Yet another ID a children's book thread

A young adult book, actually. It’s about 2 boys, maybe 13 or so, who throughout the course of the book go on a quest to learn how to “think” themselves into an alternate dimension. One of the boys has a special talent for tripping people in creative ways; in one scene he makes the class bully trip by waiting until he’s walking towards a trash can and giving a piercing whistle, causing the bully to turn his head sharply and veer into the can. I seem to remember a Zen-ish motorcycle gang, the leader of which aids the boys in their quest. IIRC, at the end it turns out the tripping boy is an alien. The only other thing I remember is that the non-tripping boy is new to the school; at the beginning of the book his teacher makes him stand up and do the dreaded “Tell us a little about yourself” spiel, and he reveals he spent the summer working in some kind of scrap-fabric place and he got fleas. I read it in the early 80s.

And heck, while we’re at it, post your own queries. Let’s make a night of it.

I remember reading this. I think it was Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars by Daniel Pinkwater.

I believe aaebig is right. (Ah, Pinkwater, he’s so wacky!)

Damn it, for once I know one of these, and someone beats me to it.

Anyhow, aaebig is right, and it’s a GREAT book.

It’s not easy to find ol’ Alan Mendelsohn these days by himself, but you can get it in 5 Novels, a collection. After you finish it, be sure to read The Snarkout Boys and the Avacado of Death, found in the same book. The sequel to that is in the other collection, 4 Fantastic Novels. Then read all the other Pinkwater books, too.

Yes yes yes! I love you guys! I first checked this book out of the library when I was, oh, 10 or 11, and while I periodically wander through the library re-reading all the books I loved as a kid, for some reason I’ve never found this one again. Thank you!