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Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
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256 of 261 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
GIFTED 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.
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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Anyone having trials in their life, will find this book a positive uplift. I found myself identifing with Ben, when he was faced with the first chemistry final at Yale. The sense of divine intervention on his behalf in regards to the test and his acknowledgement of God as the source was/is a pivot point. Without a high grade at that key point, Ben Carson, probably would not have become the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins at age 33. The power of God awaits anyone needing the service of the brillant mind and "Gifted Hands" of Dr. Ben Carson. The thrill of his success comes through when reading the book. You too can join his journey and visualize and vocalize what you too may be. Guidance for becoming a better person is being lived out in the life of one, Ben Carson, M.D. Thank you, GOD for such a man, a living example.
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102 of 110 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
Dr. Ben Carson is living proof that we are NOT mere products of our environments. He overcame a broken home, bad temper, and racial inequality to become a great man, loving father, and famous Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD. In this well paced, informative biography, Carson speaks about the different goals he set for himself throughout his productive life and how he, through patience, hard work, and faith in God, went about achieving them. This was an enjoyable biography, an unusually humble one from someone in the medical profession who has earned every right to brag about his achievements, yet who deliberately avoids doing so. You will enjoy reading this book.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've been suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia for years. When it reached the point where I couldn't take it anymore, I met with Ben Carson and scheduled brain surgery. During the time between meeting him and having successful surgery I read this book. The book solidified my decision to use Dr. Carson, and helped put my wife and 3 young kids at ease. Great inspirational book for anyone!!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is truly a life-changing book. Read about Ben Carson's life and the amazing things that God does through him. A quick and easy read that I would recommend to everyone, particularly youngsters looking for direction in their lives. You will cry, laugh and praise God for the power of prayer.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2005
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Once I started reading this book, it was extremely hard to put it down. I just wanted to know what would happen next. Ben Carson not only has gifted hands, but also a compassionate heart that really cares about people. Everything about this man's testimony is awash with the encouraging sweetness of the Holy Spirit.

Ben went from being a poor black kid from the inner city of Detroit to one of the world's most renown neurosurgeons. Filled with fascinating case histories, this book takes you into the operating room where Ben tackles seemingly hopeless surgeries, which has resulted in many lives being saved.

Dr. Carson has committed himself to encouraging young people.
Ben has put forth a "Think Big" program that he shares with youth. Each letter in the words "Think Big" stand for a character quality that people need to fulfill their purpose in life. For example, the letter "T" stands for talent. Young people are encouraged to learn to recognize and accept their God given talent.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am currently a student journalist majoring in Communications. When I began reading this book, I was almost ready to give up on my career and my education. This book literally changed my whole perception of my life! I absolutely love this book! Being a young African-American woman from the same type of background as Ben Carson, I realized that if I focus on my faith and my God-given talents I could do anything I want. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who needs a little motivation. I am now enjoying school and reading more inspirational books. My next book will be Think Big by Ben Carson.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Once I started reading Gifted Hands, I had it finished within the next 3 days. It is an excellent book because something about it always keeps the reader anxious to find out what is going to happen next. Ben Carson and his brother, Curtis, grew up as poor black kids in the not-so-good area of Detroit. Their father had walked out on them when they were little; therefore, they were raised solely by their mother. Ben had many challenges in his childhood including his slower learning ability, his temper, his lack of self-control, and the racial prejudice shown towards him. When he realized his problems, he decided to change, and he did. He straightened up his life and with the help of prayer and hard work, he eventually became a great student, as well as a life-saving neurosurgeon. He is known to be the first person to successfully separate Siamese twins that were joined at the head, in which both of the boys survived. This was a truly amazing accomplishment and was only one of the major successes Ben Carson has achieved in his career. This is an inspiring story that shows no matter how bad-off you are, if you try, you can always grow to make something great out of your life. Today, Carson is still the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He has been awarded 24 honorary degrees and dozens of national citations of merit and is known for saving innumerable lives and being a wonderful role model for people of any age. This book has truly made an impact on my life-it has shown me to never give up, even when all odds are against me. Also, that everyone has their own purpose to fulfill, and with determination, faith in God, and hard work anyone can achieve a more than successful life.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This well-written book describes the fascinating journey of how one man, born into poverty and considered the "dummy" of his fifth grade class, rose to the position of chief of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Children's center. Although he encountered many obstacles along his journey, including a temper that caused him to almost kill his best teenage friend, Ben Carson gained insight into what he had to do to reach his life's goal of becoming a doctor. In excellent prose, Carson details how he eventually realized his dream through hard work and an unyielding faith in God. Today, Dr. Carson is best known for giving young children a second chance at life. He has separated Siamese twins and routinely performs a remarkable surgeries in which he removes half of the brain of children with intractable seizures. This book serves as an inspirational story of how we can all overcome life's obstacles and reach our goals.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is about a neurosurgeon named Ben Carson. He was the first person to separate siamese twins who were joined at the head, where both of them survived. The book tells a story of a kid who grows up on a knife weilding street with no dad to overcome the odds and become a surgeon. He started fooling around when he was young but his mother wouldn't stand for that behavior. She cracked down hard on him and his brother. Ben and his brother started getting school awards because they focused on their work at school. Since he worked so hard, he was able to get a scholarship to Johns Hopkins University. This is where he was able to become a neurosurgeon. He still works there to this day.

I liked this book and I think anyone who is trying to overcome bad things in their life or someone who would like to become a doctor would like this book. I learned that if you worked hard, you can become almost anything you want to be when you become an adult. A final reason is because he did stuff that other people failed at doing. I know that I would want him to operate on me if I was attached by my head to my brother. There are also some words in this book that are hard for a kid, even an adult, to understand. Even with that, I think most people would enjoy reading this book.
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