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The Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientist Club) Hardcover – October 3, 2001

87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

...filled with spirit of adventure and good-natured fun... In fact, Henry Mulligan, chief Mad Scientist, reminds me of me! -- Homer Hickam, Author of October Sky

For better or worse (better, I think) the Mad Scientists' Club was a major influence in my youth. -- Glenn H. Reynolds -- InstaPundit.com, October 11, 2004

Fun and gentle, the books paint a picture of a more innocent boyhood where scientific know-how could save the day. -- USA TODAY, December 3, 2002

When I was a kid, some of my favourite books were about young geniuses. ...I loved Bertrand Brinley's Mad Scientists -- Kenneth Oppel, author of Barnes & the Brains series, Silverwing series

Timeless and entertaining, The Mad Scientists' Club is a fun read and top pick. --Midwest Book Review

About the Author

After attending Stanford University, where he majored in Economics and Speech, BERTRAND R. BRINLEY was a methods and procedures analyst for Lockheed Aircraft's engineering department. He entered the Army in 1944 and served fifteen years in a variety of infantry and public relations assignments, including position of aide-de-camp to the chief of the United Nations delegation during the Korean armistice negotiations. He retired from active duty in order to devote himself to writing, and held a commission as major in the United States Army Reserve. He later worked in technical writing and public relations positions for the Martin Company.

The author of Rocket Manual for Amateurs, Bertrand Brinley lectured extensively to schools and civics groups on space age topics. His articles and stories appeared in Harper's Magazine, Boys' Life, Family Weekly, Woman's Day, The Microwave Journal, Electronics Illustrated and The Book of Knowledge.

Bertrand Brinley is well-known for his beloved tales of the Mad Scientists' Club, whose further antics can be found in The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club, The Big Kerplop! and The Big Chunk of Ice.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Series: Mad Scientist Club
  • Hardcover: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Purple House Pr; 1st edition (October 3, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930900104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930900103
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,148,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 89 people found the following review helpful By fredtownward VINE VOICE on February 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
There have been plenty of science-based children's stories written over the years, but Bertrand R. Brinley's Mad Scientists' Club stories are something special. A combination of excellent true-to-life writing, simple yet sound science (with a single exception), and a gently wicked sense of fun have produced a marvelous collection of stories that seem as clever and fresh as when they came out more than forty years ago. The secret? The fact that the Mad Scientists of Mammoth Falls use science not for building great inventions or solving great mysteries, but primarily for playing clever pranks on the well deserving.

In "The Strange Sea Monster of Strawberry Lake", Dinky Poore makes up a story about seeing a sea monster in order to explain being late for dinner. His fellow club members decide to build a sea monster. Hi-jinks ensue.

In "Night Rescue" the boys make clever use of simple scientific principles in order to rescue a downed Air Force pilot.

In "The Unidentified Flying Man of Mammoth Falls" the boys liven up Mammoth Falls' Founder's Day celebration with a flying man.

In "The Big Egg" the boys try to hatch a fossil dinosaur egg. (!) It gets an A for story and an F for science.

In "The Secret of the Old Cannon" the boys use a combination of cutting edge science (for 1963) and simple basics to solve an unsolved bank robbery (and embarrass a couple of sneaks trying to take credit for their work).

In "The Great Gas Bag Race" the boys come up with a truly brilliant concept for winning a balloon race.

In "The Voice in the Chimney" the boys hilariously haunt a house.

I find it difficult to put into words just how much fun these stories are.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Neufemism on October 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Not only boys will enjoy this wonderful collection of stories. I'm a girl & this was one of my favorite books growing up. The adventures are much better than Nancy Drew or those... *opinion* inane 'babysitter' books. I highly recommend this book & am currently purchasing my second copy in addition to putting the rest of the mad scientist books on my wish list. These books would make great presents for any child.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Snarf40 on September 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like many of the other reviewers of this book, I read it repeatedly as a boy. I identified with the characters. I loved the way they used their intelligence and knowledge of science to get themselves in and out of mischief, and sometimes to help people. And let's not forget to mention Brinley's easy reading style and Geer's terrific illustrations. But one lesson I took away from this book (and its sequel) was that it was perfectly fine to be a skinny geek who was interested in science. These guys solved all kinds of real life problems without the benefit of brawn, large amounts of money, or even magic (a la Harry Potter).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book some twenty years ago--and I read it at least twenty times. In fact, after my mother purged my collection of children's books while I was away at college, I so missed this particular book that I looked for years before I found a used copy. I am ecstatic to see it back in print.
The Mad Scientist's Club has all the elements that make for a fast-paced, engrossing book: an ensemble cast of unique and humorous characters, a rival club of bigger but less creative scientists, adults who aid as well as thwart the Mad Scientists' projects/practical jokes, and, of course, a great secret hide-out and lots of clandestine meetings in a booby-trapped clubhouse. The cast of characters is comprised of a variety of personalities that are familiar yet creatively re-imagined: the geeky science nerd, the pip-squeak tag-along, the bologna sandwich toting goof, and the narrator-as-everyman. What makes these characters particularly likeable is that, along with their irrepressible hijinks and constant smart-aleck attitudes is a real respect and fondness for each other and their tremendous interest in the power of knowledge (and accidents) when used for good...and entertainment. Adults as well as kids will enjoy this book--a gang of Encyclopedia Browns with better senses of humor, more ingenuity, and less of a holier-than-thou attitude: it doesn't get much better than this.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patrick G. Green on April 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book through Scholastic when I was in grade school back in the 70's. I always kept my copy, and I've handed it down to my son. I ordered another for my daughter and then purchased all three books for both of my kids. I highly recommend this book and the others by Mr. Brinley. You won't be disappointed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Whatever the maximum number of stars allowed in a review, this book would rate every single one. The librarians got used to seeing me check out both Mad Scientist books on a regular basis, & I was fortunate enough to find copies to add to my own library back in the late '80s. The best recommendation I can give is that my mom (who also loves the books) said that she always knew when I was reading a Mad Scientist story, because she would hear shrieks of laughter coming from my room!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Riley on June 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
was reading these short stories as they were published in Boy's Life. The collection was almost an anti-climax - still wonderful, but by then so thorougly digested I'd practically memorized them.

The real treat was when I bought these books for my son. Not only was there "The Mad Scientists Club" and "The New Adventures" thereof, but two full length novels published after the author's death - The Big Kerplop, and The Big Chunk of Ice.

All four are treasures.
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