When Fahama is kidnapped, she must figure out how to stop an evil brain from harvesting her own.
Fahama, a brown-skinned hijabi, agrees to help her little sister, Nour, sell her Woodland Adventure cookies door to door, but at the first house she approaches, she falls through a trap door in the porch. A butler who looks like Frankenstein’s monster assists Dr. Cerebrum, a brain encased in glass with robotic arms and legs, who plans to remove Fahama’s brain for science. When he finishes explaining his aim, Fahama asks more questions to keep him talking instead of sawing. He covers ancient cultures’ beliefs about the brain and evolution, but things get complicated quickly with the structure of different kinds of cells, how neurons work, oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells. He explains the nervous system in a fairly straightforward way, offers charts to locate the areas of the brain that control certain functions, and discusses reflexes, memory, and senses in detail. Meanwhile, Nour figures out that her sister has been kidnapped and hatches a plan to save her. The paneled illustrations serve the material best when offering examples; the combination of information overload and visual crowding on the page makes the material explored seem even more intimidating than it already is. With complex sentences, no pronunciation guides, and not much story to carry readers forward, this book asks a lot of young readers.
For precocious children fascinated by science. (glossary) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-12)