Mystery of Devil's Roost, by John Long

Peter thinks staying with his aunt and uncle will be boring. His sister Sarah thinks it will be cool – she’s determined to find a dinosaur bone for herself. Neither can predict the adventure they will have.

As they explore the area around Devil’s Roost, in the hills above their uncle’s farm, the children see a mysterious light in a dark patch of trees. When they explore it they find a hidden cave, with walls lined with Aboriginal paintings. What is interesting about these paintings is that they depict dinosaurs and animals which existed millions of years before humans. How could the artists have known what they looked like?

The mystery is only solved when something incredible happens. There is a solar eclpise and, in the dark of the cave, a crystal glows suddenly bright. When the children leave the cave they find they have been transported back in time. Their amazing adventure has begun.

Mystery of Devil’s Roost is the first fiction title of palaentologist and museum curator, John Long. In many places Long’s writing seems to lapse into his non-fiction style, with characters reciting lengthy explanations of time periods and animals. This can prove distracting for the reader interested in the adventure of the story, but may appeal to the youngster with a scientific bent.

Mystery of Devil’s Roost, by John Long
Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1997