Help me identify these books, please.

Alright, this is going to be really vague. A while ago, I read a series of books set way back when in a fairly backwaterish town. The focus of the books was a young (possibly teenage-ish or younger) boy who was highly intelligent, picked up the nickname the Great Brain, and managed to become wealthy (by a teenager/adolescent’s standards) through the course of the books. I remember that
a) he makes a bet that he can “magnetize” wood, and makes a boomerang, winning the bet.
b) he solves a train robbery (don’t remember how)
c) his plan to help someone lose weight works too well when said person becomes convinced that Satan has come for him and stops eating.
The stories are told from the point of view of his brother, who is of average intelligence. Does any of this ring any bells?

Is this what you’re looking for?

The Great Brain Series

Er, how about the Great Brain Series?

Those are the Great Brain books by
John Fitzgerald
Illustrated by Mercer Mayer.
There’s about 6 or 7 of them
They are excellent.

Sure. They were “The Great Brain” books.

Set in 1890’s Utah, or thereabouts.

“The Great Brain.”

“Return of the Great Brain.”

“The Great Brain Goes to the Academy,” or something like that, too, although I can’t find it. Both brothers go to a boarding school in a different town (a religious school), and it’s like Stalag 17 or something, the way the Great Brain runs the show.

Yeah, I remember those. Great books. They revolved around a Catholic family living in Provo, Utah around the turn of the century, IIRC. My brother and I loved them.

The Great Brain
Return of the Great Brain
Me and My Little Brain
More Adventures of the Great Brain
The Great Brain is Back
The Great Brain at the Academy

They were written by John D. Fitzgerald and all are told from the point of view of the younger brother.

I believe that they are somewhat biographical, as the younger brother’s name is John D. Fitzgerald in the book, although the copyright dates and time frame of the books don’t exactly match up. Maybe he was telling stories of older relatives?

Man, you guys are good. In the time it took me to read the OP and type up an answer, there were 4 quicker responses. Remind me to come here next time I need something answered.

No, not Provo, Adenville. It was named after Bishop Aden, a Mormon bishop I believe. He was still living at the time of the stories, but figured very little into them. My brother and I read those books to tatters when we were kids.

I remember there being seven books, but I don’t know which one is missing from Ol’ Gaffer’s list. I suppose I could follow those links …