Everyone knew that Tom Fitzgerald, alias The Great Brain, would get into trouble when he went off to school at the strict Catholic Academy for Boys in Salt Lake City. But no one—including Tom—knew just how much. His tongue got him into fifteen demerits worth of difficulty the very first day, but his great brain refused to be defeated as Tom set out to outwit the eighth grade, the superintendent, and finally the bishop of the state of Utah. Whether it’s running an illegal candy store or earning a reputation as the fastest potato peeler in the world or introducing the newfangled sport of basketball at the academy, Tom’s great brain never falters. And his money-making schemes rise to new heights—or depths—faced with the challenge of rigorous boarding-school life.
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.