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The Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientists' Club #1)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  1,219 ratings  ·  88 reviews
The Mad Scientists of Mammoth Falls are always at the center of something exciting, whether a mysterious sea monster on the lake, a real dinosaur egg, or the secret of a hidden treasure.

Scholastic Book Club no. TX 801. No ISBN listed.
Paperback, 188 pages
Published 1965 by Scholastic (first published 1961)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,733)
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Rick Bauer
Jul 01, 2008 Rick Bauer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Rick by: my 5th grade teacher
I first read this book in elementary school, back in the early 1970's. To this day, it remains one of my all-time favorites. In 2004, I picked up the hard-cover reprint, published by Purple House Press. That summer, I re-read the book with my son. It was a marvelous way to share the magic of reading. Now he loves these stories as much as I did when I was his age.

In my humble opinion, this is Bernard Brinley's finest work. A definite children's classic.

Mar 07, 2008 Jim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenage boys who like technology
Shelves: childrens
The ultimate pre-teen boys' adventure series, The Mad Scientists Club details the exploits of a group of boys intensely interested in electronics, radio transmitters, physics, aviation, etc. From a seemingly limitless supply of equipment they construct elaborate pranks, experiments, and rescue devices to astound, confuse, vex, impress, and otherwise impress their fellow townsfolk. Before there was Make magazine there was The Mad Scientists Club.
Almost unknown; but one of the most hilarious and memorable laugh-out-loud books you could ask for. A gem. Its never mentioned; never recommended. Perhaps it bewilders people. Maybe they're shocked. Perhaps parents realize that we can't go back to thinking about kids this way.

I have a GR list of 'good kids books' and yeah, there are plenty of books for *small* children represented there--however, this is a book for the age in-between smallness and adulthood--and its a standout. There need to be
Marvin Goodman
My 9 and 11 year old daughters STILL let me read to them a few nights a week. This book, and its sequel (The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists Club) did much to shape my childhood curiosity about scientific adventure, and probably explains why I teach elementary school kids how to build machines and robots with Legos. Oh, the dialogue is hokey (these were written in the early to mid 60's), but the stories were utterly enthralling to me as a boy, and captivate my 21st century daughters as well ...more
I re-read this book a few years ago and these stories really hold up. They are just as fun and clever the second time around.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2013 Robert rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Budding scientist and any inquisitive and adventurous child, even such adults.
This was simply a great childhood book for any inquisitive kid who likes science, haunted houses, dinosaurs, flying machines, etc. I read this book in about seventh or eighth grade and actually a couple of times since. I believe this book helped me on my career to being a rocket scientist but it also gave me many ideas as I was growing up. Brinley managed to capture the perfect mid-west US town and the guys in the book were great caricatures of fun loving, science minded boys with a bit of good ...more
This is the best kids book ever. It probably appeals to boys more than girls though. In a way it saddens me when I re-read it. I don't think our kids today have as much freedom as these did (or my generation). I remember staying out until dark, riding my bike EVERYWHERE, clubhouses on vacant lots...Or maybe it's responsibility. Kids today have freedom but little responsibility. I'm getting off my soap box now. but this is a cool book and it will make your kids fall in love with science. I imagin ...more
girl writing
A favorite from grade school reading days that I found while book collecting and recently reread. I so wished I could be in a club like this one that had exciting adventures (and good clean fun) and used their wits to stay/get out of trouble. Reading it as an adult, this book is a great example of kids using their intelligence, humor, physical abilities to interact with each other and explore their world...things that seem lacking today (don't I sound old).
Michael Rutland
A book that every boy (and girl) should be given for one of the summers of their pre-teen years. The stories are funny, very creative, and most impressively, make the reader truly feel that they could build the contraptions and emulate the Mad Scientists' hijinks. 20 years after reading it for the first time, I still pick it up and find the characters as fresh and rewarding as ever.
Melissa Snark
This story is a callback to childhood. I read it again recently and really enjoyed it. As an adult and an author, I perceive issues with story consistency and "the science" itself that I didn't as a kid, but it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the story. I highly recommend this for moms looking for books for their elementary schoolers.
Michael Emond
I sometimes like to read children's books because a) Some of them have more creativity and are better written than adult novels and b) I like to see how these classic hold up. I think it is fair to say anyone's favourite children's books will always be the ones they fondly remember as a child. Some of them hold up on rereading and some don't. I was coming at THIS book having never heard of it before but the glowing reviews made me think I would love it. So this review is by an adult that wasn't ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed these stories, written in the 1960s, and so did Danny. The names of the characters alone make it fun! I actually bought the omnibus of all the stories and novels, reprinted by Purple House Press, and hope to read them all.
When I read this in sixth grade, I thought that my father must have lived a childhood something like this, and I experienced an early from of nostalgia for something I'd never known. There is timeless magic in this story.
Robert Palmer
This was one of my favorite books from my youth. It made me dream of forming my own Mad Scientists' Club.

