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl's Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster
  • The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon - The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
  • Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto
  • Microsoft Windows Internals: Microsoft Windows Server(TM) 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 (Pro-Developer)
  • The Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome
  • Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
See similar books…
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.

News & Interviews

Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts throug...
19 likes · 5 comments
“We want to make decisions based on facts. Many people do not. They make their decisions based on what their momma says or what their daddy says or what their political party says — without engaging their brains.” 1 likes
“If you wouldn’t join in a mugging you saw taking place on a street, if you wouldn’t physically attack or verbally abuse and cruelly insult an acquaintance in your school, why would you ever ridicule or hurl vicious and hurtful words at a person online?” 0 likes
More quotes…