Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults


Today's Nonfiction post is on The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances E. Jensen and Amy Ellis Nutt. It is 384 pages long including notes, index, bibliography, and is published by HarperCollins. The cover is red with a pair of earbuds on either side of the title. The intended readers are parents, teachers, librarians, and maybe even teenagers themselves. There is no language, no sex, and no violence in this book. The book is written from the first person voice of Jensen with third person added in with information, stories, and other voices for more knowledge. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Driven by the assumption that brain growth was pretty much complete by the time a child began kindergarten, scientists believed for years that the adolescent brain was essentially an adult one- only with fewer miles on it. Over the last decade, however, the scientific community has learned that the teen years encompass vitally important stages of brain development.
Motivated by her experience of parenting two teenage boys, neurologist Frances E. Jensen, M.D., gathers what we've discovered about adolescent brain functioning, wiring, and capacity and, in this groundbreaking book, explains how these eye-opening findings not only dispel myths about the teenage years, but also yield practical suggestions.
Interweaving clear summary and analysis of research data with anecdotes drawn from her years as a parent, clinician, and public speaker, Dr. Jensen explores adolescent brain functioning and development in the contexts of learning and multitasking, stress and memory, sleep, addiction, and decision making.
Rigorous yet accessible, warm yet direct, The Teenage Brain sheds new light on the brains of adolescents and young adults, and analyzes this knowledge to share specific ways in which parents and educators can help them navigate their way more smoothly into adulthood.

Review- This was a very interesting and easy to read book. I love brain stuff because it is just so interesting but if you have never read anything about the human brain this a great book to start with. Jensen and Nutt make this so accessible, interesting, and informative. They explain terms, tests, and give picture with the information so that the reader can see and understand what they are writing about. This could have been a very difficult read but I think that Nutt helped make it very readable. Jensen has decades of working with children and adolescents to backup her data. Nutt is a writer for  Scientific American. The chapters are broken up by the things that teens and young adults could get into that would affect their brains. Reading about what growing up in an environment with smoking or drinking or abuse does to the brain was both interesting and frightening. Seeing the brains of people who had that versus the ones that did not was very eye-opening. If you know anything about brain science you will enjoy this book like I did. The author's also include some history about how children, adolescents, and young adults have been seen by society.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest review.