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Me and My Little Brain (Great Brain #3)
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Me and My Little Brain (The Great Brain #3)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  3,021 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
Tom, a.k.a. the Great Brain, is off to boarding school. Now his little brother, J. D., is free to follow in Tom's ingenious, conniving, and profitable footsteps. All of J. D.'s attempts at turning a profit fail miserably, and he soon realizes that he just doesn't have that crafty Great Brain knack. But when his younger brother is kidnapped, J. D. finds that his little brai ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published February 9th 2004 by Puffin Books (first published 1971)
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(showing 1-30)
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Marika Gillis
Me and My Little Brain is another fun selection I recently read for the Battle of the Books competition! This is the third book in the popular Great Brain series and, never having read any of the Great Brain books, I didn't know quite what to expect when I picked this one up. A clever little chapter book, Me and My Little Brain tells the story of J.D. who, now that his big brother Tom (otherwise known as the Great Brain) is away attending boarding school, has high hopes for becoming the newest n ...more
Christopher Bunn
Sep 09, 2012 Christopher Bunn rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading #2 in The Great Brain series. Wonderful book! This one takes off right after John Fitzgerald's two brothers leave for boarding school in late 19th century Salt Lake City. John becomes the only child at home and immediately tries to take over the town Great Brain mantle of his brother Tom. He has rather disastrous results, of course.

Again, Fitzgerald really cannot do any wrong with his writing in this series. Even as a 43-year-old, I'm impressed by the stark perfection of hi
Jun 05, 2017 Amy rated it really liked it
A little darker than the first two but still so good. Full review here:
Jul 02, 2012 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, re-read
Probably my least favorite of the Great Brain series but still far and away a 5 star book.

It's probably my least favorite because there are 3 main plot points that spread multiple chapters (John taking over after Tom goes to school, Frankie Pennyworth, Cal Roberts) and I really like the usual format of the series with a contained story starting and finishing each chapter.

Still, I do love this book and have read it dozens of times and will continue to re-read it.

If you haven't read this series ju
Jack Cheng
Mar 08, 2009 Jack Cheng rated it liked it
This gets merely a "like" because a) the Great Brain himself does not appear and so it's not a great jumping on point for new readers and b) the last 3-4 chapters are all one extended story -- nothing wrong with that but tough for little brains to keep track of. That said, it's the first one in my re-reading that made me have to stop because I was crying (page 135). As part of a trilogy, that point hits a home run.

In this third entry of the series, Tom is away at boarding school and John D. unex
You could hear a pin drop when we read this book aloud. We love the Great Brain series!
Todd Miles
Jul 13, 2015 Todd Miles rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, children-s
My ten, eight, and seven-year olds loved this.
Elijah Libert
Feb 28, 2017 Elijah Libert rated it it was amazing
I love this book!
Jan 25, 2016 Jenny rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-my-kids
This story follows J.D., the younger brother of "The Great Brain," through several adventures. The Read Aloud Handbook suggests that this one is for "experienced listeners," and I would have to agree. Our youngest often wandered away when we started reading and it was more work to get into than other books we've recently read.

Having said that, there's good material here. It's dated in a much earlier era, a time when a penny bought you an ice cream cone and transportation was only by train or hor
This series was a favorite from childhood for all the kids in our family. I remember my teacher and my mom reading them to us, and then re-reading them several times later.

Having read these aloud now myself for homeschool, I was surprised by the mature themes that I didn't remember. I still recommend the books, and think that dealing with these topics through literature is a much safer way to expose kids to the struggles of life than the street/ family/ friends/ news talk that often brings new
Michael Emond
Sep 03, 2016 Michael Emond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again, I'll start my review by saying this series of books is my favourite children series of all time. No fantasy or science fiction - just stories from the turn of the century (um..the century of 1900 not 2000 :). This book stands out as an anomaly in the series since the narrator JD, the Brain's younger brother, is also the main character since TD (the Brain) has gone off to school (his adventures there are in the next book). It is a nice change of pace. We get to see some nice life lessons - ...more
Oct 20, 2008 Caleb rated it really liked it
John Dennis is always making stupid deals with Tom, who could swindle anyone out of anything. John was swindled out of his basketball and backboard just because he said Tom wasn't a Christian. Tom said he would tell on John for saying that he wasn't a Christian if he didn't get the ball and backboard. Tom was done with grade school and had to go away to a Christian academy for higher education. Tom told John to make everyone pay a penny an hour to play basketball while he was gone. When Tom got ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Sri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
** spoiler alert **

