The Mad Scientists' Club

The Mad Scientists' Club by Bertrand R. Brinley (1965) This book collects some stories that appeared in Boys' Life magazine, along with a few more, into a paperback book offered through Scholastic Book Services, through which we would regularly get to order and buy books while in grade school—always a high point for me. The illustrations, by Charles Geer, are a big part of the book—romantic, messy, expressive line drawings. The club is a group of six boys who like to invent things, which leads them to some nutty adventures; among them: a fake sea monster, a dinosaur egg, a flying man, a hot air balloon, and a haunted house. This was one of my absolute favorite books as a kid. There is one illustration (for a story where they're trying to recover money hidden in an old cannon) where they're out at night in this local park—and there is a statue of a soldier there—and every time I see an old statue in a park—like one near where I live, illuminated by a street light at night—I get the strong memory of this illustration... and this story... and this book. A spell had been cast that has never subsided.