The book contains a series of short stories about the exploits of the Mad Scientists' Club of a fictional town, Mammoth Falls. I understand that the stories were originally published in Boys' Life, and that they were so popular among boy scouts that they were gathered up and published in a single volume.

To this day, very few people seem to know about this wonderful little book, except, of cou
Elizabeth S
Re-reading this one out-loud to my son. And when I say re-reading, I mean not only that I've read it before, but that my son has read it before. We both like it that much. :)
This book was quite a nostalgia trip for me. This collection of episodic adventures is exactly the sort of thing my husband and other boys our age used to read when we were in approximately 5th-7th grade (1961-63). It's fascinating to get this sort of glimpse of how childhood in our society has changed in the past 50 years. One aspect of the boys' behavior I especially enjoyed was the way they would help their competitors if the other boys got into trouble or danger. So few modern children have ...more
A zany and fun collection of short stories. Difficult to find but a must have for any current or future scientist or engineer!
Read this ages ago and was never able to find the sequels. One of the few books both my brother and I could enjoy.
I was so glad that still kept my old beat up paper bakc copy so I could read it to my son. He loved this book too,
I love the inventive can-do spirit these boys possess. The story keeps our whole family on the edge of our seat.
I read it ages ago (this one and the next book) but i can hardly remember anything , so i'm rereading it!
Steve McKee
One of my all-time favorite books, especially the dialogue between the Mayor and the Flying Man.
Denise Hunsaker
Family favorite, Love the whole idea & fun of the neighborhood boys getting into trouble.
Dianne Russell
I'm re-reading this book. First read it in Jr. High School.
Gave me plenty of ideas as a youngster. Fun read back then.
One of my all-time favorite books growing up.
This is another of those "books I remember reading when I was a kid" that I wanted to share with my son for "reading together." Before we started, I re-read part of Chapter 1, and wasn't sure that it would hold his attention. Not a lot of action and the setting, something like the mid-20th century world of Homer Price, I wasn't sure would interest him. Boy, was I wrong! The idea of a bunch of boys, on their own, with no adult supervision (parents never mentioned!) figuring out ways to have fun, ...more
I can't write a review as it's been 40 years since I read it. All I know is that when the title popped up up in goodreads recommended reads - I squealed. I have strong memory of loving this book. Along with all the Encyclopaedia Brown novels - they showed me it was ok to be smart and a nerd.

I may re-read it, but then maybe I won't, as I would hate to lose my memories because of my jaded cynical old eyes.
James Lyon
This was one of my favorites as a young teenager, and I see that it has not only aged well over time, but has also retained all it's wit and hilarity. Follow the mad-cap adventures of youth as their wild escapades and pranks wreak havoc on all with whom they come in contact. This is a picture of America in a more innocent age. Once you pick it up you won't put it down.
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Bertrand R. Brinley was born in Hudson, New York in 1917. He had a peripatetic childhood, living in Hudson, Lansdowne, Pennsylvania; West Newbury, Massachusetts; Evanston, Illinois; and Hollywood, California, to name just a few of the places. When he lived in Hollywood in the Twenties, he pitched pennies with Jackie Cooper, who became a child star, and sold newspapers to Charlie Chase, the silent ...more
More about Bertrand R. Brinley...

Other Books in the Series

Mad Scientists' Club (4 books)
  • The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientists' Club, #2)
  • The Big Kerplop!: The Original Adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientists' Club, #3)
  • The Big Chunk of Ice: The Last Known Adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientists' Club, #4)
The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientists' Club, #2) The Big Kerplop!: The Original Adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientists' Club, #3) The Big Chunk of Ice: The Last Known Adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientists' Club, #4) The Mad Scientists' Club: Complete Collection (Mad Scientists' Club, #1-4) Rocket Manual for Amateurs

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