In Search of Goliathus Hercules by Jennifer Angus.
Henri (pronounced Henry) Bell has been sent to live with his Great Aunt Georgie in America while his mother searches for Henri's lost father in the jungles of Malaysia. At Great Aunt Georgie's home, Henri discovers that he can speak with insects!!
This amazing talent - and his mother's failure to find his father - sends Henri on an odyssey. He will work and raise money and go search for his father himself. And in the meantime, he will also find the elusive, giant, mythical insect - Goliathus Hercules.
But his Great-Aunt's evil neighbor, Agatha Black, is chasing Henri to Henri's great confusion and fear.
Set in late the late 19th century when scientific explorations were viewed with as much anticipation as first run movies are now, this book has everything - circus sideshows, weird talents, fascinating insects, nascent science, formal correspondence, disguises of all kinds, good friends and a baffling, creepy evil-doer.
The ending leaves the door- or window - wide open for a sequel. Here's hoping we get to see Henri in action again.
(I know I promised to you earlier this week. *cough, cough* I have been sick. *snort, snuffle, cough, cough, cough*)