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I remember reading a time travel book when I was young, which means it would have been written no later than the '80s, but probably much before that.

It featured an adult and some kids back in time and them trying to get back to the present. I recall that the time travel effect was a ring, as at one point the ring opened up and a "brontosaurus" hit it and burned it's leg sending chunks of it back through the ring.

I recall a section where they were with "cave people" who had just hunted and killed some animal, and they used their pocket knife to extract more meat from the carcass, and actually cooking the meat unlike their paleolithic 'friends'. (I seem to recall that one of the paleolithic girls seemed to fancy the boy time traveler, much to his discomfort.)

I am pretty sure that at one point they were watching the time ring appear over water, knowing they could not reach it, and waiting for it to be reachable.

I think the close of the book was them freezing to death in the ice age, commenting on how in the future when their bodies are found how it would be hard to explain how they got there, and then finally being rescued before it was too late.

I hope that's enough to go on? Any ideas?

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This is Tunnel Through Time by Lester Del Rey (1966). The damaged time machine (requiring the travelers to come back in smaller hops) due to the brontosaurus stumbling into the field is very distinctive. The spatial shift between appearances was also a significant plot point, requiring the travelers to follow the drift, and calculate how far they needed to travel before each appearance.

  • That was it. Thanks!!!! I'll accept this answer as soon as it lets me. – Reginald Blue Aug 2 '17 at 13:50
  • I must have read this book five times between ages 9 and 13. It's one of the better YA SF books ever, and could serve as an example for modern authors. – Zeiss Ikon Aug 2 '17 at 14:36

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