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The Great Brain is Back (The Great Brain #8)

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  1,833 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Although bedazzled by pretty Polly Reagan, thirteen-year-old Tom Fitzgerald's great brain and money-loving ways haven't changed a bit.
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by Dial (first published 1995)
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Wendy Darling
3.5 stars That extra half star is for the chapter about peach pie. :D
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Great Brain Is Back is about a young boy, and how he sees his older brother Tom. There are many adventures and events that happen that are so relatable and exciting that you can't stop reading until you are done. It was a good book to read on the weekend or when you are relaxing in the evening. You don't need to read the other books before this one. They all are somewhat their own story.
Jessica Kohout
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
T.D. Fitzgerald, also called The Great Brain, is known for utilizing his intelligence in order to make money. His love of money often leads him to swindle the local kids of the town, including his younger brother J.D. Because T.D., or Tom, must work and also spends most of his free time with Polly Reagan, J.D. finds himself bored during the summer. When Tom offers him opportunities to make money, he eagerly participates, even though he knows that his brother is once again trying to trick him for ...more
Michael Emond
Who are these people rating this 4 and 5 stars? They have been swindled by the money loving heart of Dial Books and the editor of this book who ransacked the poor dead author's old notes for these chapters, hobbled them together and put together a book that only a person of little to no discrimination would consider a "great end to a great series". This book is not up the quality or craftsmanship of the TRUE books in this series. What makes this even more of a swindle is that the fact that John ...more
Larry Linguist
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved The Great Brain series as a kid. I re-read this one again recently when I found it in my local library. I enjoyed it almost as much as the first time. Some of the others in the series are more engaging, and I liked the earlier illustrator better as well. But a nice final book for the series.
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
While it was nice for them to try and capture the magic again, it just wasn't there in this one (as it almost feels ghost written). Read it if you love the series, but it's mostly forgettable.
Heather Culley
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peaches and robbers.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i liked it?
Michael Kobylarz
These were among my favorite books growing up, so when I found them at our local library I offered to start reading them to my son. He loved every one of them. I never read this book as a kid because it was released after I grew out of youth books, but we enjoyed it just as much as the others. We both had a look of sadness on our faces when I finished up the last chapter.
Jack Cheng
This review is for the entire Great Brain series by John D. Fitzgerald. The series is comprised of eight books, the first seven of which were published from 1967 to 1976 and the last one was published posthumously in 1995 from notes left by the author. There is also a great Publisher's Note that I will discuss toward the end of this review.

Overall, I would say that the first two books are the best by far and the first five are worth reading as a set. The last three books are like return visits t
King Ævil
Somehow I'd never read this installment of The Great Brain when I was a kid.

Tom Fitzgerald is still a real asshole, but he uses his great brain to help others more than usual here, so this book has that going for it.
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j, history, amer-culture
Another non-starter from the middle school library, I took this one home off the discard cart because I did enjoy The Great Brain in elementary school. As usual, the history is well done, the kids rocket around from place to place alone in a way unimaginable for today's kids, and the stories are funny. As an adult, I felt like Tom (the Great Brain himself) was sometimes quite cruel to JD, but perhaps it is because I am cheap, and JD always ends up owing money!

This was published after the author'
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, re-read
The eighth and final Great Brain book and I'm finishing my 2016 re-read of the entire series.
This book came out about 20 years after the 7th book and was only discovered after the death of Mr. Fitzgerald.

It's not quite as good as all of the others (maybe that's why he never published it) but still better than 99% of anything else that gets published.

All the characters are back and the Great Brain still has that money loving heart that makes everything entertaining. Loved the book and recommend
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-lit
We've enjoyed reading about Tom's shenanigans for the last time in the eighth book of the Great Brain series. Tom turns 13 in this book, and after watching his big brother have to start earning his keep and fall under the spell of pretty Polly Reagan, John decides he wants to stay young. Tom finally gets swindled himself at the end of this book, and we were surprised to find out who gets the last word.
Jon Cox
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, outdoors
This book was put together and edited following the death of the author. The stories were found in Fitzgerald's desk after his death. I think they were probably stories that he chose not to use for a reason. They were not as interesting or well written as the stories in the other books. Also, the transitions weren't as strong, likely because the stories were not intended to be put together in the way they ended up.
I thought this book was a very good book.The book is about a little brother trying to out smart his older brother and get him back for all the things he has done to him. So the little brother uses his brain to try to figure out some tricks to do to his brother. He kept trying all these tricks to his brother to his wouldn't work. Finally one day his friend showed him a prank and JD was going to get him back for the dirty things he has done to him.
Oct 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I'm curious to know how much in these books is fictionalized and how much really happened. It seems highly unlikely that even with a brother as conniving and ingenuitive as Tom that so many outlandish exploits could take place in less than a year. Still, they're highly entertaining, and this book was no disappointment. More of the same as the previous seven books (not that you'd be expected something new, at this point), but fun and easy entertainment.
Worth a read, the characters are setting are fun; but unfortunately the stories are pretty weak compared to the earlier books in the series. I'd highly recommend anyone to read the series, starting with The Great Brain . It's fun for anyone who liked the series to come back to these terrific characters, but for anyone else it's going to be just better than mediocre.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These are children's/teen books, describing the antics and shenanigans of a group of brothers growing up in Utah in the 1800s. Although that may not seem very interesting, these are probably the best written and most entertaining books of the children/teen adventure genre. I highly recommend all the Great Brain books.
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great installment of The Great Brain series. The exploits of J.D. and his big brother T.D. set in fictitious Adenville, Utah in 1899.

Although it's book 8 in the series, I was able to pick it up without reading any of the middle books, and this was the first exposure my kids have had to the Great Brain.
Katie Hilton
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final adventures of the Great Brain, published posthumously. As the Great Brain prepares to go to high school in Pennsylvania, he can't resist a few more schemes to please his money-loving heart.
Sep 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So sad this is the last one. I particularly liked the publisher's note at the end of this one. It gives some really interesting background. Although this book is only eight chapters, they were every bit as fun as all the other Great Brain books. These are all classics!
David Robins
Apr 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
The first story left a bit of a bitter taste since it seemed out of character for Tom to (effectively) rat on his brother John; but the rest were up to the standards of the house and the series concluded with a great set of yarns about Adenville and the Fitzgerald boys.
Apr 05, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childhood
Not exactly the one I was looking for, but same text, different edition.
A great series about kids making money out West in times much simpler than this. And the lessons learned from being entrepreneurial, being family, and being honest.
Aug 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, juvenile
For those who thought there were only 7 books in the Great Brain series, think again. After he died they found chapters for an 8th book titled The Great Brain is Back. Hence the title.
A little choppy because he never got a chance to finish it, but worth the read for fans.
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
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boy, oh, boy. For my money, that was a solid finish to a great series. So glad the publisher was able to finish up John D.'s draft for publication. A much stronger and more satisfying conclusion than the seventh book would have been. Thank you, Mr. Fitzgerald!
May 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Man, wish I had a great manipulating brain like the Great Brain!
Aug 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have really enjoyed the past couple of weeks with this set of books
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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)
  • Me and My Little Brain (Great Brain #3)
  • 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)