When I was in fourth grade, in the mid-1980s, my advanced reading class finished the regular textbook several weeks early, so our teacher selected a novel for us to read. I only saw the cover though, which featured a Kirby-boom-tube-like tunnel with a human figure inside it. The tunnel was probably a time travel device, since the terrain surrounding the visible end of the tube was filled with jungles and dinosaurs.

I never got to read the book, because a creationist parent complained, and the teacher selected a different, non-SF book for the class. Any idea what this was?


Possibly "Tunnel through Time" (1966) under the byline of Lester Del Rey. I remember reading it (or something similar with a brontosaurus getting fried by the time ring) in the '70s.

Here's a cover showing the boom-tube like image, but lacking the jungle and dinosaur view at the far end.

Stylized cover of time tunnel Also: Dinosaur-laden cover

And for completeness, unlikely second option: some version of The Time Tunnel enter image description here enter image description here

  • Previous questions have had this book as an answer: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/166298/… Dec 7 '17 at 2:00
  • I'm sure that I've see that cover illustration before, but I'm also pretty confident the book I'm thinking of showed dinosaurs. I may be combining two different book covers in my mind. Or there might be additional illustrations on the back cover.
    – Buzz
    Dec 7 '17 at 2:02
  • The Time Tunnel was also a TV series. The black and white inset picture is a still from it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Time_Tunnel Dec 7 '17 at 20:00

Off chance here, but possibly Heinlein's Tunnel in the Sky. No dinosaurs but the covers tend to show a guy going through a portal of some sort, and in the version I've posted below, it somewhat resembles the Boom-Tube. It's also one of Heinlein's juvinovels, which would also make sense for a fourth grade class. There is some death, violence, and teens working out relationships in order to overcome natural obstacles. Think Lord of the Flies where the main characters decide to remember that they carried their civilization with them, so to speak. I can definitely see a certain kind of parent complaining about it.

Tunnel in the Sky cover

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