The Pain and the Great One
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The Pain and the Great One (The Pain and the Great One)

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,089 ratings  ·  74 reviews
An eight-year-old girl, "The Great One," and her six-year-old brother, "The Pain," state their cases about each other and who is best loved by their parents

An IRA-CBC Children's Choice.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 1st 1985 by Dragonfly Books (first published 1974)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,508)
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Dawn Little
Judy Blume was a fixture in my childhood, but somehow this book slipped through my radar. Had I seen it when I was a kid, I would have seen my brother and me in it! And I still do! This is a great book to use as a mentor text when taking sides on an issue. It is also a great mentor text for making connections -- because unless you are an only child, we all have stories of sibling rivalry from when we were younger.
Muse Here
I like that this book had perspective from both point of views. I did not, however like the parenting mentioned throughout the book. Clearly the parents have NOT read "Siblings Without Rivalry" by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. Anyone who has more than one child, should definitely read this book. The parents mentioned in this book, I think are fairly typical. They are (unbeknownst to them) pitting their children against each other. The parents DO show favoritism, to each of the kids in the bo...more
Debbie Reiber

The Pain and The Great One by Judy Blume is a contemporary realistic fiction book. The age group this book is intended for is primary to intermediate. There are really two stories in one; the sister tells how she sees her brother and how her parents love him more, and the brother tells how he sees his sister and how his parents love her more.
I thought this book was definitely a book that most children could relate to when it comes to family. The older sibling sees the younger sibling as a pain...more
Connie
One of the great gifts of Judy Blume is that she doesn't lie to kids. Her books are refreshingly - and sometimes painfully - honest. As a kid, I sure appreciated it. Too many books lie, because they think children can't hear the truth. They ignore the fact that children already *know* the truth many times.

The truth in this book is that sometimes, having a brother or sister just sucks. The lie that most people would try to give is the moral that you really, deep down have to love your sibling aft...more
Khayrun
The Pain and the Great One is a story that most children can relate to. It’s about Jake (The Pain) and Abigail (The Great One) who are siblings. Their problem is that they are always arguing about everything. However, they come to realise when serious problems arise, such as bullying, they are both there for each other. I enjoyed the book greatly, as I felt I could relate to it, having siblings myself. The different chapters contained different themes, such as ‘Bruno’s ear’ and ‘The Breaf-kast C...more
Shira
The joys of sisterhood when you have younger brother who absolutely gets on your nerves. In this story the main character has named her younger brother The Pain because he gets away with all types of things that mom and dad would not let her get away with and he is destructive. On the other end the younger brother names his sister The Great One because mom and dad believes that she is really smart and she gets to be responsible for things around the house. Many young readers with siblings will b...more
Natalie O'neill
The Pain and the Great One is about a brother and a sister who both complain about each other all of the time. This book is divided into two parts – one for the sister to rant about her brother, the pain, and one for the brother to rant about his sister, the great one. In each section, they complain about everything the other one does. At the end of the great one’s views, her parents allow her to stay up later because she is older than the pain. She is excited at first, but then realizes that no...more
Carrie
Could Judy Blume have known my little brother and I any better?! He was the pain and I suppose I was the great one. The way the girl described her brother and the preferential treatment was exactly how I felt as a kid towards him. So I know when the little brother was doing the same that it must be how my brother felt about me. Interesting! Blume did a great job with showing both sides!
Max
It was good though if you don't know my favorite character think harder I'm a boy who else is a boy in the story???
Janie
My parents went to Japan for ten day during the summer that I turned six. My grandparents came to stay with my brother (who was three years old) and I while our parents were away. For each of the ten days that they would be gone, my mother left a little present for my brother and I. All ten of the presents were in her top dresser drawer. Each afternoon our grandma would let us choose one of the presents to open. One of the gifts was this book. The Pain and the Great One. My mother gave it to us...more
Dolly
Oct 11, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We recently read Soupy Saturdays with the Pain and the Great One and liked it and saw that this was a picture book about the brother and sister. We just had to read it. I love that the children are 6 and 8 and in first and third grade. That's exactly where our girls are in age and school, so they can really relate to these two characters (even if one of them is a boy.)

This is a fun book about siblings. Each has a perspective on life in the family and each one believes that Mom and Dad love the...more
Teresa Gartland
This picture book is titled The pain and the Great One. It is a realistic fiction book that could be used with young children up until about third or fourth grade even. This is a story about a younger brother (The Pain) and an older sister (The Great One). This book is split up into two sections, one from the bothers side and one from the sister’s side. They deal with issues such as jealousy and competition. This story can be used to show that sibling rivalry is a common issue and most siblings...more
Cana
Mommy says: What a great book! But when does Judy Blume ever disappoint? This is the same story (Mom and Dad love the other sibling better) told from two different perspectives (the big sister and the little brother). It was spot on for the rivalry that goes on in our house. And it was plenty fun to sit there after the book discussing with both kids who the parents in the book loved more. They both got it right away that the mom and dad loved their kids equally, and they made the jump from the b...more
Misty
What a cute book! This is a book that any brother and sister could relate to. Although this is a fun read-aloud, it is also a great book for teaching about point of view. This story is first told from the sister's point of view about her brother (the pain), and the second part of the book is told from the brother's point of view about his sister (the great one). This format is excellent for showing students that someone's point of view is their opinion or thoughts about a topic. I have not seen...more
Angela Moorer
Apr 03, 2011 Angela Moorer added it
Shelves: families
This book is simply hilarious. It is well written and will have students up out of their seat agreeing that siblings are truly a pain! I couldnt contain my students as I read each page and asked them to make text to self connections. Each of them had a story about how their sibling really gets on their nerve! This story is split into two parts, children can exploreJudy Bloom and her writing style and see if this separation is unique to the way in which she writes. Students can write their own ve...more
Elizabeth Ashe
One of Judy Blume's few picture books, The Pain and the Great One, is told first from older sister's (the great one) perspective, and then the same story is re-told from little brother's (the pain) perspective. EAch page begins with: "my brother is a pain because..." or "my sister thinks she is so great just because..." And in the end, it is revealed that they both think that the other sibling is the one that their parents love the most. This book is a good way to teach young children about the...more
Eric Summers
The Pain and the Great one is two different stories about the same set of siblings. The Pain is a first grade boy and the Great One is a third grade girl. The first half of the book is from the POV of the girl as she describes how horrible her brother is, and the second half of the book gives the boy a chance to tell his side of the story.

