The first thing to say is that I've not seen a book quite like this before. Sure, I've books about the psychology of mindsets; I've read books about revision and exam technique; I've even read a fair number of text books and revision guides myself. However I've never read anything that could be described as "A User's Guide to the Brain", until now.
This book is chatty, positive and unremittingly enthusiastic about learning. It's also realistic and sensible about teenagers, exams and life in general. It never preaches, but gives solid no-nonsense advice aimed at getting teenagers to take control of their own learning and revision, and backs this up with reassuring hints for parents too. It's also irreverent and funny in places (who knew that the average person farts 17 times per day?) but never down-plays its intelligence for a cheap laugh.
It does give some very specific hints and tips (the section on revising for oral exams is particularly helpful) but the purpose of the book is more about giving young people a wealth of ideas to choose from, and helping them to know their own strengths and weaknesses so that they are able to make good choices. There are quizzes and spaces to fill in, jokes, cartoons and quotes that add up to a visually appealing book as well as one packed with excellent material.
It's definitely a book to pick up and jump into, rather than one to be read from cover to cover; and it's also a book that will be returned to time and time again.
I loved it, and I will be buying copies for all the teenagers I know who are approaching exams and dealing with a lot of life as well. That'll be all of them!