Lightening Bugs Galvanise: Steve Cousins, Frankenbug, New York: Holiday House, 2000.
Adam collects bugs. He's actually pretty obsessed even by the standards of your average nerd. The bane of his life is of course the school bully Jeb (the son of the local Police Chief, just to make it worse).
Adam decides to make a Frankenbug, He's read Frankenstein so knows about to go about it. He does his research, sends off for exotic pickled bugs and eventually settles on the lightening of lightening bugs to bring his creation to life. Frankenbug doesn't turn out quite as planned: he prefers marshmallows to meat, but he is pretty scary and does frighten the bully. There is some misunderstanding, and Frankenbug has to show off his powers, and eventually Adam gets to keep him and the bully gets his come-uppance.
The book could be written off as fantasy but it is written utterly from the sensibility of a nerd. There are long, loving descriptions of different insects and their abilities. Adam describes his research and his experiments. When Jeb teases him it is less for the bugs than for his obsession with the scientific method.
And one last, heart warming detail; the girl who stands up for Adam does so, not by lying, but by offering a piece of circumstantial evidence that corroborates his arguments. And her name is Mary Wolcraft.
(ps. Book finished a few days early. Yay me! I'll be blogging children's books regularly again now, and around May will be back in the library looking at Childhood Studies.)