The Great Brain Book Summary

Great BrainBook Title: The Great Brain
Author: John D. Fitzgerald
Illustrator: Mercer Mayer

John Dennis Fitzgerald is telling the story of his childhood just like Laura Ingalls Wilder did in Little House in the Big Woods.  He grew up in Adenville, Utah with his brothers Tom Dennis and Sweyn Dennis, his Aunt Bertha, and his parents.  His brother Tom Dennis (or T.D. as they called him) always had smart ideas to swindle people or bright ideas to make money.  Because of that everybody called him The Great Brain and he loved every minute of it.  This book tells the story of all of The Great Brain’s schemes and adventures.  When Fred Harvey the plumber comes in to the Fitzgerald backyard to install a water closet (a toilet inside of a home) T.D. finds a way to make money out of it.  Or when his mother starts to make ice cream he charges kids a penny to get some.

When Frank and Allen Jensen and their dog, Lady, get lost in a cave T.D. has an idea that is sure to get them out!  Or when T.D. decides to mate his dog, Brownie, and his friend’s dog, Lady, he starts selling the puppies for one whole silver dollar!  When Basil, a Greek boy, comes to town T. D. teaches him how to fight the other kids so he loses the nickname, wimp.  The best thing he thought he did was helping poor Andy (a boy with a peg leg).  He taught him how to run, and do his chores for nothing in return.  If he wouldn’t have helped, Andy would have committed suicide.  T.D. even helped get rid of the new mean teacher, Mr. Standish.  Mr. Standish had replaced old Miss Thatcher – an old school teacher who was the best!  T.D. got help from the other kids as they put whiskey bottles in Mr. Standish’s desk and in his coat pocket.  He was fired, but then they all told the truth.  For that T.D. got the silent treatment from his parents, but he still had his “pals” to count on and a brain full of ideas to solve other people’s problems and make money!

Rocking Purple and Reading Judy Blume!

Hi all, I have three new outfits to show you that all start with my dark purple Arizona brand jeans. I got them from J.C. Penney. I also want to share with you my plan for a Judy Blume Summer Reading Challenge.

IMG_1012Purple Arizona jeans – J.C. Penney paired with GB Girls Paisley Peasant Blouse – Dillard’s

IMG_1018Purple Arizona jeans – J.C. Penney paired with Striped Tippi Sweater – J. Crew

IMG_1020Purple Arizona jeans – J.C. Penney paired with Crewcuts Collectible Sequin Painted Heart Tee – J. Crew

You might notice that in two of the pictures above, I am standing in front of a stack of books. Well, all of these books are Judy Blume books. My mom said that she grew up reading Judy Blume’s books and that they are still some of her favorite books of all time. But, whenever we start talking about books and judging from the hundreds of books that we have had in our library my whole entire life and the amount of books that my mom buys from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble, I’m thinking that her list of favorite books is really, really long. Anyway, I’ve already read two of Judy Blume’s books in the past, but I really prefer reading the Hunger Games and Divergent series, and books by John Green. You know I love, love, love The Fault in Our Stars! But, when I looked on her website I saw this: “More than 82 million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into thirty-two languages.” Hmmmm, I guess Judy Blume is a way bigger deal than I thought. I decided to give her a try. So, I created the Judy Blume Summer Reading Challenge. I am going to read the fifteen Judy Blume books listed below before the end of summer. Apparently, she’s written several more books, but these are the ones my mom has had on the shelf since like forever. They are the same ones my older sister read and she graduated from college last year. For all the tweens out there looking for good books to read this summer, join me in reading Judy Blume. Then check back on my blog for summaries of each book and I’ll also tell you what I thought of them. See you soon.
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      • Freckle Juice
      • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
      • Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great
      • Superfudge
      • Fudge-a-mania
      • Double Fudge
      • Iggie’s House
      • Blubber
      • Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself
      • It’s Not the End of the World
      • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
      • Then Again, Maybe I Won’t
      • Deenie
      • Just As Long As We’re Together
      • Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson

Maya Angelou Died Today

I know why the caged bird singsMaya Angelou died today, Wednesday, May 28, 2014.  I know who she is from watching her on Oprah.  My mom is always watching the Oprah network and Maya Angelou was on the show, Oprah’s Lifeclass.  I think on Lifeclass people talk about their lives and give advice.  Anyway, my mom said that Maya Angelou wrote one of her favorite books, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  My mom read that book when she was in middle school and she told me that I should read it too.  She even has the exact book that she read back then.  It’s on our bookshelf with some of the other books that Maya Angelou has written.  I’m going to read it too.  They called her Dr. Maya Angelou, but she wasn’t a medical doctor.

She was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri.  Her name was actually Marguerite Annie Johnson.  She was raised in Stamps, Arkansas and San Francisco, California where her parents sent her to live with her grandmother.  I knew that Dr. Angelou was a writer, but I didn’t know that she was a singer, a dancer (just like me), and an actress.  The articles on the Internet also say that she was Hollywood’s first black female movie director.  I didn’t know that.  My mom didn’t either.  She participated in the Civil Rights Movement and she knew Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. She was also a poet laureate and was the second poet to perform at a presidential inauguration when she read a poem at President Bill Clinton’s ceremony in 1993.  Dr. Maya Angelou was 86.

All About Sam Summary

I love to read. Here’s another book summary for you to enjoy.

Book Title:  All About Sam
Author:  Lois Lowry
Illustrator:  Diane deGroat

all about sam book coverUsually, Anastasia Krupnik is the star of the Anastasia Krupnik series by Louis Lowry. But this time the book, All About Sam, is told by Sam Krupnik, Anastasia’s little brother. This story is all about what Sam sees from birth to two years old. First, Sam is born. At the hospital he sees a woman whose name is Katherine, a man whose name is Myron, and a girl whose name is Anastasia. He didn’t know that this was his new family. They passed him around, laughing and talking about something called home. Trying to speak, everything sounded like, “Wahhhh.” Later, Sam was taken to his new crib in the Krupnik Pantry. He was fed oatmeal every day which he hated. To avoid eating, Sam turned his head and looked at the pictures on the wall in the Krupnik living room instead. Sam learned to talk by practicing every night in his crib. He learned to walk by practicing in the living room. Finally, he showed his family his talents, they were very impressed. Then the family moved out of their apartment and into a house. Sam was a very angry toddler. He didn’t want to move. “You can’t make me!” he’d shout, running away. He didn’t want to move, or wear training pants, or go to nursery school. In the story he ended up doing all of these things.

In nursery school he made a new best friend named Adam who had a spikey mohawk. “I want punk hair like Adam,” Sam had said to himself. “I hate my ugly curls.” Sam used his father’s shaving cream all over his face, grabbed some scissors and began to cut his curls. His mother found him in the bathroom with chunks of his hair cut out and it was no longer curly. His face was sticky with shaving cream which made his mother even angrier. She gave him the choice of getting spanked or laughing at the entire situation. He laughed and had to go to the barber shop every day for four weeks until his curls grew back. Sam did everything – from stealing Dentyne gum from the store, to bringing his father’s pipe to school for show and tell (and smoking it), from flushing his sister’s pet goldfish down the toilet, to coloring with his mother’s lip stick, and to finding a pet worm in his own back yard, naming it King Of Worms, making it a nice box, then entering it in a pet contest at the library and winning most invisible pet award! On top of all of that, Sam ate lots of green foods thinking he’d become a he-man. But Sam loved visiting his neighbor, Gertrustein, who was an older lady who lived alone, because she taught him flashlight tricks and she made cookies.