The Great Brain Series arrived on the reading scene. Instantly loved by children and adults. The stories follow Sweyn Dennis, Tom Dennis and John Dennis Fitzgerald through their childhood. Originally The Great Brain Book was scheduled to be the last in the adult series. It was written as a single book which was tied to the earlier books about Fitzgerald family life. However, the market interest in western family memoirs books had died. Around the same time the editor had left the original publishing company. Fortunately the manuscript followed him and an editor, Phyllis Fogelman, took on the challenge of creating the popular Great Brain Series Eight books in all complete the series. That final one The Great Brain is Back was published postumously on Fitzgerald’s behalf. Editorially changes were made by Fitzgerald for this series. The original Great Brain novel was cut in half, “references that were aimed at adults rather than children” were deleted, and J.D.’s older sister, Katie became obselete. These changes turned the series into a Tom Sawyer type series. The main characters were young boys facing day to day life with cleverness and creativity beyond belief.
The Great Brain is Tom D.Fitzgerald, aged 10. The story is told by J.D., as 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 the Skeleton Cave, Basil, the Greek kid, or Andy, who has lost his leg and then his friends, know that Tom’s great brain never fails to find a way home.