News and Notes
The Great Brain
The first installment of a seven book series, The Great Brain details the good-natured profiteering of Tom D. Fitzgerald, the middle of three brothers growing up in 1890s Utah. I remember loving these books as a kid, and rereading them brought no disappointments. Guided by the narrator, Tom's younger brother J.D., the reader spends the entire book gleefully at Tom's side, rooting for him, the prototypical sympathetic scoundrel, as he threads his way in and out of dozens of unlikely schemes. Perhaps this is where I picked up my love of literature and films that portray the confidence game. The entire Great Brain series is illustrated nicely by Mercer Mayer, who later went on to create the popular Little Critter character.