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In all honesty, this isn't 100% sci-fi, but this still seems the best SE site to ask.

I remember a book (may have been a collection of shorts, or a novel, but it was all about the same group of boys). I would've read it in the late 70's or early 80's, but I think it was from and set in the mid/late 60's; I remember a comment about one of the characters' father being a Linotype operator.

At any rate, they run around town, all the townsfolk think they're hooligans. Somewhere along the way, they buy a midget submarine that they want to refurbish, as well as causing a massive UFO scare in their town.

Like I said, I didn't see any other SE sites that covered general fiction, and their stunts were “science-ey”, so I thought it might be worth a try here.

  • Don't worry about questions not being scifi, the full name for this site is "Science Fiction & Fantasy". Basically all works of fiction seem to be perfectly acceptable, although some such as fiction from greek times might work better for a stackexchange for history. – Theik Dec 23 '14 at 12:45
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This is the "Mad Scientists Club" series by Bertrand R. Brinley. You are correct. Unlike the Danny Dunn and Tom Swift science fiction boy inventors, these were not so much pure science fiction as just regular boy inventors (similar to say the Alvin Fernald stories). But they are on the edge of what you might expect boys of that age to be able to complete with the science of the times. I have vivid and very fond memories of reading them as a young boy and would recommend them to any young reader as a good stepping stone to more "pure" juvenile science fiction.

Wiki

The specific story with the submarine to which you are referring is: "The Cool Cavern" (1966)

Amazon Review

"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?

The UFO I believe is: "The Flying Sorcerer" (1968)

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.

  • That's it. Thanks! – Adrien Dec 22 '14 at 22:10
  • So, specifically, the one I remember from my youth was "The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club", with the Cool Cavern and the Flying Sorcerer ... I've just discovered that there was an earlier book, a later book, and some other stuff, so thanks again. Have to try to get my nephews into these books. – Adrien Dec 23 '14 at 5:35

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