Synopsis


The Boy Who Reversed Himself is about Laura, a high school girl who wants to be popular; Pete, the popular guy she has a crush on; and Omar, her strange neighbor whose house she has never seen the inside. Even stranger things have been happening to Laura, such as when her paper she had left at home magically appears inside her locker after she was seen stressing about it. Later on, Laura sees Omar and something just looks off about his appearance. She investigates and eventually realizes that everything on his face has been reversed! She confronts him about it, and eventually discovers that he has traveled to a dimension above them: Four-Space! The book takes Laura, Pete, and Omar through a series of adventures in the space above the three-dimensional world we live in. Initially, Laura begs Omar to take her to four-space. Eventually, she learns how to maneuver herself into four-space alone. Later, Pete finds out, and they both travel to four-space where the subsequently get lost. During their trip, they are captured by inhabitants of the fourth-dimension. Omar must come to their rescue as the creatures want to eat Laura and Pete. At the end of the book, it is revealed that there is an infinite number of dimensions all the way to dimension 'n.' At each dimension, there is a guardian of the dimension below. As the three kids go back to the third-dimension, Omar finally allows Laura to come in to his house where he shows her why no one has been allowed to enter. His legal guardian, the elderly Mr. Campanelli, is the guardian of the dimension below, two-space; and Omar is in training to be the next guardian of the second-dimension. The book concludes with a married Omar and Laura, and Laura having started writing about her adventures, says, " What would happen if it ever fell into the hands of a publisher? I shudder to think..."

Review


The Boy Who Reversed Himself is a science-fiction novel the majority of junior high students would love. It discusses the complicated and hard to understand concept of higher level dimensions, particularly the 4th dimension. Students tend to think that math only deals with the second dimension or that there are only three dimensions since the entertainment business, is trying to capture 3D technology. This book helps students realize that there is a lot more out there than just 1D, 2D, and 3D.
The book is a stereotypical junior high love story. Where the girl likes the jock and ignores the new foreign student, but slowly the bond between the girl and the foreign student grows, and the jock turns out to be mean. I know it sounds every single junior high love story, but at some points, the group members could not put the book down, since they wanted to know what would happen next.
The Boy Who Reversed Himself has its share of suspense, romance, and the use of the imagination; I suggest it to any junior high class.

Summary of Student Activities

Learning about the 4th dimension and drawing a hypercube.
Laura and Omar visit the 4th dimension. In this activity the students will learn about the 4th dimension, look at animations of 4-D shapes and draw them too!
Have the students watch the video with Carl Sagan. At the end of the video, show the two 4-dimensional animations. In the final video there is a demonstration of how to draw a hypercube. You can show the video once and then show the video in pieces so that students can draw their very own hypercube!!



Contributors


Karen Plaster: Summary of Student Activities
Jay Sigler: Summary of Student Activitiies
Mary Stockdale: Synopsis
Melinda Toth: Review