Some time in the early 1970's I read a science fiction book about a boy who befriends an alien disguised as a human boy. I think it was set in a big city -- London or possibly New York. I don't remember too much else except this specific detail: near the end, the alien, having been revealed, is having a discussion with an adult woman and mentions to her that although they can carry on a conversation it's impossible to know if the terms they're using mean the same things in their respective minds. This exchange always stuck with me for some reason, and as a grownup I realized it was about the philosophical idea of "qualia". I've hunted for this book for a long time, and even ordered copies of old books thinking they might be it: "Chocky" by John Wyndham, "The Forgotten Door" by Alexander Key, and "Alien from the Stars" by Jean and Jeff Sutton. No such luck!


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