Sleator, William 1945- (William Warner III Sleator)
Sleator, William 1945- (William Warner III Sleator)
Surname is pronounced "slay-tir"; born February 13, 1945, in Havre de Grace, MD; son of William Warner, Jr. (a physiologist and professor) and Esther (a physician) Sleator. Education: Harvard University, B.A., 1967; studied musical composition in London, England, 1967-68. Politics: Independent.
Author, composer, and musician. Royal Ballet School, London, England, accompanist, 1967-68; Rambert School, London, accompanist, 1967-68; Boston Ballet Company, Boston, MA, rehearsal pianist, 1974-83; freelance writer, 1983—.
Fellowship, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 1969; Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (illustration honor), Caldecott Medal Honor Book, American Library Association (ALA), Honor List citation, Horn Book, all 1971, American Book Award for Best Paperback Picture Book, 1981, all for The Angry Moon; Children's Book of the Year Award, Child Study Association of America, 1972, and Notable Book citation, ALA, both for Blackbriar; Best Books for Young Adults citation, ALA, 1974, for House of Stairs, 1984, for Interstellar Pig, 1985, for Singularity, and 1987, for The Boy Who Reversed Himself; Children's Choice Award, International Reading Association and Children's Book Council, 1979, and CRABbery (Children Raving about Books) Award honor book, Maryland Library System, 1980, both for Into the Dream; Notable Book citation, ALA, Honor List citation, Horn Book, both 1984, both for Interstellar Pig; Best Book of the Year Award, School Library Journal, 1981, for The Green Futures of Tycho, 1983, for Fingers, and 1984, for Interstellar Pig; Golden Pen Award, Spokane Washington Public Library, 1984 and 1985, both for "the author who gives the most reading pleasure"; Junior Literary Guild selection, 1985, for Singularity; Notable Book selection, ALA, Best Book for Young Adults designation, ALA, both 1993, both for Oddballs.
FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS, EXCEPT AS NOTED
(Reteller) The Angry Moon, illustrated by Blair Lent, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1970.
Blackbriar, illustrated by Blair Lent, Dutton (New York, NY), 1972.
Run, Dutton (New York, NY), 1973.
House of Stairs, Dutton (New York, NY), 1974.
Among the Dolls, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, Dutton (New York, NY), 1975.
(With William H. Redd) Take Charge: A Personal Guide to Behavior Modification (adult nonfiction), Random House (New York, NY), 1977.
Into the Dream, illustrated by Ruth Sanderson, Dutton (New York, NY), 1979.
Once, Said Darlene, illustrated by Steven Kellogg, Dutton (New York, NY), 1979.
The Green Futures of Tycho, Dutton (New York, NY), 1981.
That's Silly (easy reader), illustrated by Lawrence DiFiori, Dutton (New York, NY), 1981.
Fingers, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1983.
Interstellar Pig, Dutton (New York, NY), 1984.
Singularity, Dutton (New York, NY), 1985.
The Boy Who Reversed Himself, Dutton (New York, NY), 1986.
The Duplicate, Dutton (New York, NY), 1988.
Strange Attractors, Dutton (New York, NY), 1990.
The Spirit House, Dutton (New York, NY), 1991.
Oddballs: Stories (semi-fictionalized autobiography), Dutton (New York, NY), 1993.
Others See Us, Dutton (New York, NY), 1993.
Dangerous Wishes (sequel to The Spirit House), Dutton (New York, NY), 1995.
The Night the Heads Came, Dutton (New York, NY), 1996.
The Beasties, Dutton (New York, NY), 1997.
The Boxes, Dutton (New York, NY), 1998.
Rewind, Dutton (New York, NY), 1999.
Boltzmon!, Dutton (New York, NY), 1999.
Into the Dream, Puffin Books (New York, NY), 2000.
The Boxes, Puffin Books (New York, NY), 2000.
Marco's Millions, Dutton (New York, NY), 2001.
Parasite Pig, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY), 2002.
