My friend is trying to find this book series that is kind of like Harry Potter, and involves a kid who lives in Chicago and goes to a school for “special” children. He goes by train. At the school they can have pets. She told me it involves a talking rabbit and the main character’s crush had a toad or something. There was a black girl who was intelligent and liked the main character, but the MC didn’t feel the same.
The school held students from the ages of 12-17, and some other characters included an Irish boy named Conner and an Italian girl named Lisa.
I was also told that the cover has a red/orange color scheme that involves the MC (although she doesn’t know if it’s the first or second book).
I was trying to help, but I couldn’t find it and now I’m curious as well.