Becoming Dr. Q : My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon
by Quinones-hinojosa, Alfredo; Rivas, Mim Eichler (CON)

Prologue: Seeking Terra Firma1(6)
1 Starry Nights
2 Faraway
3 The Kaliman Maneuver
4 Lessons from the Fields
5 Courting Destiny
6 Green Eyes
7 From Harvest to Harvard
8 In the Land of Giants
9 Question the Rules and When Possible Make Your Own
10 Brainstorm
11 Hopkins
12 Gray Matter
13 Seeing the Light
14 Finding the Steel in Your Soul
Epilogue: When the Sun Comes Up308(4)

Chronicles the life of Dr. Q, former poor migrant worker who is now an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and neuroscientist who leads cutting-edge research to cure brain cancer.

Alfredo Qui˝ones-Hinojosa, MD, is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to directing the Brain Tumor Surgery Program, Dr. Q leads the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Laboratory. Named one of the one hundred most influential Hispanics in 2008, Dr. Q was also selected by Popular Science magazine as one of their Annual Brilliant Ten. Dr. Q has extensive publications in the medical field and is the lead editor for the upcoming edition of Schmidek and Sweet's Operative Neurosurgical Techniques.

Dr. Q graduated cum laude from Harvard Medical School and completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of California, San Francisco. On the award-winning ABC series Hopkins, his was the lead episode. Along with appearances on such shows as NOVA, CNN with Sanjay Gupta, CBS news with Katie COURIC, NBC's The Today Show, as well as on National Public Radio, Dr. Q has been featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines.

*Starred Review* When the callow Qui˝ones-Hinojosa, or Dr. Q, made up his mind to pursue a better life and, especially, an education in the U.S., no border or barrier could have kept him from his destiny: a fate that led eventually to his becoming a Johns Hopkins University neurosurgeon, professor, and brain-cancer research scientist. Indeed, the brash teenager left all that was familiar in his native Mexico and, with less than $70 in his pocket, climbed the fence. In fact, he scaled it twice because he was caught the first time and sent back. Undeterred, he turned right around and made a successful, if still illegal, second attempt. His dreams were not big: getting a job in the California fields, owning a tricked-out pickup, and learning English were top priorities. And helping out his family, who had been hit hard by the 1980s recession. Upon receiving his associate degree, the young man thought he'd achieved the highest education he could. It wasn't until a classmate clued him in to the world of university education that both he and his future blossomed as he went from the University of California, Berkeley, to Harvard Medical School. Qui˝ones-Hinojosa's story is gripping, inspiring, and just plain awesome. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Renowned neurosurgeon and neuroscientist Qui├▒ones-Hinojosa's life story is as unlikely as it is inspiring.

Born into a Mexican family perpetually teetering on the edge of poverty, the author's origins were anything but auspicious. Intelligence, imagination and a grandfather who believed that "hard work, honesty, and a good heart"—along with a healthy dose of charm and charisma—allowed Qui├▒ones-Hinojosa to see beyond the difficult realities that defined his life.┬áEconomic circumstances forced his family to become migrant farmworkers for one summer in California; but for the author, going north "had a feeling of destiny" about it. Risking "injury, incarceration and even death," he eventually returned to the U.S. on his own by jumping the border fence between Mexicali and Calexico. To survive, Qui├▒ones-Hinojosa held a variety of menial jobs from tomato picker to fish-lard scraper to stockyard welder.┬áEducation saved him and illuminated his path: After earning his associate's degree, he won a scholarship to UC-Berkeley, where he decided on a career in medicine. A fellowship to Harvard Medical School allowed him to pursue his dream and define himself still further as a brain surgeon and researcher. "From my earliest childhood, I had used my hands for everything from pumping gas to fixing car engines," he writes. "[N]ow I could use [them] help patients heal." The personal sacrifices that the author has been forced to make along the way prevents this story of professional success from reading like a fairy tale.

A passionate hymn to the power of the American Dream.

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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