A scientist exploring the secrets of gravity accidentally invents a time machine. After making sure it would be safe to send humans back in time a paleontologist friend of his becomes the first time traveler. However something goes wrong and the man doesn't return.
At this point the main character, a seventeen-year old boy, and the son of the missing man go back eighty-million years in time to find the boy's father. Encounters with dinosaurs and other strange creatures result.
Eventually they accomplish their mission and prepare to return home. The only problem is that they have to take smaller steps to get back to 1966. A brief stop in the Ice Age and then another stop about 20,000 years ago where they encounter early humans.
Bob Miller - the narrator and main character. The 17-year old son of the inventor of the time machine. Bob is athletic and brave.
Pete - the son of Doc Tom, the paleontologist. He has his 18th birthday while 20,000 years in the past. Pete is a bit of a nerd, not much of the physical type. But he does pull his own weight during the adventure.
Doc Tom - Pete's father and the world's first time traveler.... unless you count the primitive girl that ended up briefly traveling to 1966. Technically she became the first time traveler 20,000 years before Doc Tom did. I kept reading his name as Doc Tomorrow... I was picturing him as some sort of pulp hero.
There was also Bob's father, some other scientists, and numerous primitive humans.
This was a younger reader title. It was a quick and interesting read. The pseudo-science they used sounded pretty good for 1966. They only problem I had with it was where the characters got into a battle with some of the natives 20,000 years ago and had to shoot a number of them. Seriously, when they returned to 1966 they would have ended up in a totally divergent universe form the massive changes resulting in the deaths of a dozen or more people that long ago at the dawn of humanity.
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Book Services; 1967 printing; copyright 1966 by Lester Del Rey
GENRE: Science Fiction; Time Travel
PAGE COUNT: 160
2012 CHALLENGES: 150+ Reading Challenge 2012, 2012 Read 52 Books in 52 weeks, 2012 A-Z Book Challenge, 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge