Written by John D. Fitzgerald.
Recommended For: A Thoughtful Reader
Easy/ Hard Reading Rating: Easy
Over All Rating: 2/5
‘The Great Brain’ is about Tom, a ten-year-old mastermind. He whips up hilarious scheming to get his own way or increase his fortunes. It is written from his younger brother’s point of view that looks up to him with great admiration… even when he is not doing the right thing.
I myself was a scallywag when I was a kid, and got up to some pretty mischievous stuff, I really enjoyed this book for a laugh and knowing what it felt like to scheme. Towards the end, Tom seems to get worse and worse, his parents have to punish him lots, but in the end chapter, Tom uses his great brain to help one of the boys run and walk after he had to get his leg amputated, but of course he wasn’t going to do it for free. He bargained with this boy who readily accepted, but after helping this boy for a month, and the happiness it gave him, Tom a.k.a. The Great Brain wouldn’t accept the payment. After all the scheming and his readiness to cheat someone out of something, he turns from that and realizes the harm he has done, and also the good he can do with his ‘great brain’. I really benefited from the book in that area, it also got me thinking, and brought to light during conversations when I try and get something out of someone… It was a good read.
Things got mighty dull after The Great Brain decided to give up his crooked ways and walk the straight and narrow. So dull that Papa didn’t even bother to come upstairs and see if Tom was in bed the night the schoolhouse burned down. So dull there is no more to tell. (Last paragraph of ‘The Great Brain’.)
Suggested Age for Enjoyable Reading: 14 and up for reading alone and reading aloud. I don’t recommend this for younger readers; it could give them some nasty ideas and do the reverse of benefitting!
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