The Boy Who Couldn't Die, Amulet Books (New York, NY), 2004.
The Last Universe, Amulet Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Hell Phone, Amulet Books (New York, NY), 2006.
The Angry Moon was released on audiocassette by Read-Along-House; Interstellar Pig was released on audiocassette by Listening Library, 1987. Also contributor of short stories to the collections Am I Blue? Coming out from the Silence, edited by Marion Dane Bauer, and Things That Go Bump in the Night, edited by Jane Yolen and Martin H. Greenberg. Composer, with Blair Lent, of musical score for animated film Why the Sun and Moon Live in the Sky, 1972. Composer of scores for professional ballets and amateur films and plays.
A popular and prolific writer of fiction for children and young adults, William Sleator is regarded as a particularly original and imaginative author whose works use the genres of fantasy, mystery, and science fiction to explore personal relationships and growth. Sleator incorporates current scientific theories, suspense, and the supernatural in his books, which challenge readers to take active roles in the stories while allowing them to resonate with the feelings and experiences of his characters. Depicting boys and girls who are often reluctant heroes, Sleator takes his characters from their everyday lives into confrontations with unusual, even unnerving situations. His protagonists encounter alien beings, doppelgangers, ESP, telepathy, telekinesis, black holes, evil spirits, malevolent dolls, weird scientific experiments, time travel into the past and the future, and other strange phenomena. In addition, the characters must learn to deal with their brothers and sisters—sibling rivalry is a consistent theme—as well as with their parents and peers. Through their physical and emotional journeys, the young people in Sleator's stories discover strength and confidence within themselves while developing a greater understanding of life in general. Characteristically, Sleator appears to end his books with the situations resolved and his characters secure; however, he is fond of including surprising twists, hinting that perhaps things are not quite so rosy as readers may think.
As a writer, Sleator is often credited for setting a tone which is often referred to as darkly humorous. Although many of his books are scary, he often laces the suspense with tongue-in-cheek humor. The author is praised as a skilled creator of plot and character as well as for his ability to blend the real and the surreal. In addition, Sleator is lauded for his insight into human nature, especially in the area of family relationships, and for creating fully realized worlds in haunting, thoughtprovoking page-turners. Although his works are often considered demanding and disturbing and his use of ambiguous endings is sometimes questioned, Sleator is generally considered a talented author of rich, fascinating books that appeal to young readers on several levels. Writing in Children's Books and Their Creators, Peter D. Sieruta noted: "Sleator has continued to show growth as a writer, and his skillful translation of scientific theories into entertaining fiction has resulted in an important body of work." School Library Journal contributor David Gale commented on the author's "singular talent for writing astonishing science fiction novels," while in Horn Book, Roger Sutton dubbed him "the master of the juvenile creepy-crawly." Writing in English Journal, Margaret L. Daggett stated: "Sleator succeeds with adolescents because he blends enough scientific realities with supernatural possibilities to tantalize the mind and the imagination. Readers feel refreshed after the intellectual and emotional challenges in Sleator's novels…. He sets us in a reality and helps us stretch our imaginations."
Born in Havre de Grace, Maryland, Sleator is the eldest son of William Warner Sleator, Jr., a physiologist and professor, and Esther Sleator, a physician. Sleator and his siblings—two brothers, Daniel and Tycho, and a sister, Vicky—grew up in University City, Missouri, a predominantly Jewish suburb of St. Louis where the family moved after the author's father was hired by the University of St. Louis. "My parents," Sleator once commented, "always encouraged us to be whoever we were." Sleator began studying the piano at the age of six. At around the same time, he wrote his first story. "From that point on," he wrote in his biographical sketch on the Scoop Web site, "I was always writing or composing something. And almost from the very beginning, I was fascinated by the grotesque and the macabre." For example, one of his first musical compositions was called "Guillotines in the Springtime."
Of this piece, Sleator commented: "I suppose it came from the kind of stories, mostly science fiction, I read as a kid." As a small boy, he wrote a story, "The Haunted Easter Egg," for a school assignment about Easter. Sleator recalled that his parents "thought it was great. Of course, that was before they realized that I was going into this bizarre career without any security, but they encouraged me at the time."
