The cover illustration features a boy looking through a mirror in the attic. The bottom of his body is gone in the mirror.
Disappearances Can Be Deadly.
On Max's birthday, he finds a sort of magic mirror in the attic. It can make him become invisible. So Max and his friends start playing now you see me, now you don't. Until Max realizes that he's losing control. Staying invisible a little too long. Having a harder time coming back. Getting invisible is turning into a very dangerous game. The next time Max gets invisible, will it be... forever?
This story begins when Max Thompson, a twelve-year-old boy, is combing his hair for his birthday party. Unfortunately, his younger brother, Noah (called Lefty, because he is left-handed), always teases him around.
Max's best friend, Zack, shows up armed with a weird haircut and a lousy present (some used X-Force comics). Also at the party are two girls: Erin, whose voice sounds like a mouse, and April, a shy girl. Max excitedly tells his guests that they are "barbecuing"-up some hot dogs. Max tries to get everyone to watch "the Terminator movie" he rented.
The party dies down and only April and Erin are left. The four children decide to explore a dusty old attic. Max's dog, Whitey, discovers a hidden room in the attic. The room is empty, except for a large antique mirror that takes up almost the entire wall. A slender light rests on top of the mirror and when Max pulls the light's chain, the light comes on but he disappears.
After turning the light off, Max reappears. Max does not believe he really turned invisible, even though the other children insisted that he did. Erin and April's ride arrives and Max tries to put the whole ordeal behind him. Yet that night, he has trouble sleeping and sneaks up to the attic to investigate. Max slowly takes an inventory of the mirror's construction, when he spies an ominous figure behind him. He turns to discover it is only Lefty.
Lefty whines, until Max agrees that he can go invisible only if they both go invisible at the same time. They both go invisible for a couple minutes, start to feel weak, and then pull the switch again. This time, however, it takes longer to reappear. Max figures that it must have something to do with how they were invisible longer than Max was the first time.
The two brothers decide the best way to use this amazing new power of invisibility is to scare Zack, who was not there for the prior mirrorfest. And eventually, they get him over to the house and they do scare him. Then they invisible him. Then April and Erin show up. Erin also wants to get invisible, but April remains hesitant and instead times everyone's excursions into invisibility. The children will all attempt to stay invisible the longest. Before Lefty can take his turn though, his grandparents arrive for dinner and the other children have to leave. But they agree to meet again later in the week to settle the contest.
While at dinner, Max sees a spoon rises in the air. Max wrestles with the invisible Lefty and drags him upstairs to the attic. Lefty brags as he comes back into sight, that he stayed invisible for over ten minutes, so now he holds the record. Lefty promises not to use the mirror again.
That night, Max stays up late because of the weekend and hopes that his parents will let him stay up and watch Saturday Night Live. Erin calls and tries to convince Max that if they brought the mirror to school for the science fair, they would be sure to get first prize and appear in People. Max tells her that it is a bad idea, because the wrong people could find out about the mirror, like the military.
Max sneaks off to the attic. He sits against the wall opposite the mirror and stares at his reflection. As he starts to doze off, he is startled to hear a voice in the mirror, asking him to change his ways. Max runs down to his bedroom and hides underneath the sheets, until morning.
When Max awakens, he soon discovers that Lefty is invisible again. But this time, he is using invisibility to float a shirt in Max's room. Max makes his brother go upstairs and change. When he comes back down, Max and his mother notice he is acting a little strange and there is something not quite right about him.
Max tells Lefty that he has decided getting invisible is too dangerous and calls his friends to cancel the invisibility championship. However, when the day of the championship arrives, Zack and the two girls show up at Max's house anyways. It turns out Lefty, who is currently hanging out at the park with his friends, called them up and uncancelled the championship. Max decides that as long as they are all there, they might as well go up to the attic.
April finally gets to disappear, but since Max's dog accidentally gets invisible with her, he brings her back early. She is upset, but is again relegated to taking the time for the others. Erin goes next and for the first twelve minutes or so she is up to her regular hovering objects shenanigans. However, for several minutes they can't get her to respond to their questions. Eventually they spy a floating Coke can and Max brings her back by turning on the light. After she comes back into focus, she claims she just got thirsty and went downstairs and that is why she didn't reply. However, Max notices something odd about her appearance too.
Zack decides he is going to smother the record and does not want to be pulled back into reality, until after fifteen minutes have passed. He then takes off outside and pulls a hilarious prank on an older neighbor. He picks up tomatoes and he makes them hover in the air. Once his friends stop laughing at his riotous object floating, they notice that he too does not reply to their calls. Against Erin's objections, Max races upstairs and turns the light off.
Zack reappears and Max can't help but notice that his haircut has now been reversed. Max tries to say something, but Erin and Zack push him under the light of the mirror and turn it on. He decides to not go anywhere and simply wait out his turn. As the time presses on, he begins to feel weaker and a white haze begins to envelop him. No matter how hard he cries, they will not pull the switch.
Now fully surrounded by white light, he sees an object floating towards him: his living reflection! The Reflection Max tells Actual Max that the reflections have already taken over Erin and Zack and now it is Max's turn. Max does not think living for eternity in a mirror sounds so hot, so he escapes. Somehow he manages to outrun his reflection and appears in the flesh, once Erin and Zack pull the cord. They ask him if he has made the switch and he says nothing. Then the Reflection Max gets seen in the mirror and tells them that Actual Max got away.
Erin tells Reflection Max no problem and Zack pulls the cord again. Actual Max tries running out of the attic, but Erin and Zack block his way. He yells to April to go get help, but she gets blocked by Erin and Zack. Just when all hope is lost, Lefty appears in the attic, sees the reflection of the invisible Max in the mirror, and tosses him the ball. The ball shatters the mirror, sucking Max's reflection into the shards. Lefty holds onto the door frame while Erin and Zack also get sucked into the mirror and then spit back out again.
Max and Lefty reflect on the end of their adventure while tossing around a ball in the backyard. It is then that Max discovers that Lefty is throwing right-handed.
Reprints and rereleases
Let's Get Invisible! was first reprinted in September 2003. The following year, it was included in the Vanishing Collection, along with Say Cheese and Die! and The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb. On April 28, 2015, it was reprinted for the third time as the twenty-fourth book in the Classic Goosebumps, and as a tie-in to the Goosebumps film.
- The cover artist, Tim Jacobus, did not add the cobwebs or spider in the original painting. It was added in post by an unknown artist, presumably a Scholastic employee. The 2003 reprint did not include these changes.
- In Russia, this was the first book in the original Goosebumps series.
- This book, along with the episode's ending, are one of the few times the protagonist doesn't succeed.
- Although it isn't a sequel to Let's Get Invisible!, the Goosebumps Series 2000 book, Ghost in the Mirror, follows a similar plot with children being switched with creatures from an evil mirror.
References in other media
- In Goosebumps: The Game, the mirror appears with a mirror demon.