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Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story [Paperback]

February 19th, 2013

Gifted Hands The Ben Carson Story [Paperback]
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Book Description
Release date: November 26, 1996
Ben Carson, M.D., works medical miracles. Today, he’s one of the most celebrated neurosurgeons in the world. In Gifted Hands, he tells of his inspiring odyssey from his childhood in inner-city Detroit to his position as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital at age 33. Ben Carson is a role model for anyone who attempts the seemingly impossible as he takes you into the operating room where he has saved countless lives. Filled with fascinating case histories, this is the dramatic and intimate story of Ben Carson’s struggle to beat the odds — and of the faith and genius that make him one of the greatest life-givers of the century.
Editorial Reviews
From School Library Journal
YA– A brief, easy-to-read autobiography of a black man who is one of today’s leading neurosurgeons. While pursuing his career, Carson encountered prejudice, negative peer pressure, and politics in getting a job. His sense of humor, faith in God, patience, and his belief in the work ethic come through without preaching. In the last chapter, Carson gives recommendations to students on ways to live and to achieve. –Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Publisher
In 1987, Dr. Benjamin Carson gained worldwide recognition for his part in the first successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head. The extremely complex and delicate operation, five months in the planning and twenty-two hours in the execution, involved a surgical plan that Carson helped initiate.

Carson pioneered again in a rare procedure known as hemispherectomy, giving children without hope a second chance at life through a daring operation in which he literally removed one half of their brain.

But such breakthroughs aren’t unusual for Ben Carson. He’s been beating the odds since he was a child.

Raised in inner-city Detroit by a mother with a third grade education, Ben lacked motivation. He had terrible grades. And a pathological temper threatened to put him in jail. But Sonya Carson convinced her son that he could make something of his life, even though everything around him said otherwise.

Trust in God, a relentless belief in his own capabilities, and sheer determination catapulted Ben from failing grades to the top of his class–and beyond to a Yale scholarship . . . the University of Michigan Medical School . . . and finally, at age 33, the directorship of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Today, Dr. Ben Carson holds twenty honorary doctorates and is the possessor of a long string of honors and awards, including the Horatio Alger Award, induction into the “Great Blacks in Wax” Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, and an invitation as Keynote Speaker at the 1997 President’s National Prayer Breakfast.

Gifted Hands is the riveting story of one man’s secret for success, tested against daunting odds and driven by an incredible mindset that dares to take risks. This inspiring autobiography takes you into the operating room to witness surgeries that made headlines around the world–and into the private mind of a compassionate, God-fearing physician who lives to help others. Through it all shines a humility, quick wit, and down-to-earth style that make this book one you won’t easily forget. Dr. Benjamin Carson is director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He lives with his wife, Candy, and three sons in West Friendship, Maryland.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
145 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contagious inspiration and motivational drive June 20, 2004
By QUEEN_OF_EVERYTHING
Format:PaperbackGIFTED HANDS, an autobiographical look into the life of one of the best neurosurgeons in the U. S. of A, is so unbelievably inspirational and poignant. If 100 people simultaneously read this book, I assure you at least one of them would walk away a changed person! I know Ben Carson has changed me. From now on, I’m vowing to do my absolute best. This year of homeschooling has given me many opportunities to “slack off” as one might say – I’ve taken a few of those opportunities. Even though I ended up with mostly As, I’m vowing to give my all into my academic performance next year. Ben Carson’s motivational drive is absolutely contagious!
Benjamin Carson, M.D started out on the mean Detroit streets. His father had to leave the family after it was found he was practically living a double life: he had a girlfriend and another family while married to Ben’s mother. While his mother assured him the family would be fine, they had to struggle to make ends meet. Yet all the while, she kept pushing and pushing Ben to be the best he could possibly be. All the while, she knew he had it in him to get out of the Detroit ghetto in which they lived. All the while, she knew he’d make something of himself. And he did.

We see an amazing transformation from a skeptical kid, unsure of life, to an intelligent neurosurgeon with a heart of gold – so much so that he can’t help but break down and cry when surgery results in the death of a patient. He is a person who made the best of his education, as well as his college years. He went from being the best to simply doing his best and can be regarded as an inspiration to all because his standard of life he began with wasn’t as favorable as many rich families who have attended Ivy League colleges for generations. In his case, he along with his older brother, Curtis, were the first in the family to attend colleges. Curtis ended up at University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and Ben enrolled at Yale University, where he met his wife, Candy.

Ben’s beginnings were certainly not easy. Signs of determination showed as young as the age of 10. He started out as the “class dummy” in school, frequently getting every single question on his math tests wrong. But then, through hard work and a lot of reading at the local library, plus a new presciption for glasses, he expanded his knowledge in every subject. Soon, “good” wasn’t good enough. Ben was driven to be the best. In fact, he was so driven that he won a full scholarship to the renowned Yale University.

God has clearly played a pivotal role in Ben’s life. Before operating, he always prays to the Lord. But one life experience in particular especially is one I won’t soon forget. Ben feared flunking a Yale exam and knew last-minute cramming would do him no good. As he slept, he dreamt of the mathematical facts and figures and equations. The next day, he nervously proceeded to take the exam and realized many of the questions had been in his prior dream! After a lot of worrying, Ben scored a 97 on the exam. He knew it was God’s way of helping him.

What I most enjoy about this autobiography is the way in which Ben addresses the readers. Whether his audience ranges from the age of 13 to the age of 99, either age should enjoy it. Clearly, Ben is a brilliant genius. He speaks eloquently, yet he doesn’t throw in the “big words” he could probably use if he chose to. Instead, his story is told through simple language that anyone can understand.

Ben Carson ought to be regarded as a role model for today’s youth. Those not on the right path to a successful future could especially benefit, as a book like this could assist in a serious straightening out of priorities. As I mentioned before, Ben’s motivational drive is contagious and inspiring! This down-to-earth doctor’s story is really meant for everyone, teens and adults alike.