This first book in the series is a great combination of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Terrible Two series, and is perfect for fans of Roald Dahl.
The best con man in the Midwest is only ten years old. Tom, a.k.a., the Great Brain, is a silver-tongued genius with a knack for turning a profit. When the Jenkins boys get lost in Skeleton Cave, the Great Brain saves the day. Whether it’s saving the kids at school, or helping out Peg-leg Andy, or Basil, the new kid at school, the Great Brain always manages to come out on top-and line his pockets in the process.
The Great Brain always manages to get himself (and his unsuspecting younger brother) into trouble with his harebrained schemes, but he always figures out a way to get them out again. The first book in the series, this book introduces the characters and the setting for the rest of the books. I love that these books are funny and engaging, and that they contain descriptions of childhood adventures that seem at once perfectly normal and perfectly magical. Read this one, then read them all!
John D. Fitzgerald was born in Utah and lived there until he left at eighteen to begin a series of interesting careers ranging from jazz drummer to foreign correspondent. His stories of The Great Brain were based on his own childhood in Utah with a conniving older brother named Tom. These reminiscences led to eight memorable Great Brain books. John D. Fitzgerald also wrote several best-selling adult books, including <i>Papa Married a Mormon</i>. He died in Florida, his home of many years, at the age of eighty-one.
MERCER MAYER began writing and illustrating children’s books in 1966, and since then, he has published over 300 titles. Readers can open almost any of his award-winning books and out may pop dragons, cuddly monsters, wonderful creatures, and endearing critters. Drawing from his own childhood adventures for inspiration, Mayer created one of children’s books most cherished characters, Little Critter. He currently lives in Connecticut.