The Great Brain (The Great Brain Series #1)

The Great Brain (The Great Brain Series #1)


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This first book in the series is a great combination of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Terrible Two series, and is perfect for fans of Roald Dahl.

The best con man in the Midwest is only ten years old.  Tom, a.k.a., the Great Brain, is a silver-tongued genius with a knack for turning a profit.  When the Jenkins boys get lost in Skeleton Cave, the Great Brain saves the day.  Whether it's saving the kids at school, or helping out Peg-leg Andy, or Basil, the new kid at school, the Great Brain always manages to come out on top-and line his pockets in the process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142400586
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 02/09/2004
Series: Great Brain Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 41,929
Product dimensions: 7.74(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

John D. Fitzgerald was born in Utah and lived there until he left at eighteen to begin a series of interesting careers ranging from jazz drummer to foreign correspondent. His stories of The Great Brain were based on his own childhood in Utah with a conniving older brother named Tom. These reminiscenses led to eight memorable Great Brain books. John D. Fitzgerald also wrote several best-selling adult books, including Papa Married a Mormon. He died in Florida, his home of many years, at the age of eighty-one.

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The Great Brain 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
4thGradeTeacherUT More than 1 year ago
I am a 4th grade teacher, and have read 'The Great Brain' and 'More Adventures of the Great Brain' to my class for the past several years. As a result of this, whenever the older grades in our school have library, they snatch up any book in this series they can get their hands on. They then proceed to read them - over and over again - until they fall apart. This phenomena has been hard on our school librarian. The later books in the series are difficult to replace, and she's been asked "Which book comes next in 'The Great Brain' series?" so many times, that she finally made a laminated poster that lists 'The Great Brain' books in order. I'm pretty sure she's going to key my car any day now. The story takes place in a small Utah town in the 1890s. It is told through the eyes of the "Great Brain's" 7 year-old brother, John D., who is awe struck at his 10 year-old sibling's genius. John D.'s hero worship of Tom (a.k.a. The Great Brain) is touching and provides some of the book's funniest moments. The Great Brain is a bit of a complicated character. He hates seeing people treated unfairly, will always defend the underdog, and helps his uncle, the town's sheriff, uphold and defend the law, by solving crimes & mysteries with his 'great brain' that have stumped the grown-ups. However, he is far from perfect. His money-loving heart makes him completely unscrupulous when faced with a financial matter. He has made many an enemy by using his 'great brain' to turn a profit and by lording his intelligence over others. The boys' long-suffering papa knows what his intelligent son is capable of, and he is hilariously paranoid that his son is the cause of anything unusual that happens in town. The illustrations (done by Mercer Mayer, best known for the 'Little Critter' and 'Little Monster' books) are delightful and remarkably detailed. I realize how popular fantasy books are with today's children (the Harry Potter Generation), and this book is definitely not a fantasy. However, once your kids (or students) get to know John D. and Tom D. and his great brain, they'll forget all about flying dragons and magic school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dad enjoys reading this book aloud at night to the kids. They can't wait to get into pj's for the nightly ritual. All reading levels in the family enjoy listening to the exciting adventures of T.D.(Tom), and J.D. (younger brother John). We have read three of the sequels. They don't want to have dad stop at the end of each chapter. 'Keep reading!'
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spoiler alert! I love how the brother changed at the end great book overall
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 11 year old daughter and I enjoyed this book together. I think I liked it more than her, but still, she enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Fitzgerald paints a wonderful picture of life in a Utah town and the boy who keeps things lively with his clever ideas and adventurous nature. This very entertaining book kept pulled me into its pages as much with the recent reading as it had when I read the series years ago. This would also be a great book for family reading time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember reading The Great Brain series when I was a kid, back in the late 1970s. I loved them then, and I am so glad that they are still in print today. I can't wait for my son to be old enough to start reading them himself, and hopefully enjoy them as much as his mom did!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Great Brain series is a terrific read for children and adults! So entertaining! I have read the entire series and would recommend it highly to all!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband and I both loved the Great Brain when we were kids and we really enjoyed re-reading this, along with its sequels. Our 7-year old son is the newest Great Brain fan, and even our 5-year old daughter listened to it read aloud. My son loved T.D.'s schemes and loved to shake his head at J.D. and the rest of the kids falling for them.
drruth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great story about a trio of Catholic brothers growing up in Mormon Utah at the turn of the century. The middle son is a schemer and conniver who outsmarts his brothers and friends because he can. Terrific stories.
alanpan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a great book about a child and his great brain
janetburt66 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tom, a.k.a., the Great Brain, is a fast talking genius with a knack for turning a profit. he has a knack for finding trouble, but the Great Brain always manages to come out on top¿and makes a profit in the process.
Hamburgerclan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The Great Brain" is Tom Fitzgerald, a ten-year-old boy who lives in Adenville, Utah in 1896. The book is about his shenanigans, as recounted by his younger brother John. It's an entertaining enough read, should you be looking for some waiting room material to pass the time, but as I read the book, I kept thinking that Tom seemed too much like a Tom Sawyer wannabe. --J.
nzf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An engaging novel for 4.8-5.2 reading levels. Students with short attention spans will enjoy the story collection presented with plenty of late 1800 local color. Plenty of tales that deal with the main characters fierce sense of independence and ingenuity surrounded by family and community values. Similar to the wisdom and grins a Huck Finn adventure readily provides. I highly recommend this novel and the following 7 novels in the series.
bibliophile26 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book and laughed the whole time I was reading it. It is about a family growing up in the early 1900¿s. You should read it even if you don¿t like children¿s books.
multifaceted on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I LOVED the Great Brain series as a kid! The books, when I think about them now, were so great on so many levels¿they were informational in so many different ways alone. I learnt a lot about history, cultures, and acceptance of those different cultures; to this day some of those lessons have stuck with me. They were also hilariously funny, to boot. I barely even noticed I was reading anything informational and helpful, because they were so entertaining!Now, years later, I¿m trying to track down all the books in this series¿unfortunately, I¿m having trouble finding some of the books new in stores. I¿m really kind of floored that a series this beneficial to kids and adults wouldn¿t be in print!As for the book itself... well, I'm in dire need of re-reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great books!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining and interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great boys book that holds their interest and teaches them to think about problems, social issues and their life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was read to my fifth grade class in 1969... I decided my fifth graders would love it as much as I did, and they do!
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