The Boy Who Could Make Himself Disappear
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Boy Who Could Make Himself Disappear

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  90 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A twelve-year-old boy with a psychological speech defect gradually develops a schizophrenic withdrawal after moving from Los Angeles to live with his mother in New York following the divorce of his harsh and detached parents.
Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 15th 1971 by Laurel Leaf
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Boy Who Could Make Himself Disappear, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Boy Who Could Make Himself Disappear

Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 126)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
When I was a teenager I pretty much bypassed books written for young adults (this was before the category Young Adult had a name). I plunged into mysteries and spy novels written for grown-ups, skipping directly from one spy, Harriet, to another, James Bond. The only "age appropriate" book I remember reading was Kin Platt's "The Boy Who Could Make Himself Disappear," though I honestly can't remember what persuaded me to pick it up. Yet it stayed with me through the years. It was the first book t...more
Jeri Massi
I read this when I was about 12 or 13. so, almost 40 years ago. Yes, it is depressing,and I'm not sure why anybody would want a child to read it. Then again, it's a great look at the loneliness and isolation some children experience. I'd recommend it only to older children: 15 and above. The first 3/4 of the book runs smoothly and is engrossing. It loses some of its tight narrative towards the end. To the best of my recollection, Roger is diagnosed as "autistic" in the end of the book, when he g...more
I came upon this book when searching for other books similar to The Perks of Being a Wallflower (one of my favs!) Many people compared the two books, so I decided to read it. I can definitely see the parallels between the two. I still like The Perks of Being a Wallflower the best, but I could still sympathize with Roger's life. I can't imagine having a life with parents that make you feel invisible and don't listen to what you have to share. As a teacher, it was more eye opening to the way we tr...more
Ace Bannon
This was my favorite book as a young teen. I found it in the junior high library in 1972, read it, identified with the young protagonist Roger Baxter, and bought a copy for my own when it came out in paperback. That copy is long lost but I've recently purchased a first edition hardback and am looking forward to reading it again.

I must have read this book 20 times from 6th grade through junior high school. Yes, it is hard, and probably depressing to some, but it saved me. It was me. And finding someone like me in print helped so much.
The Boy Who Could Make Himself Disappear tells the story of Roger, a boy with a speech deficit who can't pronounce his R's. His parents, a big-time movie producer and an artist, divorce and he moves from California to New York with his artist mother.

Roger is a very...interesting character. How else can I say it? He's fascinating, for sure. He has a different way of looking at things because everything is so new to him in New York, but also because he seems very much like a loner whose childhood...more
Greg Schroeder
One of my favorite books as a teen.
In this story, an already troubled twelve-year-old boy gradually sinks into the abyss after his wealthy parents divorce and he moves to New York City with his abusive mother. By the end of the book, Roger is in a "schizophrenic withdrawal": hospitalized, mute and completely unresponsive to his environment.

This book was published in 1968 and it shows its age. I cannot imagine a boy Roger's age being able to run around 21st century New York City to the extent that he does in the novel, and his "sc...more
I must admit, after finishing this book, I was utterly speechless. The author's psychological theme of Roger's slow descent into "invisibility" was truly effective. His insecurity, frightening life with his abusive mother, and his constabt inward battles all were rooted from his speech impediment. I, myself, had a tongue threst for years, so I could relate at least a little bit about the embarrassment of not speaking properly in front of my peers. But otherwise, the story had a much darker theme...more
this was a really good book. i read this years ago and i totally enjoyed it. i've read this twice, and wish i can find it again.
A heart-wrenching story told in first person by a boy with abusive and uncaring parents. I still cry when I read this one.
This was one of my favorite books in Middle School. I wonder if I would still like it.
Andy Mascola
Abused boy moves to NYC after his uncaring parent's divorce. Good not great.
I read this book many times. It made me cry but in a good way
Amazing book.
Amy marked it as to-read
Aug 05, 2014
Maria marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2014
Kim R
Kim R added it
Mar 13, 2014
Kate marked it as to-read
Feb 10, 2014
Darleth Lopez
Darleth Lopez marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2013
Brian Boeh
Brian Boeh marked it as to-read
Oct 11, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
Kin Platt (1911–2003) was the author of the perennially popular I Can Read Book Big Max, as well as several outstanding young-adult novels and the Max Roper mystery series for adults. Mr. Platt was also a noted cartoonist.

For more information, please see
More about Kin Platt...
Big Max Sinbad And Me Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Marvel Classics Comics 01) The Blue Man Big Max and the Mystery of the Missing Giraffe

Share This Book