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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)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  2,224 ratings  ·  79 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 (first published 1971)
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Community Reviews

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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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
Jan 24, 2010 Robyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Alyson Farmer
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.
Nov 26, 2014 Erica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I remember reading these as a kid, and got them for my son to read. He loved them! So I snuck them and took a trip down memory lane. I'm really sad that they only reprinted the first three, as there are eight in the original series but impossible to find new now.
This book (series) was perhaps one of the best I've read aloud to my children. My husband even stopped to listen with us. The story is engaging and everyone of any age can enjoy the story told in such a down-to-earth, heart-warming way. We loved it!
The Great Brain books are a fun series set in the late 1800s about a boy who uses his brain to trick and swindle other kids as well as solve mysteries the adults can't. Great nostalgia.
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.

Just finished reading aloud with my two girls, ages 11 and 8. It's the second book we've read in the series and they are begging for more. Just right for their ages.
Matt Evans
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
Jack Cheng
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
funny every-day life stories
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.
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.
Jennifer Danko
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
Kris Larson
"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.
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With more J.D. and less T.D., this is my favorite so far.

Got the box set at a thrift store, reading all so I'll know what all the high praise is about. All I can say is, thank goodness none of my three boys were quite as wicked as T.D. Thank goodness he does do at least one nice thing per book.

(Copying this review to the others as I finish them; will add notes if nec.)
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.
With big brother Tom away at the academy, J.D. gets a chance to show just how smart his brain is. Although he fails a couple of times, in the end he proves that his little brain might now be so small after all when bad guy Cal Roberts comes to town.
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...
Mary Ann
Okay, I officially want to travel back in time and be a kid circa 1900 in Utah. So fun to read these. What a simpler time; what a mess our world is today. Well, except maybe that we don't have to worry about outlaws shooting down Main Street. But other than that, I'll take the Fitzgerald family any day.
Robb Christopherson
This is a series that I read as a kid and loved them. I am reading them with my kids now. They are fun and based in a Mormon town. If you're looking for literary quality, you should check elsewhere; they are well-written, just not the highest of quality. The stories, however, are very fun!
Rick Stuckwisch
This may be my favorite book in the series; which is saying quite a lot.
As enjoyable as the previous two, providing you've read at least one of them. It's interesting to see how things turn out when J.D. tries to emulate his older brother, but if you're not familiar with T.D.'s exploits I'm not sure whether it would still make sense.
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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...
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 Great Brain Does it Again (Great Brain #7)

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