Nicola Morgan

Author, Speaker, Supporter

Understanding and Supporting Your Teenagers – the video

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Blame My Brain

Blame My Brain was the first book in the world to show teenagers what’s going on in their heads. It changed the way adults think about adolescence. It speaks directly to teenagers but parents and teachers usually grab it and devour it eagerly. What scientists have discovered about the teenage brain will amaze, empower and reassure you, whether you’re a teenage or an adult who cares about teenagers. 

Blame My Brain was first published in 2005 and updated in 2007, 2013 and 2022. It was shortlisted for the Aventis prize for science-writing and is internationally acclaimed. Over 100,000 copies have been sold since publication and it has been translated into many languages. Writing Blame My Brain changed me. I didn’t mean it to. It has changed other adults who have read it, too. Quite simply, it has changed the way we react to and think about teenagers. It also changed my career, as I now travel worldwide to discuss the implications of this and my later books on adolescent wellbeing.

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For links to the main available pieces of research behind this book, see here. I read vastly more than you will see there but not everything I read is publicly available.

Sample reviews

“Nicola Morgan has that rare gift of being able to communicate science and make it fun. She brings the biology of the brain to the general reader in a way that will not only educate but entertain.” (Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Department of Developmental Psychopathology, Cambridge University)

“I want to say how much I enjoyed the book. It is excellent and just what is needed.” (Professor John Stein, Oxford University)

“..really good and it taught me a lot about my brain.” (Ross Rae, 13)

“…and me a lot about my son!” (George Rae, 45)

British Medical Journal, Lesley Morrison, GP: “Written for teenagers but invaluable reading for those coping with them – parents, doctors, and teachers – Blame My Brain, a guide to the biology behind teenage behaviour, is informative, accessible, interactive, and fun. There are self administered “tests,” scientific explanations (including wonderful images of trees to depict brain development), useful advice about emotions, sleep, risk, and harmful behaviours, and guidance about websites and other sources of reliable information. I am a parent of three teenagers, and many of its stories about getting risk in proportion rang bells for me… Although she states clearly that she is not a scientist, she is well qualified to communicate scientific material about “the amazing teenage brain.” Her message to teenagers is subtle but clear: “You might even decide to respect your brain and treat it a bit better, once you know what’s going on inside it.””

The Scotsman, Frank Gerstenberg: “It is very rare that an author succeeds in writing a book for teenagers which is also a “must read” for their parents and teachers. Nicola Morgan has done just that with her Blame My Brain. It does not seek to excuse anti-social teenage behaviour, but it certainly goes a long way to explaining it … There is no adequate text book for parents and their children, but this one fills an important gap, and Morgan deals with all the issues with good humour. … she ends on an optimistic note, emphasising that the brain is indeed a wonderful thing, and that while a small number of teenagers do suffer greatly during their teenage years, the vast majority come through relatively unscathed. Blame My Brain can only help them do that.”

Times Educational Supplement, Rosanne Bartlett, assistant headteacher: “Blame My Brain was written for teenagers, but teachers and parents can benefit from it. … I only wish this book had been around when dealing with my own teenager’s antisocial behaviour. … The sections on alcohol and drug abuse will support PSHE programmes in school, as well as offering useful websites. … This is a good resource to share with students to help them deal with what is potentially the most challenging, but also the most exciting, period in their development.”


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