I remember my oldest daughter, Janssen, racing through these books one summer. Every hour or so, she’d rush into the kitchen to share the latest crazy stunt The Great Brain had cooked up!
You know it’s a winner when your child can’t wait to share a book with you.
The Great Brain series is set in the fictitious town of Adenville, Utah in the late 1800s. The eight book series (yes, eight!) is about the escapades of a 10-year-old con-man named Tom. Tom’s character is based on the author’s real-life older brother.
Tom — The Great Brain — seems to always be in the right place at the right time to fix any mess or rescue anyone in distress. However, there’s always a catch, and somehow, Tom walks away from the situation a little bit richer! Who but The Great Brain could make money off his family’s new toilet? Who but The Great Brain could convince a friend that a piece of wood is magnetic and suddenly own that friend’s new air rifle? Who but The Great Brain could swindle half the kids in Adenville out of their various treasures? Hmmm.
Luckily, deep down, The Great Brain has a genuine goodness to him, and despite his con-man ways, Tom helps many of the townspeople through the trials of frontier life in their small southern Utah town.
These books are both laugh-out-loud funny and sweet! I bet life in the real Fitzgerald house was prrreeeettty interesting!
The Great Brain (1967)
Me and My Little Brain (1971)
The Great Brain Reforms (1973)
The Great Brain is Back (1995 — published posthumously)
Early to Middle Grade Reading Level, 200+ pages, Boys, Frontier Life, Religion, Adventure, Published 1967 – 1995