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The Boy Who Reversed Himself

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  878 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
When Laura finds her homework in her locker with its writing reversed, she's baffled, until she learns an unbelievable secret: her weird neighbor, Omar, has the ability to travel to the fourth dimension. Laura forces him to take her there, and then, a novice in "four-space", she goes there on her own. There's only one problem: she doesn't know how to get back.

"A cerebral s
Paperback, 176 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by Puffin Books (first published 1986)
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Aug 13, 2008 Swankivy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favoritebooks
All of William Sleator's books are good science fiction for young people, even though most of them take overdone subjects for yet another ride. Sleator somehow does it differently and in a more character-oriented fashion.

This one's about alternate dimensions. A girl discovers a really interesting secret about her neighbor, and she steps into a whole new world . . . literally! The fourth dimension is all around us, on top of us, and if you know how to do it, you can go there and see the world dif
Jan 05, 2016 Jacob rated it really liked it
I don't remember what reminded me of William Sleator recently, but I remembered reading Interstellar Pig and enjoying Singularity a lot, so I thought I'd see what I could find of his almost 30 years later. This one is quite good! My oldest son enjoyed it, and the next one was stealing it from me after I started it so he could read it faster, if that tells you anything about how much fun it is.

The story is one of those where the central idea is extremely interesting, and the good news is Sleator
Julie Decker
Jul 09, 2014 Julie Decker rated it it was amazing
Laura's not a bad person, but she's used to getting what she wants. She has a hot guy interested in her and a decent school life, and her dorky neighbor Omar is willing to help her sometimes with things she's not interested in doing. But there's something off about Omar, and Laura's intrigued by what it might be. Especially when he mysteriously helps her get into her locked locker, provides her a mirror-writing backwards version of a report she wrote, and appears to be his own mirror image somet ...more
AJ Guggisberg
Dec 20, 2015 AJ Guggisberg rated it really liked it
The book I read is called The Boy Who Reversed Himself written by William Sleator. And in the book the boy gets reversed so that made me think could someone really could get reversed. And then everyone would look very different.

When the boy gets his things stolen even though his things were in a locker made me think that some of the things we think are safe might always not be as safe as we think they are. And when the girl starts to notice that the things on the boy are backwards or reversed. T
Laura thought finding her homework in her locker with reversed handwriting was weird, until she discovered her neighbor's face was reversed as well! That's when she discovers that this neighbor boy, Omar, has the ability to travel to the fourth dimension, and she want's to visit it. Once she gains the ability to travel to "4-space" on her own, she goes but with one problem: she doesn't know how to get back.


The plot in The Boy Who Reversed Himself is peak science-fiction. It deals with being
Anne Snyder
May 14, 2016 Anne Snyder rated it really liked it
The Boy Who Reversed himself is a fascinating sci-fi novel portraying how different levels of existence could be possible with the adding of different dimensions such as 4-D, and what those worlds might be like. It shows how our world could exist within a bigger reality, with that reality touching us and being able to be seen at some points, but largely unnoticeable. It also portrays true love and care versus mere romance and trying to be popular and impress a guy the main character likes. While ...more
John Van
Jul 14, 2010 John Van rated it really liked it
William Sleator always does a wonderful job of fusing doctorate level ideas of physics into pieces of literature that can be taken in by teen readers, for whom he primarily writes. This book can be read as purely science-fiction, or as a series of thought experiments. Either way, a good read indeed.
Dec 13, 2015 Celeste rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
I first read this as a kid, maybe age 9 or 10, and it had a very lasting impact on me as it was my first real introduction to the concept of multiple spatial dimensions beyond the 3D world we know. Whenever that concept has come up since, my mind goes back to some of the imagery from this book. I've been wanting to reread it for a while but since I only have a physical copy (horror!) and I typically read in the dark, I've been putting that off. I finally did it today, though, and it only took ab ...more
Jamie Dacyczyn
Aug 24, 2016 Jamie Dacyczyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a book that I vaguely remember reading in middle school, and something about it stuck with me through the years. I finally googled some of the plot points in order to figure out what the title was. As I read it this time around, I realized that I don't think I ever finished it as a kid. The beginning was very familiar, but almost nothing from the last 2/3rds of the book rang a bell. I wonder if that's why the book stuck with me....I probably started reading it, but had to return the book ...more
Jun 10, 2013 Adam rated it liked it
The Boy Who Reversed Himself follows Laura, a young girl who befriends Omar, the weird kid in school, solely in order to figure out how he can do seemingly impossible things. Once she knows about 4-space, as the 4-D world Omar can access is called, she gets herself deep into trouble. The book is pretty slim, and while the plot and characterization are serviceable, the concept that the book centers around is the main draw.

Some authors write for their characters, or their plot. This book was clear
Diana Welsch
Jan 07, 2014 Diana Welsch rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Most of this book was about journeying into 4-dimensional space. YOW! Just reading about it made my head spin. But the descriptions could not have been better. That was the main point of the book and it was stellar.