Tom pergi dari rumah untuk melanjutkan sekolahnya. Tinggallah J.D. yang merasa yakin bahwa dia sudah cukup mendapatkan ilmu dari Tom dan berniat untuk mempraktekkannya. Tetapi, dua kali dia mencoba ujung-ujungnya malah dia yang apes wkwk. Ayahnya memberi nasehat kepada J.D. untuk tidak berusaha menjadi kakaknya, jadilah diri sendiri. J.D. pun mengakui, jika Tom adalah great brain, maka dia hanyalah little brain T_T.

Dan saat itulah datang anggota keluarga baru di keluarga Fitzg
Jun 23, 2012 Craig rated it really liked it
Another nice entry in the Great Brain series. In this third book, the author ships The Great Brain himself off to school in Great Lake City and leaves his brother J.D. (aka The Litttle Brain) behind trying to impersonate him. By this point, the plots are all familiar, and there is not as much period color as there are in the first 2 books, but it is still quite enjoyable to read. The chapter where the Fitzgeralds take in an orphan boy who is traumatized and is given carte blanche to whale on poo ...more
Oct 07, 2015 LobsterQuadrille rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mark Twain fans, kids, anyone who's read the other books
While his mischievous brother Tom is away at boarding school in Salt Lake City, John D. decides to take Tom's place as the town's youngest con man. But he soon finds out that he doesn't quite have Tom's knack for planning out swindles. He also ends up entangled in some misadventures involving a very violent toddler and some escaped criminals. But ultimately, John D. and his little brain save the day!

I like this book better than the previous one in the series, but it's not quite as good as the f
Jan 24, 2010 Robyn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kids, parents who read to their kids
Recommended to Robyn by: Jill Utley Bagley
A childhood favorite and I'm SO excited to have kids old enough to share it with. It's set in southern Utah, but the town is fictionalized. I always thought it was St. George due to the described proximity to Cedar City. However, I learned this fall that it's really Price. Knowing that I can suddenly fill in holes in the plot and descriptions that I never could before when I was thinking of St. George. So... Check it out. The whole series is lots of fun. ...more
Sep 28, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it
John's older brother, Tom the Great Brain, has gone off to boarding school, leaving him to wonder if he can use his little brain to work the kinds of scams Tom did to make himself rich. He tries to do things the way his brother would, but it doesn't seem to work out the same way for him, teaching him that he's not the kind of guy who can work a scam. When he decides to be himself, the rewards follow.
The book is set in the 1890's in rural Utah, making it a fascinating look into the lives of child
May 27, 2009 Josiah rated it it was amazing
How I adore Me and My Little Brain. John D. Fitzgerald hits paydirt a third time with another sensitively rendered, torrentially paced story about brothers Tom and John Fitzgerald in 1800s Utah. This time, though, John isn't the only little brother in the house. When their parents adopt a new kid, a young boy, John's visions of what it must be like to act as an older brother quickly go up in smoke when he realizes his new sibling is a terror. The way the family comes together in its moment of g ...more
Matt Evans
Jul 16, 2008 Matt Evans rated it really liked it
This is the third book in the "Great Brain" series. Here the narrator, JD, the Great Brain's younger brother, here he takes center stage. We also get little Frankie, the adopted orphan, the "kickin'est, fightin'est, bitin'est kid I ever seen", in the words of Cal Roberts, scoundrel and murderer. The real story here is how JD outwits Cal to save Frankie's life.

I'm having a blast reading these books again, some twenty five years or so after I read them for the first time.

For what it's worth, this
Sep 10, 2013 Abra rated it it was amazing
This (and The Great Brain at the Academy) are the BEST of John D. Fitzgerald's fictionalized memoirs of his childhood with a conniving older brother in 1890s Utah. J.D.'s story of his attempts to fill Tom's rather supersized shoes is sympathetic, heartening, and even heroic. There is tragedy, comedy, history, EVERYTHING. I cannot believe that some public and school libraries have taken these books off their shelves just because they are not brand spankin' new. Pshaw, I say. Re-read 9/10/13; re-r ...more
Apr 21, 2014 Madison rated it it was amazing
Me and My Little Brain

Now that J.D. Fitzgerald’s brothers, Tom and Sweyn are off to a school in Salt Lake City, J.D Is the only one in the house… or is he?

