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?

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    Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange. When did you read this book? We don’t know how old you are, so we don’t know when you were very young. How old was it then? Where did you read it? (What country?) Was it in English? Do you remember the size/length of this book? Was it just a short story, or great novel? Was it part of a series? Was it a hardback or a softback book? Do you remember anything about the cover? Male or female author? Any extra detail you can remember might help us find it! Jan 28, 2017 at 23:33
  • See also our guidance on asking good story-ID questions. Jan 28, 2017 at 23:33

1 Answer 1


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.

second cover /cover showing device and jacket


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