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

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,652 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
A strange sea monster suddenly appears on Strawberry Lake, a fortune is unearthed from an old cannon and a valuable dinosaur egg is stolen. Who's responsible? Those seven junior geniuses -- and their wild ideas. Watch out as the Mad Scientists' Club turns the town of Mammoth Falls upside down!
Hardcover, Author's edition, 217 pages
Published December 3rd 2005 by Purple House Press (first published 1961)
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Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-read-as-a-kid
A gem. Almost unknown; but one of the most hilarious and memorable laugh-out-loud books you could ask for. It's never mentioned by anyone; it's never recommended, placed on book lists or chosen by reading-groups. This just might be because it's a series of books which represents a 'philosophy-of-parenting' which has fallen out of favor. That's my suspicion, anyway.

I mean, just think about it. These stories are about kids who are unmonitored; who are allowed to just go off on summer afternoons an
Rick Bauer
Mar 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book wound up surprising me. I wasn’t liking it too well at first. It seemed like it was about a bunch of boys who used their STEM skills to prank their fellow townsfolk. While they definitely did their fair share of that, they also did some pretty amazing things.

This book was written at a time when unsupervised free time was a thing. I think it could potentially be very inspirational for boys. It shows the good, as well as the fun, that can be done when you have some knowledge in science,
Marvin Goodman
Nov 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This one is a very tricky book to review. I'm going to do a detailed review at Plumfield and Paideia where I show photos of specific sections. The science in this book is irresistible. It's absolutely enchanting to a science minded reader, and a boy in particular. The bad behavior, however, spoils some of the fun. I really wish these boys were more respectful, more sensible, and more worthy of recommendation.
Michael Emond
May 10, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read the sequel, The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists’ Club in grade school. It’s pretty much what the title says: a bunch of kids start a club to do science stuff, and much of it is practical jokes. They have a ham radio that they use to coordinate, and a junk yard to scavenge strange parts from.

In this book, they impersonate ghosts, send a mannequin flying over a local celebration, and start a myth about a sea monster in the local lake. It’s all almost doable, even by the sixties-era te
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
May 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile
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
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Steve McKee
Apr 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my all-time favorite books, especially the dialogue between the Mayor and the Flying Man.
Denise Hunsaker
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
Family favorite, Love the whole idea & fun of the neighborhood boys getting into trouble.
Oct 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
One of my all-time favorite books growing up.
Dec 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family
I love the inventive can-do spirit these boys possess. The story keeps our whole family on the edge of our seat.
Jul 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read it ages ago (this one and the next book) but i can hardly remember anything , so i'm rereading it!
Feb 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
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. :)
Jan 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Gave me plenty of ideas as a youngster. Fun read back then.
Dianne Russell
I'm re-reading this book. First read it in Jr. High School.
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A zany and fun collection of short stories. Difficult to find but a must have for any current or future scientist or engineer!
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Read this ages ago and was never able to find the sequels. One of the few books both my brother and I could enjoy.
Classical Lady
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This one of those books that you are painfully aware that you would have loved as a kid, but know comes off as kind of silly. For all that, I am impressed and appreciative of the care that I saw went into these stories. The forward mentioned the author labored over his stories and I could certainly see that, though maybe that's just because I think to much about that kind of stuff. Anyway, I thought the main characters worked well together and it was interesting to read about mischievous boys th ...more
Anna Potter
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing adventures
Ryan McSwain
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been reading classic children’s books to my young son, but they’re almost all fantasies about Oz, Wonderland, and the like. He loves science, so I thought The Mad Scientists’ Club would be a nice change. Turned out I was right.

The Mad Scientists’ Club is a group of kids who get into mischief and solve problems with the help of their brains, scientific know-how, and ham radios. They inhabit and occasionally terrorize Mammoth Falls, a small town that Norman Rockwell would be proud of, that j
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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)

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