Danny Dunn and the Fossil Cave


Book: Danny Dunn and the Fossil Cave

Authors: Jay Williams and Raymond Abrashkin

Illustrator: Brinton Turkle

Publisher: Arch, republished in 1979

ISBN-13: 9780070705265 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0070705267 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0671299682 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0671299689 Paperback

Language level: 2

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 9-12

Rating: **** 4 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: Science fiction

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

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     Williams, Jay, and Abrashkin, RaymondDanny Dunn and the Fossil Cave  (Published in 1961 by McGraw-Hill Inc., 1221 Ave. of the Americas, New York City, NY  10020; republished in 1979 by Archway Paperback Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, a division of Gulf and Western Corporation, 1230 Ave. of the Americas, New York City, NY  10020).  Danny Dunn and his mother live in the town of Midston in the home of Midston College professor Euclid Bullfinch, for whom Mrs. Dunn serves as housekeeper.  Danny’s best friends are Irene Miller and Joe Pearson.  Stumbling on the entrance to a cave at the summit of Sugarloaf, the highest point of the hills above Midston, Danny finds himself involved in an exciting speleological adventure along with Professor Bullfinch, the professor’s visiting geologist friend Dr. Alvin Tresselt, Irene, and Joe as they all get trapped in the cave, the professor is injured, and Dr. Tresselt gets lost. 

    Will they ever find their way out?   Does the professor’s “C-ray machine” work underground?  And why does the whole cave seem to register radioactive on Danny’s Geiger counter?   The Danny Dunn books are classic.  There are 15 volumes in the series, but they don’t have to be read in order.  The Fossil Cave is either #6 or #11.  It has some common euphemisms (e.g., gosh, gee, and golly) but no cursing or swearing, and creationists might like to know that there are several references to “millions of years ago.”  Otherwise, it is an expertly plotted story that educates while it entertains as it contains a lot of information about caves, fossils, and dinosaurs.  One will find all sorts of little science lessons throughout these books.  This one is of special interest to the would-be paleantologist.  They also give a glimpse back in time to a more innocent world.

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