In addition to science fiction and comic books, Sleator began reading works about the physical sciences. He said: "Everybody in my family is a scientist except me. I always liked science but was never good enough to be a real scientist; I was the dumbest person in the advanced class. Still, I learned a lot. I prefer science fiction that has some basis in reality; psychological stories, time-travel stories, but especially stories about people." In high school, Sleator continued writing poems and stories and composing music; he also learned to play the cello. He wrote in Scoop: "When the school orchestra played one of my compositions at an assembly, everybody thought I was a genius. I did nothing to correct this impression." However, as Sleator remembered: "I wasn't a complete nerd. I rebelled with drugs, sex—all the things every kid goes through. My parents weren't happy about it, but they were looser about it than most."
After high school, Sleator attended Harvard University, where he intended to study musical composition. However, he felt that the nature of the music program was too restrictive, so he become an English major. Sleator continued to write music for student plays and films while at Harvard. After receiving his bachelor's degree in 1967, he moved to London, England, where he studied musical composition for a year while working as a pianist at the Royal Ballet School and the Rambert School. During this period, Sleator lived in the middle of a forest in an ancient cottage that had once been a pesthouse for people with smallpox. He shared the cottage with his landlady, a sixty-ish woman who tried to treat Sleator as a son. This experience became the subject of his first book for young people, Blackbriar. Before its publication, Sleator collaborated with his friend, illustrator Blair Lent, on the picture book The Angry Moon. A retelling of a Tlingit Indian legend, the story describes how a girl, Lapwinsa, is taken away by the moon after she laughs at it. Her friend, the boy Lupan, rescues her by making a ladder out of arrows and climbing into the sky. A reviewer in Publishers Weekly noted that "books like The Angry Moon appear only once in a blue moon." The critic stated that Blair Lent "has topped himself with this one, perhaps because William Sleator gave him such a strong story to illustrate." Writing in School Library Journal, Ann D. Schweibish added that The Angry Moon is a "highly successful adaptation and visualization" of the traditional tale.
In Blackbriar, which, like The Angry Moon, is also illustrated by Blair Lent, Sleator describes how Danny, a teenage boy, struggles for independence from his middle-aged guardian, Philippa, with whom he shares a haunted, isolated cottage in the English countryside. Danny and Philippa are shunned by the locals because of the perception that they are linked to Satanism. After Philippa and her cat are kidnapped, Danny and his friend Lark search for her. In the process, Danny discovers himself and learns the secret of the cottage, which served as a pesthouse during a seventeenth-century plague. A critic in Kirkus Reviews advised: "Bolt the cellar door, watch your cat closely for personality changes, and follow him—vicariously." Ashley Darlington Grayson, writing in Fantasy Review, stated that Danny "fails to earn any reader respect because he is thick as a post." However, Paul Heins of Horn Book noted that "the effectiveness of the story lies in its characterization and in its narrative skill."
In 1974, Sleator began working as the rehearsal pianist for the Boston Ballet while continuing to write fiction. With the dancers, he toured the United States and Europe and wrote three ballets performed by the company. House of Stairs, a book published the same year that Sleator joined the Boston Ballet, is considered among his best. A young adult novel set in a huge room that contains a labyrinthine maze of stairways leading nowhere, the story outlines how five orphaned sixteen-year-olds learn to survive in a world without walls, ceilings, or floors. The young people, who eat only if they perform dance-like rituals in front of a machine, eventually realize that they are part of a stimulus/response experiment in which food is dispensed when the subjects display hostile behavior to each other. When two of the protagonists refuse to perform the cruel acts that are required to obtain food, the scientists end the experiment. Compared by critics to such works as Brave New World and Lord of the Flies, House of Stairs is generally regarded as an exceptional study of human behavior as well as an exciting story. Called "brilliant, bone-chilling," by a reviewer in Publishers Weekly, the novel was dubbed "forceful sci-fi based on Skinnerian precepts that will have readers hanging by the skin of their teeth" by School Library Journal reviewer Pamela D. Pollack. Writing in Thursday's Child: Trends and Patterns in Contemporary Children's Literature, Sheila A. Egoff concluded that the story is "one of the most brutal in science fiction, all the more sickeningly compelling because of its finely controlled, stark writing." Sleator told CA: "In House of Stairs, the kids who refused to become conditioned by hate were being human in the end, as opposed to trained animals. I always stress that. I'm not saying to be nice to other people because it's good; I'm saying, think about how other people feel because it's practical. I'm not making any moralistic, goody-goody kind of point. You will get along better with people if you are able to understand them." Sleator has also written other stories for young people that explore behavior; in addition, he is the author of Take Charge: A Personal Guide to Behavior Modification, an informational book for adults on which he collaborated with William H. Redd.
