Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Great Brain, the (Lib)(CD) Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged

See all 48 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
"Please retry"
$999.11 $59.97
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

"Hit and Miss" by Derrick Jeter and Paul Mantell
Inspired by Derek Jeter’s own life, this middle grade novel is about what it takes to be a champion on and off the field. See more

"Castle Hangnail" by Ursula Vernon
From the creator of "Dragonbreath" comes a tale of witches, minions, and one fantastic castle, just right for fans of Roald Dahl and Tom Angleberger. See more

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Listening Library; N/A edition (February 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073934899X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739348994
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,569,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A funny, fast-moving, endearing book that [readers] will lap up! -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

From the Publisher

The Great Brain is Tom D. Fitzgerald, aged ten. The story is told by J.D., a sometimes confounded but always admiring younger brother. Such people as Mr. Standish, the mean schoolmaster, regret the day they came up against The Great Brain. But others, like the Jensen kids lost in Skeleton Cave, Basil, the Greek kid, or Andy, who has lost his leg and his friends, know that Tom's great brain never fails to find a way home. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

My nine year old is reading the series now.
Tom may have a great brain, but being a child he doesn't always know the boundaries he should live within, and his great brain sometimes lands him in trouble.
John Tarvardian
I recommend this book to kids who enjoy reading.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

129 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Susan Reed on March 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book and the others in the series as a sixth-grader back in the mid-70s. I, too, read them over and over! I was so enthralled with the stories that I did what I always did with terrific books: looked for any other books by the same author. I was thrilled to discover that in addition to this fictionalized version of J.D.'s childhood, he had also written three non-fiction books detailing his family history and experience in late 19th century Utah: Uncle Will and the Fitzgerald Curse, Papa Married a Mormon, and Mama's Boarding House. I promptly checked them out of the library and devoured them all. They are wonderful stories and an informative background to the Great Brain series. I add my plea to that of another reviewer: SOMEONE, PLEASE REPRINT THESE BOOKS by John D. Fitzgerald! They are a treasure that should not remain relegated to the dusty shelves of used bookstores!
I am currently reading The Great Brain to my six-year old son. At first I was afraid that the writing was a little too sophisticated for him, but with an explanation here and a definition there, he's doing just fine with it. He laughed uproariously at the scene in the opening chapter of the public uncrating and display of the first water closet (indoor flush toilet)in Adenville. These stories are terrific entertainment, as well as history lessons. They give kids a sense of how daily life was a century ago from a kid's perspective.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
85 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Christopher S. Danielsen on December 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
To my knowledge, John Dennis Fitzgerald never won any of the prestigious children's book awards or accolades for this book or any of the others in the series, but it is my opinion as an avid reader from childhood that these books constitute some of the best available children's literature. Fitzgerald was in his sixties when he started this series, but he clearly never lost touch with his childhood self and all of these books are brilliantly written so that J.d. and his big brother seem like kids you know, even though they lived in a small Utah town at the turn of the century. These books have it all: an interesting historical setting; believable characters that develop as the series progresses; plenty of humor, of both the laugh-out-loud and subtler varieties; tenderness and pathos; and even a few good scares.

I picked up a copy of More adventures of the Great Brain, the second in the series, at a book fair in elementary school. (It isn't strictly necessary to read the books in order, though of course it's nice.) I was the most avid reader in my family, though the youngest, and for some reason one summer day when we were bored I started reading the book aloud to my older sister and my uncle, who was only five years older than me (I was nine or ten at the time.) Pretty soon, all three of us were devouring the rest of the series, swapping them among ourselves. I can't be sure, but I think the books may have started my sister's love of reading, though my uncle had always been a reader and had turned me on to the Lord of the Rings. At any rate, these were favorites for years.

Parents, please, please don't be put off by the fact that these books are about a mischievous boy with a penchant for swindling his pals out of their prized possessions.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful By D. Simon on January 27, 2010
I agree with the other reviewers in that The Great Brain is an entertaining, clever, and highly intelligent read for 4th graders and up with excellent reading comprehension. However, parents may wish to be aware that the book raises a number of challenging, troubling issues to which their children may not have been previously exposed. All are dealt with in lighthearted ways, yet for some children, it may be the first time being exposed to some of the darker concepts - like feuds between Christian sects (since it takes place in Utah at the turn-of-the-century the narrator frequently discusses fights with the Mormon kids), anti-Semitism (when a Jewish merchant sets up shop in town and is presumed to be hoarding gold), the death of the merchant, alcoholism (when a plot hatches to get a disliked teacher fired by planting empty whiskey bottles in his room), amputation (when a child gets gangrene after stepping on a nail and is forced to lose his leg), and even suicide (when that child feels that he is "plumb useless" and tries to enlist his friends to help him end it all.)

Not only are these issues raised rather offhandedly, but the overall story is morally complex. It involves Tom, the narrator's brother, looked up to as a brilliant thinker, but the main focus of his Great Brain is how to make money from his brother, his friends, and their parents regardless of the circumstance. He is generally on the right side of each issue, but a cynical child might assume he is only in it for himself. For example, he helps defend an immigrant child from bullies. But he does it by convincing the boy's father that in order to be a "real American kid" he must learn how to fight, and that Tom is willing to teach him for a fee.
Read more ›
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Lynette Paulsen on May 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read The Great Brain books in the 70's. Now that I have kids of my own, I've been introducing them to my old favorites. The wonderful thing about the Great Brain series is that it's timeless. It still as fresh as ever, just as full of fun and mischief. The series revolves around the exploits of a young would-be con artist who always seems to get caught. One of the best parts about this series is that it appeals to boys at the age when many of them stop reading for fun. I'm getting this book for one of my third-grade students (I'm a literacy tutor) as a end-of-the-year gift. I know that he will love it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

John D. Fitzgerald is the author of seven Great Brain books. He died in Florida, his home of many years, at the age of eighty-one.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?