The Brain: The Ultimate Thinking Machine
illus. by Alex Graudins. 128p. (Science Comics). glossary. notes. First Second. Oct. 2018. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781626728004; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781626728011.
Gr 5–8—Fahama, who wears a headscarf, agrees to help her sister, Nour, sell cookies and winds up learning all about the brain when she is taken hostage after knocking on the door of mad scientist Dr. Cerebrum and his zombie butler. Prior to executing his plan to extract Fahama's brain for science, Dr. Cerebrum gives her a short history of the early days of brain science and how the human brain evolved into the complex organ that it is today. Dr. Cerebrum explains neurons and glial cells, how the different parts of the brain function, and how our senses work in relation to the brain—specifically how the brain receives, organizes, and interprets sensory stimuli. Fahama also learns about language, memory, and the many types of intelligence. Colorful illustrations illuminate the text. The combination of an entertaining story line (note: Fahama does escape), engaging and clear language, and bold, crisp panels makes for a highly effective introduction to the workings of the human brain.
VERDICT A strong complementary text for science classes focusing on neuroscience.

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