Sleator considers The Green Futures of Tycho, a story for middle graders, to be a watershed book in his career. He named the title character, the youngest of four children who is tormented by his siblings, after his youngest brother. While working in his family's garden, eleven-year-old Tycho finds a strange silver egg that was planted by aliens thousands of years before. The egg, a time-travel device, allows Tycho to go into both the past and the future. At first, Tycho uses his abilities to tease his brothers and sister. He then meets his adult self in the future and finds that the figure is becoming more and more evil and manipulative. For example, the adult Tycho uses his knowledge of the future dishonestly and also wreaks destruction on his siblings. At the end of the story, Tycho's love for his family leads him to reject his powerful but vile grownup persona; he risks death to bury the egg back in the past. In a School Library Journal review Pollack noted: "Sleator's expert blend of future and horror fiction is unusually stark, dark, and intriguing." Writing in Horn Book, Paul Heins remarked that though "the combination of logic and horror gives the telling a Poe-like quality … the moral significance" of the happenings becomes clear. Sleator once said: "I really got in touch with my weirdness in [The Green Futures of Tycho]. That was the first book into which I was able to inject humor, and I feel humor is important. Even in a basically serious, or even a scary piece, there must be comic relief to reduce the tension. Humor is also very attractive to kids."
In 1983, Sleator left his job as an accompanist for the Boston Ballet to become a full-time author. Interstellar Pig, a young adult novel published the following year, is regarded by critics as one of his most popular books. In this work, sixteen-year-old Barney faces a boring summer at the beach with his doltish parents. He is intrigued when an interesting trio of strangers—Joe, Manny, and Zena—moves in next door and invites him to join them in playing a role-playing board game called Interstellar Pig. The object of the game is to possess the Piggy, a card named for a pink symbol that is an integral part of the game. However, Barney's neighbors turn out to be hostile aliens masquerading as humans, and the game turns real—and deadly. It places Barney in a life-and-death struggle for survival; at the end of the story, Barney saves both himself and planet Earth by using his head. Writing in School Library Journal, Trev Jones stated: "Sleator's science fiction story is compelling on first reading—but stellar on the second." New York Times Book Review critic Rosalie Byard called Interstellar Pig "a riveting adventure that should satisfy readers in the 12-to 14-year-old range, especially any who happen to be hooked on strategy games." Writing in Junior Bookshelf, Marcus Crouch called the novel a "remarkable story" that is "surprisingly readable," adding that "the curious details of the game get right into the reader's system." Sleator maintained: "Interstellar Pig is my funniest book. There were a lot of opportunities for humor in it."
Sleator spends time in both Boston, Massachusetts, and Bangkok, Thailand. He once commented: "I feel more at home in Thailand than in practically any other place I can think of. Partly this is because Thailand is so exotic that it feels almost like being on another planet. (Don't ask me why THAT should make me feel at home.) I also like Thai people because they turn almost any situation into an occasion to have fun, and because they are so pleasant and polite that you never know what is really going on in their minds, so they are a mysterious puzzle to try to figure out."
