What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

UNSOLVED: One specific book > pre-1990 YA fantasy, friends trapped in prehistoric land

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message 1: by Mir (new)

Mir | 704 comments I'm looking for a novel a received as a gift from a friend of my parents. I think he brought it back from a trip to Australia and NZ, so it may have been published there. This was no more recently than 1990, and the book may have been written or set earlier than that.

Visually, I do not remember what was on the cover, but I found it striking. It had strong but limited colors, kind of like a print. I believe they were red or orange, black, and cream, little or no other color used. It was a hardback.

The book begins with a frame narrative of the friends as adults. One man is sick. I think he is married to the girl. For some reason, maybe because he is feverish and talking about it, his friends tell someone(?) about this strange adventure they had when they were young. All the rest of the book is set back in their teens, telling the adventure.

Main story: this group of friends, I think 3 or 4 boys and one girl, maybe named Sue, somehow accidentally end up in a sort-of-prehistoric world. I think getting there involves climbing a wall or tree (I remember the girl wants to go last so the boys don't see up her skirt). I don't remember whether the place is underground, or an alternate dimension, or what. I don't think they actually travel back in time to the dinosaurs, because there are also humans or human-like people living there. I don't recall how much it was like what we know about the prehistoric world -- like, I'm not sure if there were actually dinosaurs or just weird creatures, but I remember some flying things that were like pteradactyls.

The ruler of the people there is mean, and makes them go on some dangerous quest. I don't remember that much about the plot, mostly just the setting. The characters I think were early or mid-teens, but the content was suitable for younger readers. I don't think there was anything sexy, or bad language, or very scary or graphic violence.

message 2: by SBC (new)

SBC (essbeecee) | 879 comments Could it be Fire Dancer by Australian author, Victor Kelleher?

message 3: by Kris (new)

Kris | 34447 comments Mod
Miriam, SBC's suggestion of Fire Dancer looks promising. The Viking New York edition is dated 1996, but this book could have been published in Australia before then.

"Ivan and Josie have been flung from the twenty-first century far back in time to the world of Neanderthal man where they are strangers and their lives are in constant danger."

message 4: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollylovesbooks) | 761 comments The Way Home by Joan Phipson? https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...

message 5: by Meg (new)

Meg | 25 comments It sounds similar to The Halfmen of O by Maurice Gee, although only two children were on the quest in this book.

message 6: by Meg (new)

Meg | 25 comments Oops, not sure if my first comment posted. Sounds similar to The Halfmen of O by Maurice Gee, although there are only two kids in the book. Sorry, I don't know how to hyperlink the book in the GR app.

message 7: by Andria (new)

Andria (airdna) | 2500 comments Mod
The Halfmen of O for the link to Meg's suggestion

message 8: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 38241 comments Mod
Mir, are you still looking for this or did you find it?

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Books mentioned in this topic

The Halfmen of O (other topics)
Fire Dancer (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Victor Kelleher (other topics)