The Great Brain

Have you read The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald? When I was a kid, I really liked this book and the ones that followed in the series.

Mercer Mayer, John D. Fitzgerald, The Great BrainThe Great Brain series is set in the fictional town of Adenville, Utah in the late 1890’s.

The books were inspired by the author’s childhood.

The first book of the series is The Great Brain and was published in 1967.

Mercer Mayer, John D. Fitzgerald, The Great BrainThe second book More Adventures of the Great Brain was published in 1969.

Me and My Little Brain was published in 1971. I don’t have a copy of this one at home, but it reminds me that all the books are narrated by the younger brother of Tom who is known as The Great Brain.

Mercer Mayer, John D. Fitzgerald, The Great BrainThe Great Brain at the Academy was published in 1972. I really like the cover of this one as it is a classic Mercer Mayer image. Mercer Mayer is well known for his wonderful illustrations in children’s books.

In a time when many towns only had elementary schools the Great Brain heads off to the academy in Salt Lake City.

The Great Brain Reforms was published in 1973. I also don’t have a copy here at home. But I do remember that in this one Tom gives up his moneymaking schemes and reforms. Due to his Great Brain, Tom is always coming up with ways to best the other kids.

Mercer Mayer, John D. Fitzgerald, The Great BrainThe Return of the Great Brain was published in 1974 and Tom is back to his tricks.

However, one thing that I like about this series is that he also uses his knowledge (Great Brain) to help solve mysteries, catch thieves, rescue kids from danger and help those in need.

The Great Brain does it Again was published in 1975. This was the last book in the series for many years until 1995.

I don’t have a copy of this either. I need to watch the library book sale for the ones I don’t have. Or, perhaps search through my stacks a little more carefully 🙂

Mercer Mayer, John D. Fitzgerald, The Great BrainThe Great Brain is Back was published in 1995 and is composed from notes found after the death of John D. Fitzgerald. This last book is illustrated by Diane de Groat instead of Mercer Mayer.

I had not read this book before as it was published long after I was in school. However, I really enjoyed it and it was a great addition to the series. When I was looking through the list of books I knew that I wanted to read it, so put in a request with the library. I had to wait for quite some time, but finally was able to pick it up.

Another thing that I really liked about this series was being able to look at a slice of life from the 1890’s and see how education, communication, technology and culture have changed in the last 120 years.

These are wonderful books and were well worth reading again.

Steven

 

 

 

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