The Spirit House, a young adult novel that incorporates Thai beliefs, is considered a stylistic departure from Sleator's other works. In this story, fifteen-year-old Julie meets Bia, an exchange student from Thailand, when he comes to stay with her family. Julie's younger brother Dominic builds Bia a "spirit house," or a traditional household shrine, in the backyard to make him feel at home. However, Bia is convinced that the house is inhabited by a vengeful spirit. Julie leaves offerings for the spirit, who appears to grant her wishes. However, Julie's health begins to decline, and things begin to go badly for her, her family, and Bia. At the end of the story, Julie goes to Thailand with a jade carving containing the spirit in order to restore it to its rightful place. All appears to be well until Julie loses the carving. Calling The Spirit House "both scary and convincing," Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books reviewer Roger Sutton commented that "all of the events of the story are entirely possible, if unremittingly frightening." In a Washington Post Book World review, S.P. Somtow added that The Spirit House is a book "that provides no easy answers … and the ending packs a satisfying punch." Writing in Kirkus Reviews, a contributor commented, "Best … is the logical explanation of seemingly supernatural events: the reader suspends belief only to have it systematically restored. That's a feast—and a treat."
Dangerous Wishes, the sequel to The Spirit House, features Julie's younger brother, fourteen-year-old Dominic. After three years of bad luck have passed for Dom and his family, he and his parents travel to Bangkok for an extended stay. When everything goes awry, Dom suspects that the cause may be the jade carving that his sister tried, but failed, to deliver three years earlier. Dom and Kik, a Thai boy, try to find the charm and take it to its temple. In the process, the boys are pursued by a malevolent creature from the spirit world. They barely escape, but are able to restore the recovered charm to its rightful place. However, the question remains: will the bad luck end? Writing in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Roger Sutton stated that "narrative coincidences that would be trite in realistic fiction here have an otherworldly eeriness that makes them convincing." Booklist critic Merri Monks deemed the story "fast-moving," while a reviewer in Horn Book concluded by calling Dangerous Wishes "Vintage Sleator." Sleator commented: "I recently built a Thai-style farmhouse in the northeast of Thailand, twelve kilometers from the Cambodian border, very close to the Khmer Rouge headquarters. I am the only westerner around for seventy kilometers, so everyone knows me and I rather enjoy it—though of course none of them speak English so they can't read my books. But it is a wonderful place to write and I have a writing room with a beautiful view of checkerboard rice fields, brilliantly green in the rainy season….We also have a wonderful lush tropical garden. If I could, I would live there all year!"
The Beasties begins with an acknowledgment to Sleator's brother Tycho, whom he credits with introducing him to the naked mole rat. This sets the stage for the story itself, which features a pack of "beasties" who capture Doug and his sister Colette after they wander off to explore the area where their botanist father is doing some research, despite a number of warnings not to stray into the wilderness. However, these beasties are not so much monsters as victims of their environment, which has caused them to mutate. The creatures, in an effort to continue to exist and in revenge against the people who have polluted their habitat, kidnap humans in order to amputate body parts that they need. Doug and Colette eventually take the beasties' side and plot with them to pick a suitable target for their next kidnapping. Roger Sutton, in a review for Horn Book, remarked that "the menacing atmosphere and suspenseserving pace are all they should be."
Sleator's next offering, The Boxes, makes for a scary follow up. Annie finds herself in charge of two large boxes that her uncle has instructed her not to open. As is to be expected, Annie cannot resist the temptation, and soon discovers that the first box is filled with a number of eerie creatures, all of whom pay homage to the being that dwells in the second box—a creature with the ability to alter time. Several subplots include strangers trailing after Annie and her friend Henry, and also attempting to buy her aunt and uncle's house. Roger Sutton, again reviewing for Horn Book, commented: "Sleator is the master of the juvenile creepy-crawly, and his inventiveness is at full power here." He went on to note that the book leaves plenty of loose threads for a potential sequel.
