THE REINVENTION OF EDISON THOMAS, by Jacqueline Houtman (blog)(Front Street 2010)(ages 8-12). Eddy Thomas is strangely literal, socially awkward, and in some ways brilliant. He likes to spend his time tinkering with his inventions and doesn't really understand human interaction. People and crowds are often too much for him; to calm down, he recites the periodic table or jumps on a mini-trampoline.
His latest obsession is the retirement of Jim, the local crossing guard. With almost a quarter of the vehicles failing to come to a complete stop, how will kids get safely to school?
When he meets recently-transferred science geek Justin and his friend Terry (she of the lapis lazuli hair), Eddy comes to solve the problem of the intersection and discover what friendship really is all about.
In THE REINVENTION OF EDISON THOMAS, Houtman skillfully captures Eddy's voice and the racing of his thoughts as he is continually interrupted by those he doesn't understand. Science and Eddy's obscure knowledge are elegantly and thematically interwoven in this sometimes sweet, sometimes funny, story of Eddy's growth.