When a little boy named Frankie Pennyworth’s family dies in a mudslide, J.D.’s family decides to adopt him since he no other place to go. And when a man comes with his gang and holds Frankie hostage, J.D and his family have to do whatever he says or the boy dies.

Will J.D be able to save his new brother?
Feb 16, 2011 Deborah rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite of The Great Brain Series. The younger brother of the Great Brain ends up having to figure out how to save his adopted younger brother from a crook who is hiding in their barn. His "little brain" is able to take on the problem and solve it and save the brother. I love how it all comes about. It has Utah ties. It is well-written and an interesting read. It is also interesting to see how the Mormons versus the "Gentiles" interacted during the earlier settlement of Utah.
Jennifer Danko
Jun 07, 2010 Jennifer Danko rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Although the book may seem out dated to some children due to the setting of the storyline, there is still no denying the adventures that take place in this book. Fitzgerald shows young children everywhere that although living up to an older sibling’s standard may not always be easy, it is possible. All it takes is a little self discovery and courage to take oneself to the limit. This short chapter book is full of adventure and fun any third grader would love
Oct 06, 2014 Rainier rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, 2017
This book was amazing. No sadness at the end. It mentions the ghost of Silverlode. There is a guy named Cal Roberts who escapes from jail and the substitute Great Brain tries to stop him. He uses a lariet to capture him in his loft. There is also a little boy named Frankie. Cal Roberts tries to capture him and partly succeeds. In the beginning of the book Tom succeeds in trading and doesn't get anything in return.

I would recommend this book to anybody.
Sep 19, 2015 Nina rated it it was amazing
John tried to take over the town after the departure of his older brother Tom. Unfortunately John didn’t have Tom’s great brain, which made his attempts as being a swindler like Tom fail miserably.

Frankie captured my heart. He was a violent kid right after The Fitzgerald brought him to their home after Frankie’s family killed. Even though he’s only four years old, he was brave and even defended John from his bigger friend. The scenes where Frankie was being a hostage were touching
Kris Larson
Nov 07, 2010 Kris Larson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, fiction
"Me and My Little Brain" is right up there with Anais Nin's "Incest" for books you don't want to be seen reading on the bus, but I don't care. I love all the Great Brain series, possibly because I read them as a kid at my grandparents' many, many times because there was nothing else to read there. I honestly can't say whether anyone not driven to them by nostalgia or desperation would enjoy them, but I sure do.
Nov 04, 2014 Alyson rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I actually read book #3 to Adam and Isaac before book #2. We didn't have book #2 when I was ready to start it. I love to tell the boys to "use your great brain" when I want them to figure something out. Such fun books! I had the bonus of knowing all of the characters from having read PAPA MARRIED A MORMON.
Mar 30, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it
This third book in the Great Brain series may be my favorite yet. (I do not remember which was my favorite as a child . . . only that I loved the whole series.) It has just enough excitement, wit, and tenderness to be completely satisfying. These books really stand the test of time. The kids are now hooked, and we've already checked out the next one from the library.
It's really unbelievable how many interesting things happen to this family throughout the course of these children's lives! Bank robbery, lost kids, hostage, ect...we've whizzed through them with the kiddos, usually reading a couple chapters a night (and some chapters are upwards to 40 pages!) Good times...
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John Dennis Fitzgerald was born in Price, Utah, on February 3, 1906, to Thomas and Minnie Melsen Fitzgerald. His father had a pharmacy degree but engaged in a number of business ventures and served on the Price Town Council for four years. John graduated from Carbon High School and at the age of eighteen and left Utah to pursue a career as a jazz drummer. He wo
More about John D. Fitzgerald...

Other Books in the Series

The Great Brain (8 books)
  • The Great Brain (Great Brain #1)
  • More Adventures of the Great Brain (Great Brain #2)
  • The Great Brain at the Academy (Great Brain #4)
  • The Great Brain Reforms (Great Brain #5)
  • The Return of the Great Brain (#6)
  • The Great Brain Does it Again (Great Brain #7)
  • The Great Brain Is Back (Great Brain #8)

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