Scott Ciencin, Author, Mike Fredericks, Illustrator Random House Children's Books $18 (282p) ISBN 978-0-679-88842-0
Dinotopia fans hungry for more Mesozoic adventure will happily devour this time-travel saga featuring four junior high school students. It all begins at the science fair when whiz kid Bertram's M.I.N.D. (Memory INterpreter Device) Machine zaps him and three classmates (graffiti artist Janine, pretty but vicious Candayce and football player Mike) back 67 million years. After being knocked unconscious, the students awake to find themselves transformed into a motley crew of prehistoric beasts. The serious problem of finding a way to return to the 1990's is lightened considerably by the teens' comic attempts to adjust to their new forms. Bertram, now an Ankylosaurus, is plagued with a chronic farting problem. Candayce is, ironically, turned into a Leptoceratops (""What had happened to her?"" she asks herself. ""Her thighs were enormous! And she had a pot belly!"") The meat of the drama, however, has mostly to do with the foursome's development of survival skills--finding food, warding off enemies and escaping natural disaster--and their private journeys to discover who they really are on the ""inside."" Although scientific facts about the era are woven into the plot a little too self-consciously, Ciencin's (Godzilla: Journey to Monster Island) enticing blend of humor, adolescent angst and crisis-a-chapter excitement may hook even reluctant readers. Final artwork not seen by PW. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 261 pages - 978-0-375-80417-5
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