A good book for any young class where a good deal of the students will probably have brothers or sisters that they are constantly having conflicts with, and of...more
Lindsey Reyes
This is one of my all time favorite books. It's a picture book and great for siblings. My mother bought it for me and my brother when we were younger. It expresses the viewpoints of a sister and then midway through the book it shows the brothers viewpoints. The sister believes that her parents love the brother more and vis versa for the brother. It shows children that they should look at the big picture when it comes to attention. How some people may see someone might be different then what you...more
Megan
Jan 13, 2012 Megan rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: kindergarten-3rd grade
Typical siblings, the sister thinks her younger brother is a "pain" and the brother doesn't understand why the older sister seems to be such a "great one." A good resource for teaching early elementary students about point-of-view in literature.

*UPDATE* Can't really explain why, but Piper (age 2) LOVES this book. The topic (sibling rivalry) is completely foreign to her, and the illustrations don't seem that appealing to me, but she keeps digging this one out of my library bag to read to her.
Sarah
The Pain is the little brother and The Great One is the older sister. They each tell their sides of the story of how they fit into the family. Of course, each thinks the other is the one who gets more attention and better treatment from the parents. A fun look at the concept of perspective and good mentor test for "voice". This is a story kiddos will easily relate to. Realistic watercolors extend the text and supply fitting expressions to the characters' faces.
Blakeley Norris
This would be a good book to compare and contrast. Basically, these two siblings are jealous of each other and express their complaints about how their parents like the other one better. It would be a good chance to compare these two and their different takes on the same situation and asking students if this has ever happened to them or if they have ever thought the same about a sibling or maybe a friend if they don't have siblings.
Sheniece
This is a good book for children who have siblings. A lot of children are always competing with one another sibling for their parents love. This would be a good discussion opener for students and they could discuss how they shouldn't compete with one another sibling and also the class. A discussion about what a perspective is can come from reading this book. The book is told from the perspective of the sister and brother.
george
Judy Blume writes from both perspectives of a big sister and a little brother. "Pain" is the little brother, told by sister; "Great One" is little brother complaining about big sis. Both children think that the other is a great intrusion on his/her life and lists the reasons why.

Great book about sibling rivalry and seeing the other side of the stoy. Any child with a sibling can relate and learn something.
Kate Busch
This is a great book about showing perspectives. It first goes through the older sister's perspective and what she thinks about her little brother. Then, it switches to the little brother's perspective and says what he thinks about his older sister. This is perfect for children in that they do not always see other's point of view and children often do not get along with siblings.
Heather
35 months - Picked this up in hardcover at the thrift store. I loved reading all of Judy Blume's books as a kid and I hope O will enjoy them too. O was smiling through this whole story and quite enjoyed it maybe because she knows she'll never have to worry about a younger brother or sister. I can just imagine she's thanking phew glad I don't have to deal with that!
Tanya
I like the two-point-of-view style. I had hoped for an obvious moral of siblings loving each other anyway. It lacks this tie-up, and so I think my kids have a hard time fully relating. Certainly they exhibit all the described behaviours and feelings, but they genuinely like each other, too. I am disappointed that this side of the relationship was not really shown.
Acacia Casner
This first half of this book is from the older sisters' perspective. She talks about all the reasons her brother is such a pain. She does a good job convincing the reader until her brother tells his side of the story in the second half of the book. I use this story along with Patricia Polacco's My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother to teach text-to-text connections.
Mrs. Nakagawa
I often hear students complaining about their siblings. I am hoping this book will help them see the other side of the coin and open their eyes to what they already know--they are equally loved. This will be added to my character building list of reads as it is sure to make its listeners feel good about themselves and others through humor and truth.
Hope Mullinax
Written from two different viewpoints, this book explores what each person feels like during the same time which helps children learn to understand there is always more than one side to every story. Great book for helping students who have siblings make text-to-self connections. Could also be used for thick and thin questions to aid in comprehension.
Den
This book made me smile. The Great One is the older sister, Abigail and the younger brother, Jake, is the Pain.
The book is in two parts - one part showing the Great One's side of the story and other half showing how the Pain feels. Basically sibling rivalry.
It's a lovely quick read which explores many issues.
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Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We're Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fu...more
More about Judy Blume...
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Fudge, #1) Summer Sisters Superfudge (Fudge, #3) Forever

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