One in a series of four books about "The Amazing Brain," aimed at the middle school audience, this one discusses the effects of pathology on the human brain. Beginning with the everyday changes in brain physiology and chemistry that can cause pain or discomfort to the most devastating diseases, both inherited and acquired, this well-researched, well-written book illuminates the complexity and mystery of the human brain. As science begins to discover more and more about how the human brain works, pathology such as injury, infections, pressure, circulatory problems and degenerative diseases is becoming more defined. Illustrated with drawings, highlighted vignettes and color photos, this interesting book should appeal to all ages, especially as diseases relating to aging such a Parkinson's and Alzheimer's get more media attention. A glossary, index and sources for further study are included. 2001, Blackbirch Press, $21.95. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger.
Four titles in The Amazing Brain series provide a useful combination of information on how the brain is organized and how this organization affects the way humans respond to the world. The Physical Brain begins by describing the sophistication of the brain and its complexities in relation to behavior. This volume explains the communication network of the brain, including the spinal cord, neurotransmitters, and hormones; the function of each part of the brain; and the physical changes in the brain through aging. The final chapter briefly addresses consciousness, sleep, and other mysteries of the mind. Neurological Disorders discusses a healthy brain and then presents current information on malfunctions and diseases of the brain, from tension headaches to epilepsy. The diseases of the brain are organized and presented clearly by chapter. For example, the chapter on circulatory problems includes a discussion of aneurysm and stroke. The section on degenerative diseases includes multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. The final chapter presents chemical abnormalities of the brain and the role a psychiatrist might play in the treatment of autism, Tourette Syndrome, and various mental illnesses. Other series titles include Perception, which addresses the five senses, balance, and motion; and Addiction, which discusses the various definitions of addiction that have emerged over time—a disease, behavior, or some combination of the two. This title ends with a discussion of genetics concerning addictive predisposition and recovery options. Format is consistent across titles. Ample diagrams and photographs support the clear text. This series is suitable for school andpublic libraries and for teens with a budding interest in physiology. Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Further Reading. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Blackbirch Press, 64p. PLB $21.95. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer: Cynthia Grady
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Two attractive books that could easily have been combined into one. Brynie covers the anatomy and physiology of the brain and Goldsmith discusses injuries, infections, conditions caused by pressure and circulation problems, degenerative diseases, and mental illness. Both are well written with good analogies. Sidebars spark interest; one is about Einstein's brain (Physical), another about the use of sentinel chickens to track the spread of encephalitis (Disorders). Both titles have colorful photographs and charts throughout. The diagrams are well labeled and easily understandable, but not quite as informative as those in Steve Parker's The Brain and the Nervous System (RSVP, 1997). Brynie's 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked about Itself (Millbrook, 1998) cleverly covers the same material with color diagrams.-Martha Gordon, formerly at South Salem Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.