When I was growing up I was an insatiable reader. One of the books that I remember with great fondness is The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald. When my son expressed interest in finding some new books to read The Great Brain was on the top of my list. I took advantage of the opportunity to reread it. It’s still funny, and I still love it. Not all the books I loved as a child have passed that test.
I remember being impressed that Tom, otherwise known as the Great Brain, could come up with so many ways of making money. I also remember being impressed that he could always get his younger brother, the author, to do what he wanted him to do. As an adult I am still impressed at the many ways he finds to make money, although I’m inclined to agree with his mother about his ethics. I can also see the irony in how he used his words to make J.D. feel like he is doing the Great Brain a favor by essentially agreeing to all the manipulation.
The story is set in 1896 in Utah. The brothers have adventures like their father being the first person to get an indoor bathroom; they charging the heck out of the neighborhood boys to see it work. Then a set of boys get lost in a cave, and the Great Brain saves the day. The Great Brain even takes on the new mean school teacher and still manages to come out unscathed.
This book is fun for kids and adults alike. It would be a great book to read out loud together as a family. The parents will enjoy it as much as the children, if not more. I enjoyed it so much I went online to find myself copies of the first four books. There are eight in all. In fact, www.alibris.com is a great place to find them. So is Amazon.