a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Boy Who Reversed Himself (1986)
William Sleator
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)
Highly Rated!
Note: This work of mathematical fiction is recommended by Alex for children.

Contributed by Anonymous

[William Sleator's The Boy Who Reversed Himself is] a book catering to a preteen or early teen audience about three high school students' adventures in 4-dimensional (and higher) space. It includes some good conceptual explanations of how four-space would work.

Contributed by Anonymous

An awsome book! I'm 12 years old and I find this book to give a good deal of 4-D theorys that I've used in my own writing work.

Contributed by Sarah-Marie Belcastro

This is great! Lots and lots of 2D : 3D as 3D : 4D stuff, very well explained, and almost all correct (two errors: page 39, someone flipped over through 4-space perceives her handedness as changed, and p.134 a hypercube is described as non-euclidean). Very mathematical, and very enjoyable. Also accurately reflective of the inner life of teens. Excellent. This has got to be one of the best mathematical novels I've ever read.

Contributed by Mooner

I thought this book was AWESOME!!!. I'm 10 yeard old, and this book really got me thinking about other dimensions and physics. I thought that it was really well written.

Contributed by chloe

i read this when i was about 13... one of the best books i've ever read! had me wishing for years that i could figure out how to get to the fourth dimension... i think i need to find a copy and read it again.

Contributed by Anonymous

I remember this book, I read it about five years ago when I was eleven or twelve, and I've always remembered it...It was just a random pick off the teacher's shelf but ended up being an excellent read.

Contributed by Christina F.

This book is really amazing... it was something beyond my imagination... it was carefully written, giving the fullest explanation he can give... so, Mr. Sleator, i salute you... You're one of my mentors in writing these kind of books...

Contributed by tobi

worst book i've ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the author isn't doing a good job explaining stuff most of the book's content is very unrealistic!!!

Contributed by Maya

I'm 12 years old and I thought it was so boring I wanted to sleep while reading it. I thought it was horrible, with no point at all. The main characters are dull with no personality at all. Although I think the author had a very good idea of how 4-space looked. I thought it was an appauling book though, it was like reading the nursery book 1, 2, 3 Little Bunnies all over again. Horrible book.

Contributed by Alejandro B

This book is fantastic. Not only is it a wonderful science fiction novel in its own right, the story is a good way to easily digest the ideas of 4-D and higher-dimensional space. As a parent, I have been looking for books to recommend to my children to teach them math, and this novel is now on the top of my list.

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Works Similar to The Boy Who Reversed Himself
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Strange Attractors by William Sleator
  2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  3. Factoring Humanity by Robert J. Sawyer
  4. Simpsons (Episode: Homer3) by John Swarzwelder / Steve Tomkins / David S. Cohen
  5. The Blind Geometer by Kim Stanley Robinson
  6. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott
  7. The Planiverse: computer contact with a two-dimensional world by A.K. Dewdney
  8. Diaspora by Greg Egan
  9. Cascade Point by Timothy Zahn
  10. It was the Monster from the Fourth Dimension by Al Feldstein
Ratings for The Boy Who Reversed Himself:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
3.2/5 (10 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.85/5 (13 votes)

GenreScience Fiction, Children's Literature, Young Adult,
MotifHigher/Lower Dimensions,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)