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The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientist Club) Hardcover – September 1, 2002
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...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
...this reissue ...reintroduces a brotherhood of boy geniuses with a penchant for electronic crime detection and advanced rocketry. -- Notable Books for Children 2002, Smithsonian Magazine, December, 2002
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
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Top customer reviews
In "Big Chief Rainmaker", a story originally planned for inclusion in the first book, the boys make clever use of simple scientific principles to break a killer drought by making it rain. Unfortunately, making it STOP raining, turns out to be a good deal harder.
In "The Telltale Transmitter" while investigating a series of unexplained seismic anomalies, the boys make an unexpected discovery.
In "The Cool Cavern" the boys acquire a WWII-era midget two-man Japanese submarine and stash it in a cavern behind Mammoth Falls' namesake Mammoth Falls while restoring it to functioning. Then one night the cavern roof collapses, hopelessly trapping Harmon Muldoon's gang, who had come to spy on the submarine, behind tons of fallen rocks. Or are they?
In "The Flying Sorcerer" Dinky Poore is so obsessed about wanting to see a UFO that he quits showing up for club meetings, until his fellow club members promise to build him a UFO. Hi-jinks ensue.
In "The Great Confrontation" Harmon Muldoon's gang kidnaps Dinky Poore and Harmon's cousin, Freddy Muldoon, and offers to trade them for the submarine and the right to use the Cool Cavern. Boy, are they going to be sorry!
As a boy, while I enjoyed this book very much, I never liked it as well or reread it as often as the first one, and after rereading it as a man I think I know why. It isn't the writing, which if anything has improved; it is the overarching theme of all the stories. If the first book could be re-titled "The Mad Scientists' Club Triumphant", this book could be re-titled "The Mad Scientists' Club Get Their Comeuppance". In "Big Chief Rainmaker" the boys go from heroes to goats, and in "The Cool Cavern" the boys get made utter fools of. "The Telltale Transmitter" turns out to be a fairly conventional crime-solving, and even the wackiest story of all, "The Flying Sorcerer", is essentially "The Strange Sea Monster of Strawberry Lake" redux, except with a less triumphal ending, and it isn't until "The Final Confrontation" that the boys finally get even with Harmon Muldoon's gang for the events of "The Cool Cavern". The result is a little more downbeat than I prefer. In addition I regret the lost story possibilities of the restored midget submarine, which Brinley never made use of.
Note: the Purple House reprint of The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club is worth picking up even if you own an older edition because it includes an introduction written by Bertrand's son Sheridan and a chronological listing of the stories so you can read them in the order they were written (the order of the stories in the book was not changed). Reading them chronologically clears up some confusion over places, geographical references, and characters.
I love that even today, the stories are still crisp, interesting and still relevant. If you haven't read or heard anything about the Mad Scientists' club, think something like Hardy Boys' mysteries with a real science background and some pretty funny but harmless pranks. The stories include flying mannequins, tracking beacons and seismographs to stop the bank robbers, miniature submarines, sea-monsters... The members of the club get to save a downed Air-Force pilot, solve a couple of bank robberies, deal with the small town mayor, play more than a few interesting pranks on everyone in town and use a lot of brain power doing it.
The thing that strikes me most now is how much this series taught me and how much it sparked my imagination when I first read them (the first two books). It really made me want to be doing these kind of things and partly pushed me to my career in science and technology today.
If you'd like to get a book for your kids that uses science in a way that's fun and educational at the same time, the Mad Scientists' Club series might be just right for you.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a very fast read and full of fun for all age groups
I highly recommend it.