Parasite Pig offers readers a sequel to Sleator's popular book, Interstellar Pig. The follow-up takes place the summer after the original story, with Barney still playing Interstellar Pig with his friends, along with a new player, Julian. Julian, however, is actually a parasitic alien in disguise, and he soon kidnaps Barney and takes him to his home planet. The resulting adventure has Barney and his friend Katie struggling to get free from their captors before they end up as the aliens' next meal. Miranda Doyle, writing for School Library Journal, called the book "a sometimes dark, sometimes silly, always entertaining read with a few twisty surprises thrown in at the end."
Sleator's book The Boy Who Couldn't Die follows sixteen-year-old Ken as he struggles to deal with the death of his best friend in a plane crash, and as his pain morphs into a determination to become invulnerable. Searching for answers, he responds to an ad in a psychic magazine that promises him "freedom from death." The results seem to work as Ken finds himself impervious to attacks by the school bullies as well as various other dangers. But he begins having frightening dreams, and on a vacation to Caribbean with his family, learns that he has turned into a zombie. Desperate to set things right, Ken must go on a journey to get his soul back. In a review for Kliatt, Paula Rohrlick wrote: "This horror story is gripping and fast moving, and deliciously creepy." School Library Journal contributor Beth Wright remarked: "This fast-paced, suspenseful book will appeal to reluctant and avid readers alike."
Hell Phone tells the story of Nick, a high school student who gets an inexpensive cell phone in order to talk to his girlfriend. However, the phone's lack of features means no caller ID, so when mysterious, distressing phone calls begin to come through, Nick has no way of tracing them or determining whether it is safe to answer. A set of games on the phone, labeled "Games from Hell," further adds to the sinister situation, which becomes even more dire when a caller threatens Nick's girlfriend. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the book "an entertaining and unquestionably dark diversion," but found the end failed to live up to the concept's promise. Booklist contributor John Peters remarked: "Sleator cranks the suspense knob up to 11 in this tale."
With Oddballs: Stories, Sleator created a collection of ten short autobiographical and semi-autobiographical vignettes about his childhood and adolescence. The stories show four creative, talented children growing up in a household run by free-thinking parents who provide minimal supervision. The book is credited for depicting how, through all of their sibling rivalry and jokeplaying, the Sleator children developed individuality, confidence, and independence. Writing in Kirkus Reviews, a critic favorably commented on Sleator's "splendid sense of comic timing" and "vivid characterizations." Betsy Hearne, writing in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, added that "Sleator evidently thrived without pause on his permissive parents' steady encouragement to violate social taboos." Writing in School Library Journal, contributor Michael Cart predicted that while "serious" readers will take the book as "a kind of ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Oddball,’" the majority will "simply relax and enjoy the wacky humor." Sleator, who dedicated Oddballs "To my family: Please forgive me!," noted on the flap copy, "I changed the names of everyone outside the immediate family, of course. But as far as I'm concerned, it's all in all a pretty accurate picture of what life was like. My mother, of course, might not entirely agree."
Regarding his writing, Sleator once told CA: "At the beginning, I was copying other things, but with each book, I've learned to tap deeper into my subconscious. The more books I write, the more they represent who I really am…. Also, my style has improved; I'm a better writer, but that goes up and down." He added: "I try to make my books exciting. I also provide incentives in the sense of giving kids a more active role in the story…. My goal is to entertain my audience and to get them to read. I want kids to find out that reading is the best entertainment there is. If, at the same time, I'm also imparting some scientific knowledge, then that's good, too. I'd like kids to see that science is not just boring formulas. Some of the facts to be learned about the universe are very weird." Sleator also noted: "In any idea for a book, I want to see how I can explore the personal relations that would manifest from that idea."
Sleator told CA: "I have always been interested in writing, since the age of six. It was just in me. The two writers who are the most major influences on my work are Muriel Spark and John Collier. Muriel Spark wrote with great economy, and many of her novels were ambiguously supernatural. Collier wrote crazy stories about demons and hell. I read them both when I was a child, though they were not children's books.
