The Boy Who Reversed Himself
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The Boy Who Reversed Himself

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  643 ratings  ·  46 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 sc...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by Puffin (first published 1986)
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Swankivy
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...more
Cheryl in CC NV
Well, the title and cover are somewhat misleading, as the main character is a girl. There are two boys though so I guess it's ok - we need to appeal to those male reluctant readers after all. You do need to be willing to read SF to enjoy this, because, though the characterizations are indeed quite wonderful, the bulk of the action takes place in '4-space.' You *don't* need to fully understand how the different dimensions work, or the details of all the action there. Just ride it out, the way the...more
John Van
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.
Adam
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...more
Diana Welsch
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...more
Wendy
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 2 of 5 stars 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...more
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
Blanca
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...more
Lynesha Williams
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
James
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...more
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.
Wolfkin
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.
E Smith
along with the Green Futures of Tycho, this book has stayed with me ever since i read it in middle school. i recently reread it just to see, and i think it holds up surprisingly well. for one, sleator makes weird science fun and accessible. also, his female characters are way better than most teen books, always clever and brainy, never afraid to act, and of course, fascinated by science.
Lisa
Mar 01, 2013 Lisa added it
This is a weird story, so weird that I have no idea how to rate it. It made me feel like there probably ARE a bunch of other dimensions out there, and if I only knew which direction to step, I could visit them, too. I feel like if I had read this as a kid, my brain might've developed differently.
Deathmetalroze
This was one of my FAVORITE books when I was younger b'cuz it talks about other dimensions and directions at a time when I used to try to draw weird cubes and other shapes on top of or out of one another to try to decide what another dimension might look like!
Jessy
I chose this book because I was looking for something different to read to my class. In my search of something new, I found this. It's more like a "B-Rated" movie. Someone wanted to make a book but lacked the very ability to write anything very interesting.
Aiyana
Quite simply one of my favorite science fiction novels of all time. When I was a young teen, this book described the fourth dimension in a way that captivated me. The descriptions in this novel are vivid, the plot line compelling, and the creativity unforgettable.
Aaron
As a seventh grader, I loved this book. Thought it was a great young adult science fiction book that could get a young reader to think outside the box. Probably doesn't hold up now, but if you've got a kid around that age, your kid might appreciate this book.
Princessjay
One of the first science fiction novels I read as a child, and one of the most thought-out, logical (nothing jarring jumps out at you while during) and interesting ways to think about inter-dimension travel and multi-dimension world systems.
Dtroygb
This book was very weird and great at the same time. I loved when things started getting weird with the test and the facial features, but that was only the beginning.I loved the ending but I won't give any spoilers.
Lia
This was the first Sleator book I read, and it impressed me so much that I read all his other books, which were awesome, but this is still my favorite!

I can still picture what 5 dimensions would look like, thanks to this book.
Sarah
I have no idea how this book ended up in our home library. I probably borrowed it from someone during a dinner party that my parents dragged me along to and never returned it. I was such a sucker for this kind of stuff!
Meredith
Read this in middle school. Remember being fascinated by the explanation of 4-space and also the ketchup. The ketchup has stayed with me. Couldn't remember the title for the longest time, but finally found it again.
Nerdia314
this is one of those books where the ideas are so different from everything you know that lots of things remind you of it. i read it like 5 years ago and i still remember a lot of things that got me thinking.
Orkan
Bizaarly eye-opening for a younger mind. An excellent way of explaining the difference in dimensions. However the story trips into a slightly barf-tacular teen drama in the middle.
Baabybear94
I found it hard to read but it was the best book that I have ever read... It was fun to imagine was the world looked like.... Very interesting
Michelle
I love how William Sleator portrays the fourth dimension as an actual direction, which makes more sense to me than the forth dimension being time.
Cinco
I love anything about parallel universes and remember enjoying this as a kid, although I believe I recall that the ending was pretty slapdash.
James
Recall this blowing my mind/creeping the fuck out of me in sixth grade. Giant bird cages and shit, right? Wanna re-read...
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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
More about William Sleator...
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