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Great Brain, The : Reviewed

Author:John D. Fitzgerald
Illustrator:Mercer Mayer
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 12 and up
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 8 and up
Genre:biographical
Year of publication:1967

First person story of one of three Catholic brothers growing up in turn of the century Mormon Utah.

We were amazed at the similarities and differences between then and now. For example, they had telephones, but used them only in emergencies. A boy's leg gets infected, he gets gangrene and the leg is removed. The chapter about his attempts to commit suicide because he is "plumb useless" is terrifying, sad, and, eventually, funny. The Great Brain, the middle brother, is the smartest and not ashamed.

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