I read a book when I was very young, approximately 9 or 10 years old, and like my title says, it must have been written in the 80's. It was a paperback book with a boy on the cover wearing an odd jacket and his earthling friends. The book was written in English. It sparked my love of sci-fi. I remember that it was about an alien boy that lived at a place called "The School" and it was his time to take a test. He was sent to Earth and was helped by a family of kids. He was hunted by other aliens. He skated around wearing what looked like a Walkman but was really cataloging certain things. Any ideas of what the name of the book was?
This may be Aliens In the Family by Margaret Mahy. 1985.
"Bond, descended from humans and living eons hence, comes back to present-day earth on a school mission that is part character-test and part information-gathering. He encounters Jake, visiting her divorced father's new family, which includes Dora, also 12, and her younger brother, Lewis. Bond is pursued by Wirdegen, shadows in competition for the knowledge he holds..." -Kirkus
There are several covers; I've added two that show the odd jacket and the Walkman-looking-thingy.