My apologies but details are a little fuzzy, I read it when I was in fourth or fifth grade and I'm 21 now, so around 2007 to 2009. The cover had an illustration of the boy.

From what I remember, it was about this boy whose parents were scientists and were on a spaceship on its way to a different planet. The boy was born and raised in the space ship and when they finally landed he somehow met a race of bug-like aliens. He befriended them and had to do his best keeping them a secret from the adults he grew up surrounded by.


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As @m-a-golding commented, this seems to match "Big Sword" by Pauline Ashwell aka Pauline Whitby, published in the October 1958 of Astounding under the name Paul Ash. It can be read here on the Internet Archive.

The story alternates between viewpoints of the grasshopper-like aliens and the humans. The aliens have been separated for many generations from another population of similar aliens by a geologic rift, and they have a tradition of attempting to cross the rift. The boy makes telepathic contact with the bugs and tries to hide it from the adults around him because they'll think he's nuts -- his psych profile being unstable is mentioned early in the story. The boy finally helps the aliens reach their kin and is vindicated.

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