The not-so-stellar: characterization. Laura, her weird neighbor Omar, and her lousy crush Pete, were all two-dimensional (ha!). They basically had one attribute and harped on that. That's a problem that Sleator has sometimes. He writes about ideas and doesn't put much TLC into develop
Nadia Morales
May 04, 2015 Nadia Morales rated it it was amazing
I think this book had made me really think about the dimensional fields and made me think about the advances of it all. It also taught me how everything is linked together and is set up in a way that if one small thing were to be perturbed then the whole Eco system were to become a mess
Mike Hammer
Feb 16, 2015 Mike Hammer rated it liked it
One of those books that I remembered bits of from when I was little - I recently found a copy and read it again. It's a quick read and illustrates the concepts of higher dimensions in a cool way. A good example of how a very interesting idea can make up for somewhat lacking characters.
the theme of this book is not to be too curious of certain things. you should be yourself and try not to be someone else. always try to be yourself! so Laura left her homework at home and it was about to start school. when she opens her locker she realize that her report was there but it was reversed. her neighbor Omar ofter to help but it wasn't possible to run home to get it and then Laura started to think there was a secret that Omar has. so when Laura finds out what the secret is and tries i ...more
Lisa the Librarian
Feb 17, 2009 Lisa the Librarian rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: possibly sci-fi fans
Recommended to Lisa by: found it on the library shelf and loved the title
I chose this book because the title was so intriguing. The concept is also pretty interesting, but I found it a bit too convoluted and hard to read.

This is a sci-fi type book where the characters are able to enter "4-space" or a fourth dimension. The author explains this concept pretty well, but then it gets confusing.

Laura, the protagonist, is not very likable. She is whiny, spoiled and uses the "weird new kid" for her own selfish purpose of entering 4-space. She pretends to be his friend so he
Jul 17, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing
Soooo good! This was the absolute first thing I fangirled over! This book is just soooooo good! I loved four space and I've read some others of his that are similar!
Mar 14, 2016 Veronica rated it liked it
This is a really good introduction to the 4th dimension, though it might be a bit of a brain-twister in the context of a typical middle school story.
Kati Krueger
I thought this book was an okay book. It didn't really hold my attention until the middle. It is a super easy read, at a low level-but it was okay. The title says "the Boy" which is odd because I thought the main character was Laura-but judging by the title, it's probably Omar. Anyways, this girl Laura has a weird neighbor-Omar. Laura leaves her report on her table then finds it 'reversed' in her locker. Omar unverses it and gives it to her, but doing this, he triggers many events. Some of them ...more
Apr 27, 2011 Blanca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Favorite book as a kid, discovered it one summer at the library in elementary or middle school. Like any story appealing to a pre-teen, the story begins with a girl's crush on some dreamy guy and her daydreams interrupted by her weirdly intense neighbor, who turns out to be a guardian to the 2nd dimension.

When he attempts to show off to win her over, things get dangerous and spooky for the kids who not only get trapped in an intricate web of alternate realities and dimensions and are threatened
Mar 20, 2015 Tori rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 04, 2015 Michelle marked it as to-read
Shelves: ref-booktalker
Listed as Q3 = A good story with some faults, P4 = A book everyone wants to read
Jan 25, 2015 Adrian rated it really liked it
I slurped up all of Sleator's kid sci-fi in grade school. Good stuff.
This book was really fun. It does for the 4th dimension what "Flatland" did for the 2nd. I read it with my 8-yr-old son, who understood the concepts and enjoyed playing with them, but it would be better for reading with a young teenager. Thanks to for the recommendation.
May 12, 2014 Bradley rated it liked it
This book has a lot of action and keeps building up suspense
M. Winslow
Jul 01, 2016 M. Winslow rated it really liked it
Great book. Very interesting topic and a good plot line!
Spinning Jenny BB
Another good introduction into sci-fi for youngsters!
Lynesha Williams
Oct 30, 2012 Lynesha Williams rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Laura, a high school student has dreams of going to medical school. All throughout high school she does above average work and receives good grades in her biology classes. She becomes closer with a guy named Pete and they begin a relationship together. One day, she leaves her homework inside her locker and everything on the page is written in reverse. Laura's neighbor, Omar had the special abilities of traveling throughout space. While there Laura and Pete finds ways to travel back to earth and ...more
Jun 07, 2008 James rated it liked it
I read this one afternoon because a student left it in my room. It was a lot of fun. I haven't read anything like this (juvenile fiction, I guess?) since I was a kid. The book dealt with 4D stuff... Very math-oriented. The author did a great job explaining some pretty tricky stuff-euclidean concepts, 4D hgher space, etc..

I got a kick out of it and will probably start reading some more books like it again. Just because I'm half-dead (mid 30's) doesn't mean I can only check out books for people o
Heath Chambers
It's probably been around 20 years since I have read this book, but for some reason I have been thinking about it today. It took a little research to remember the title. I just remember the concept of another dimension kind of blowing my preteen mind. Definitely a different book, but I enjoyed it. Maybe I will give it another read through one day.......or maybe it's best to just enjoy the memory. Cool cover on the older edition as well.
Jan 10, 2014 Wolfkin rated it really liked it
I think i remember this book.

For the record people who complain that the main character is a girl are idiots. I don't see them complaining that Jaws wasn't the main character in his movie.
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William Warner Sleator III was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland on February 13, 1945, and moved to St. Louis, MO when he was three. He graduated from University City High School in 1963, from Harvard in 1967 with BAs in music and English.

For more than thirty years, William Sleator thrilled readers with his inventive books. His House of Stairs was named one of the best novels of the twentieth cent
More about William Sleator...

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