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The Brain: Our Nervous System


The human brain is behind everything you do. From taking your first step to creating the computer, this vital organ gives humans the ability to learn and adapt to an ever-changing world. Learn all about your amazing, versatile brain with award-winning science writer Seymour Simon.

Describes the various parts of the brain and the nervous system and how they function to enable us to think, feel, move, and remember.

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The human brain is behind everything you do. From taking your first step to creating the computer, this vital organ gives humans the ability to learn and adapt to an ever-changing world. Learn all about your amazing, versatile brain with award-winning science writer Seymour Simon.

Describes the various parts of the brain and the nervous system and how they function to enable us to think, feel, move, and remember.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
The human body is a most miraculous machine. The brain, the size of a grapefruit, and the nervous system, which controls all that we feel, think, do and remember, are central to the human body. When you touch a hot object, you instinctively pull your hand away because the sensory cells travel four hundred feet a second to the brain, which then returns a signal through the nerve cells that makes your arm move. The cerebrum is divided into two hemispheres that control muscles on the opposite sides of the body. If you are injured on the left hemisphere, the injury may affect your speech and abilities to read and do mathematical problems. Using state-of-the-art computer images, you can see extraordinary views of the brain and the nervous systems. The description of each section of the brain is written in a simple, but informative text and illustrated with clear computer generated pictures and photographs. In recent years, new discoveries about the brain have given educators insights into children's learning styles, thus facilitating curriculum development to match these styles. To people in the medical fields, precise graphic pictorial views have been invaluable to treat and save lives. 1999, William Morrow, Ages 10 to 18, $16.00 and $5.95. Reviewer: Shirley Long
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
Stunning, computer enhanced images of the human brain and nervous system fill the black pages of this dramatic examination of The Brain. Parts of the brain are identified, neural operating procedures are outlined, and current brain research is described. The wonder of this book, as with all of Simon's outstanding works, is that it explains without eliminating wonder. Readers learn about the small organ that controls human thought, movement, reaction, and emotion-they learn enough to stand in awe of it.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6In this most recent effort, Simon brings his deft touch to an explanation of the brain and the nervous system. His clear, concise writing style is complemented by stunning color images taken with radiological scanners, such as CAT scans, MRIs, and SEMs (scanning electron microscopes.) Included in his explanation are descriptions of the anatomy and function of the parts of the brain, long and short term memory, neurons, dendrites, and more. The layout is familiara page of text facing a full-page photo. There is no glossary or index, but, as usual, the book is so well organized that they won't be missed.Christine A. Moesch, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
What does a neuron look like up close? Simon (The Heart, 1996, etc.) provides a computer-colored micrograph of neurons taken by an electron microscope magnified 20,000 times. He goes on to explain how billions and billions of neurons link up the body network nervous system connecting brain and nerves throughout the body, making thought, memory, movement, and other functions possible. The author includes information on new scientific equipment and techniques in a difficult text that requires careful, repeated reading, e.g., "This positron computed tomography (PCT) photo uses radioactive tracers in blood sugar to show two different levels of visual stimulation in the brain." Full-color photographs, computer simulations, drawings, and three-dimensional models are used to grand effect to clarify, explain, and celebrate the remarkably complex system of brain and nerves; the large format, often with white type on black paper and full-page photos, is visually striking. Those who persevere (with no glossary or index to guide them) will appreciate this fascinating title, a case in which the picture-book format works perfectly to complement text with illustrations, but by no means indicates simplicity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060877194
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/23/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 200,896
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Seymour Simon has been called "the dean of the [children's science book] field" by the New York Times. He has written more than 250 books for young readers and has received the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Lifetime Achievement Award for his lasting contribution to children's science literature, the Science Books & Films Key Award for Excellence in Science Books, the Empire State Award for excellence in literature for young people, and the Educational Paperback Association Jeremiah Ludington Award. He and his wife, Liz, live in Great Neck, New York. You can visit him online at, where you can read "Seymour Science Blog" and download a free four-page teacher guide to accompany this book, putting it in context with Common Core objectives. Many of Seymour's award-winning books are also available as ebooks.

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Read an Excerpt

Jiggle your toes. Scratch your nose. Take a deep breath and yawn. Decide which is your favorite food. Try to remember the last time you ate it. Count the number of words in this sentence. Think about what you would like to do tomorrow. Then cup your hands around your head and feel the bones of your skull. Inside your skull is your brain. Your brain is the control center for everything you do.

Each second, millions of signals pass through your brain, carrying all kinds of messages. They bring news about what your body is doing and feeling. Your brain examines the messages, produces thoughts and memories, then plans what to do next. Signals go out from your brain to other parts of your body to enable you to read, run, laugh, breathe, say hello to a friend, or turn to the next page in this book. Try it!

Your brain, like the rest of your body, is made up of hundreds of billions of microscopic cells. Many of them are special messenger cells called neurons. Neurons carry signals back and forth from the brain to other parts of your body.

Billions upon billions of neurons are linked throughout your body in networks that make up the two main parts of your nervous system. The central nervous system, or CNS, consists of your brain and spinal cord. The network of nerves outside your brain is called the peripheral nervous system, or PNS.

Glial cells in the brain outnumber the neurons ten to one. Glial cells do not carry messages. They support the neurons by supplying nutrients and other chemicals, repairing the brain after an injury and attacking invading bacteria.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2010

    A review of The Brain by Erin Wood

    Introduction: The book The Brain is about how our brain and nerves in the brain work as one to make our bodies work. The author did a great job about explaining the nerves in the brain work. The way your brain work is about awesome. And just the way Seymour Simson tells you just how it all works together is so great. Description and summary of main points: One main point in this book is the Brain how and the ways it can work. Simson said "it takes half a second to send a message to the brain and back to feet." Two is that all your nerves in your Brain are all in one big bundle. I thought how he said it was pretty cool. Three is the way the all work as one to make our bodies move. It's different but every thing works as one! Evaluation: Most of the book was on how and why it hurt if you touch something hot. Half of your brain reeves the messages from lets say your hand. And the other half of your brain sends messages back out though your body. Conclusion: Mostly the book is just how the brain works and why it does what it does. And plus the way the nervous system in your brain works. But the brain and the nerves in the brain as one. Your final review: But you would have to read the book to really understand what is about. And just because it's an awesome/ great book! I love this book! And my friend said the cover is really neat.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    What a book!

    My daughter really enjoys reading a variety of books. This really caught her attention and captavated her. She had so many questions. It was great conversing about something so important to us and our body. She's 4 and and requested that we read it every other day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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