"My writing process is to get an idea—from Discover Magazine, or from people I know—do research on the idea if necessary, make a very general brainstorming version in which I figure out the characters and the plot (but usually not the ending), and then just sit down and write.
"My favorite of my own books is Singularity, because the idea of a place where time goes faster is so unusual. However, when I am working on a book, that book is always my favorite. It has to be, so that I have the strength to keep writing it!
"The kind of effect I hope my books will have is to create readers. And now, because of the Internet, I hear from readers all the time—adults as well as teenagers—who tell me they did not like to read until they found my books. It's the best kind of letter I can get. It means I am succeeding!"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Children's Books and Their Creators, edited by Anita Silvey, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995, pp. 605-606.
Davis, James E., and Hazel K. Davis, Presenting William Sleator, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1992.
Egoff, Sheila A., Thursday's Child: Trends and Patterns in Contemporary Children's Literature, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 1981, p. 142.
Lerner, Fred, A Teacher's Guide to the Bantam Starfire Novels of William Sleator, Bantam (new York, NY), 1990.
Meet the Authors and Illustrators: Sixty Creators of Favorite Children's Books Talk about Their Work, edited by Deborah Kovacs, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1993.
Roginski, Jim, Behind the Covers: Interviews with Authors and Illustrators of Books for Children and Young Adults, Libraries Unlimited, 1985.
St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers, edited by Tom Pendergast and Sara Pendergast, 2nd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999, pp. 763-765.
Sleator, William, Oddballs: Stories, Dutton (New York, NY), 1993.
Booklist, August, 1995, Merri Monks, review of Dangerous Wishes, p. 1942; October 1, 2006, John Peters, review of Hell Phone, p. 54.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1991, Roger Sutton, review of The Spirit House, p. 30; May, 1993, Betsy Hearne, review of Oddballs, pp. 295-296; October, 1995, Roger Sutton, review of Dangerous Wishes, p. 70.
English Journal, March, 1987, Margaret L. Daggett, "Recommended: William Sleator," pp. 93-94.
Fantasy Review, December, 1986, Ashley Darlington Grayson, "Two by Sleator," pp. 41-42.
Horn Book, August, 1972, Paul Heins, review of Blackbriar, p. 378; August, 1981, Paul Heins, review of The Green Futures of Tycho, p. 426; March, 1996, review of Dangerous Wishes, p. 200; September-October, 1997, Roger Sutton, review of The Beasties, p. 580; May-June, 1998, Roger Sutton, review of The Boxes, p. 349.
Junior Bookshelf, June, 1987, Marcus Crouch, review of Interstellar Pig, p. 137.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 1972, review of Blackbriar, p. 486; October 15, 1991, review of The Spirit House, p. 1350; February 1, 1993, review of Oddballs, p. 154.
Kliatt, March, 2004, Paula Rohrlick, review of The Boy Who Couldn't Die, p. 16.
New York Times Book Review, September 23, 1984, Rosalie Byard, review of Interstellar Pig, p. 47.
Publishers Weekly, November 23, 1970, review of The Angry Moon, p. 39; May 6, 1974, review of House of Stairs, p. 68; August 28, 2006, review of Hell Phone, p. 56.
School Library Journal, February, 1971, Ann D. Schweibish, review of The Angry Moon, p. 50; March, 1974, Pamela D. Pollack, review of House of Stairs, p. 120; April, 1981, Pamela D. Pollack, review of The Green Futures of Tycho, p. 133; August, 1985, David Gale, review of Singularity, p. 82; September, 1984, Trev Jones, review of Interstellar Pig, p. 134; August, 1993, Michael Cart, review of Oddballs, p. 189; October, 2002, Miranda Doyle, review of Parasite Pig, p. 172; April, 2004, Beth Wright, review of The Boy Who Couldn't Die, p. 162.
Washington Post Book World, December 1, 1991, S.P. Somtow, "Something Weird in the Neighborhood," p. 25.
Scoop Web site,http://www.friend.ly.net/scoop/ (April 23, 2001).