“If the human mind were simple enough to understand, we'd be too simple to understand it.”
Emerson Pugh

Brainy Reading Suggestions

There are so many books about the brain ... from simple books for children to dense academic works intended for researchers.  What we've done here is suggest some of our favorites, intended for general audiences.

For Adults

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Home, Work and School, John Medina, Pear Press, 2014

Medina's 12 principles can help us understand and improve the way we manage sleep and stress, learn more effectively, and retain newly acquired information.  He addresses issues such as multi-taking (which he explains doesn't really exist) and how different men's and women's brains are (and whether it really matters.  By the end of the book, you'll understand a lot more about your brain and how to put your new knowledge to use in all aspects of life.

The Genius in All of Us.  New Insights into Genetics, Talent and IQ, David Schenk, Doubleday, 2011

Shenk writes powerfully and in a very engaging way, drawing on scientific research from multiple fields to make the case that genetics are not destiny. He debunks the common understanding of giftedness and shows how greatness and extraordinary achievements are within the reach of each of us. If you are ever tempted to feel that your innate abilities just aren't enough to succeed in reaching your goals, Shenk's optimistic message can have you thinking in a whole new way.

Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life, Steven Johnson, Scribner, 2004

In this bestselling book, Johnson makes the case that brain science can help us understand ourselves.  He looks at topics including the neurochemistry of love and sex, how music affects us emotionally, and where breakthrough ideas come from.  He draws connections from the science to improving how we parent, live and relate to others in our lives.  

The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge, Penguin Books, 2007

­­­­Doidge's popular book explains how the science of neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change at any age) is transforming old ideas about how the brain works.  His stories of individuals who benefit rom our new understanding of neuroscience are fascinating, including stroke patients, a woman born with half a brain whose brain rewired itself to work as a whole and other examples of our extraordinarily adaptive brains.

For Teachers

Brain Matters, Translating Research into Classroom Practice, Patricia Wolfe, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2010

This is a book that every teacher should read.  In it, Dr. Wolfe explains how what we know about how the brain learns can help us improve classroom practice and enable our students to learn better and more enduringly.  She describes brain anatomy and function in understandable terms and bridges biology to teaching and learning.  The most recent edition looks at brain development from birth through adolescence and addresses the impact of exercise, sleep, nutrition and technology on the brain. Finally, Dr. Wolfe provides a plethora of brain-compatible instructional strategies that teachers can put to use immediately in the classroom.

How the Brain Learns, David Sousa, Corwin Press, 2011

Sousa explains topics that are important for teachers to understand, including how the brain's memory systems work, how our brains organize information, and the improvement of cognitive processing and the development of creativity.

What the Best College Teachers Do, Ken Bain, Harvard College, 2004

Bain's book comes from a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities.  With engaging real-life examples, he makes the point that the best teachers know their subjects inside and out, but also are able to engage and challenge students, convincing them that what they are teaching them is vitally important, and that their students are capable of learning it. 

The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning, James Zull, Stylus Publishing, 2002

In this book, Zull explains how thinking and learning are the result of biological processes.  Everything we do as teachers changes our students' brains.  In fact, Zull clarifies how learning is really the creation and strengthening of synapses (connections among neurons in the brain).  He relates clearly explained brain structure and function directly to classroom practice and his own teaching experiences.

For Kids

Your Fantastic, Elastic Brain, JoAnn Deak and Sarah Ackerley, Little Pickle Press, 2010

JoAnn Deak, a consultant to schools worldwide on brain development, explains in a child-friendly way, accompanied by colorful illustrations, how they can stretch and grow their own brains.  She also shows how making mistakes is a vital part of learning. The book provides an easy-to-understand and engaging introduction to brain structure and function, and leaves young readers (or children being read to) with an understanding of how what they do can help build their brains and their capacity to learn and think.  This is a book that we often recommend to parents and teachers to use when they are introducing BrainWare SAFARI to their children/students.

The Owners' Manual for Driving Your Adolescent Brain, JoAnn Deak and Terrence Deak. Little Pickle Press, 2012

This book, by the author of Your Fantastic, Elastic Brain, covers much the same neuroscience territory as the earlier book, but at level and with a spin of "coolness" designed for pre-adolescent and teenage readers.  As the publisher says, "It's all about training your brain to help you become the very best version of yourself!"

Success Stories from Our Users

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Parents Say ... You Can Give This Gift to Your Child

by Cheryl M. (Drew, Age 10)

"It's like the difference between taking your child to a music lesson and sitting and waiting or having the music teacher come to your house. You can manage it, you can get your hands around it, and you can give this gift to your child."

