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

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  877 ratings  ·  75 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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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...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.
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
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
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...more
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
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.
Gave me plenty of ideas as a youngster. Fun read back then.
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
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
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.
Jamie Mann
when I was young I so wanted to join this club, made me start to seriously think of going into science as a way of life.
T Sunclades
This is the first book I can remember receiving as a gift.
Along with THE THREE INVESTIGATORS, another wonderful book of my youth. Smart kids get up to hi-jinks in pastoral Middle-America in the late 50s-early 60s. Created an idea of the world that, while it wasn't true, was inspiring to a young boy (again, much like THREE INVESTIGATORS). A good book for a young boy - might inspire him to take up science. A cynical part of me thinks of the characters as they were and projects them forward into their historical future - and assumes they were just old eno...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).
This is such an interesting book for boys! I wish my brothers could have read this when they were young. I can just imagine some young kid reading this and getting really interested in science. There's non-stop adventure, and I love the bantering rivalry and funny hijinks! I love that the Club really works together as a team, and they are loyal to each other, and always ready to help out with whatever new scheme they've concocted. So much fun!
Another series of books that I thoroughly enjoyed as a boy, with adventures and just the right (light) touch of science to engage a young boy's interest. I think they started out as short stories in Boy's Life, which I also read from the time I was a Cub Scout. Funny how even thinking about some of those old magazines brings back feelings as much as memories: Boy's Life, Ranger Rick, Highlights, and so forth.
Deirdre Keating
I gave this to Aidan as a Back-to-School gift. He was thrilled with the idea of it, and wants us to build him a tree house outback to be his club's hideout.

But the actual reading of it was less than spellbinding. They are more of a "high jinks" club than any kind of science, and the language is a bit dated. Also, why create three characters with very similar names...we're often trying to remember who was who.
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.
Chris Serpico
Goes hand-in-hand with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as far and away one of my favorite book series of all time. I don't have the ability to put into words exactly what it is about The Mad Scientists' Club that captures me, but there is something quite distinct about it that I've never found in any book ever again.

The book makes me happy just thinking about it.
Arthur O'dell
I first read this book (in the scholastic edition paperback) 32 years ago. One of my all-time favorites. I was excited to see the purple press hardcover reprints because I had always hoped Brinley had written more stories. Great stories, great characters, and a healthy dose of real science make this one of the best boys' adventure series.
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.
Can't believe this wasn't on my book list; I must have read it a dozen times as a kid although it belonged to my big brother. Hey A., in case you're wondering where your copy ended up...

I tried to read it out loud to my kids--with marginal success. They don't know what they missed.
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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...
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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