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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


***The Mad Scientists' Club

by Bertrand R. Brinley

illustrated by Charles Greer

Reviewed November 21, 2002.
Purple House Press, Texas, 2001.  Originally published in 1961.  217 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF BRI).

I read this book as a kid and loved it, but hadn’t seen it again until my brother Jeff gave it to my son.  (Thanks!)

This book includes seven adventures of the Mad Scientists’ Club—a group of intelligent boys including one true genius.  Their exploits range from sheer mischief—haunting a house and creating a sea monster—to truly helpful—using triangulation to rescue a downed pilot.  Mostly they amount to good, clean fun, with a dose of cleverness.

I’m afraid that part of the reason the stories didn’t hold up as well today is that now we’re used to science being able to do much more impressive things than what those boys accomplished with electromagnets and radio transmitters.  Using a camera to see inside an old cannon doesn’t seem so impressive when the kids actually had to develop the film.  The boys also use some dated expressions like “Jeepers!” that sound pretty silly when read aloud.

Still, I still enjoyed reading this book again.  I still find the stories entertaining and diverting, and it is fun to think what the Mad Scientists’ Club would come up with if they had access to today’s technology.

Reviews of other books by Bertrand R. Brinley:
The Big Kerplop!
The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club

Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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