Clinicians Say ... It Should Be a Staple in Every Household

by Teresa Rosen, PhD

"As a clinician and a parent, I have never seen a program that offers the intensity and diversity that BrainWare Safari offers. For the price, for the time involved, for the motivation of the child, there's nothing out there that even comes close. It should be a staple in every household."

Parents Say ... More Willing to Work Independently

by Fred K. (Katelyn, Age 7)

"I noticed a change in Katelyn's willingness to work independently. She seems a lot more willing to take on a task and work through it on her own."

Adult Users Say ... If I’d Had It Earlier, School Would Have Been Much Less Difficult

by Joshua Woodward, MSW, Chicago, IL

"I spent the better part of my years in grammar school in "LD" classes, where I wasn't challenged. I suffered when I made the transition to "Mainstream" classes. My performance was average at best, but I was able to teach myself the necessary skills to be as successful as my peers and did the same at all of the subsequent transitions to junior high, high school, college and graduate school. After having worked through BrainWare Safari, I can attest to its usability as well as playability. Had I been given such a tool in my early stages of learning, i blelieve my time in school would have been less difficult."

Parents Say ... Grades Have Improved

by Mary H. (Philip, Age 10)

"Whereas before Philip would come home and want to do other things because homework was too hard or would take too long. Now he comes home and does it. And the best part is his grades have improved."

A Homeschooling Parent and Adult User Says ... I Have Much Better Concentration and Memory

by Ramona Baker

"We had an evaluation were recommended for about $14,000 worth of brain work. I bought Brain Safari for my 14 year-old son, my 15 year-old daughter and for myself ( age 55). I am nearly finished with the program. I cant say what it has done for the kids yet, but I know for myself, I have a much better degree of concentration and memory. I am looking forward to seeing improvement in my daughter's logic and my son's processing speed. My children enjoy the program and I have not had to remind them to do it. It cost us less than one hour of brain training. We all wish there were more logic problems in the program."

Kids Say ... My Teacher Was Very Impressed

by Rachael H. (Age 7)

"I think it was fun and it helps me with my memory. When I had Chinese class, I got all of them right. The teacher was very impressed."

Parents Say ... An Alternative to Video Games

by Thao D. (Christian, Age 9)

"The kids nowadays are really into computers and this is an alternative to video games. It helps improve their learning and keeps them busy and they're having fun. What else could you ask for?"

Parents Say ... This Program Has Been a Gift


"Fourth grade was miserable for my daughter. Even though she did her homework every night and had a reading tutor, she wasn't able to retain facts, read at a second-grade level, and rarely passed tests in class. Her teacher requested holding her back. She started using BrainWare Safari two weeks before fifth grade. After just 3 weeks of practicing 4-5 times per week for 30 minutes each session, she was not only telling me her multiplication facts, but figuring out our her division facts. Her reading comprehension has increased and her ability to write paragraphs. This program has been a gift."

Parents Say ... They’re Playing but They’re Really Learning

by John Y. (Kendall, Age 11, and Clay, Age 8)

"They think they're playing but they're really learning. The video-game format makes them want to play. We did BrainWare Safari for the learning aspect, but the game part really made them want to do it. It motivated them."

Credibility Counts

  • CODiE Award
    CODiE Award
    Best Education Game or Simulation, Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA).
  • American Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Award Winner
    American Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Award Winner
    Quality and innovation that embody the 21st Century classroom with technology as a hallmark.
  • Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval Winner
    Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval Winner
    Quality products and services with assurance of product excellence as evaluated by unbiased parent consumers.
  • Teachers’ Choice Award Winner
    Teachers’ Choice Award Winner
    Products of exceptional quality and outstanding performance in the classroom and at home.
  • Mom’s Choice Award Winner
    Mom’s Choice Award Winner
    Excellence in family-friendly media, products and services.
  • EdNET Rookie of the Year
    EdNET Rookie of the Year
    Awarded by Quality Education Data/The Heller Reports to the start-up with the most promise for becoming a major future force in the education industry.
  • Parents’ Choice Award
    Parents’ Choice Award
    The Parents’ Choice Foundation honors the best material for children.
  • District Administration Top 100
    District Administration Top 100
    One of the top 100 products of 2011 as chosen by readers of District Administration Magazine.
  • Academics’ Choice Mindspring Award
    Academics' Choice Mindspring Award
    Recognized as one of the best thinking-based products on the market.