Secrets of Eromanga, by Sheryl Gwyther

Time sure was the weirdest thing. Now, after weeks of crossing off the calendar dates, the day was finally here, and in a strange sort of way it felt as if no time had past at all. Then last night, every time she woke, the clock-radio’s red numbers had only jumped ahead an hour or so. It had been the longest night ever, with less sleep too.

Ellie is excited to be travelling to North-west Queensland for her holidays. She will see Tom again and get to help out on a dinosaur dig. The arrival of blonde-haired, red-shoed, tight-jeaned Peta is the only down side of what promises to be an exciting holiday. Peta is beautiful, assured and everywhere Tom is. In a parallel journey, a young ornithopod hatches from her egg and travels across the same country, countless years before Ellie. Ellie, Tom and Peta visit another fossil site only to encounter fossil smugglers intent on selling their finds to the highest bidder.

Secrets of Eromanga is an Australian outback adventure that includes plenty of factual details about dinosaur fossils and where they might be found. Eromanga was once an inland sea and is fossil-rich. The novel speculates on the life of some of the dinosaurs who lived by the sea as it simultaneously tracks the discovery of the fossils. Ellie is a realistic heroine, who finds the courage she needs when circumstances require it. She also experiences all the jealousy and insecurities of most girls of her age. Tom manages to stay outside the friction between Ellie and Peta but is pleased when they find a way to be friends. Recommended for upper primary readers.

Secrets of Eromanga

Secrets of Eromanga, by Sheryl Gwyther
Lothian 2006