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Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters Paperback – May 11, 2010


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"My Little Pony: Princess Celestia and the Summer of Royal Waves" by G. M. Berrow
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 570L (What's this?)
  • Series: Alvin Ho (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375857508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375857508
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4–This second story about Alvin Ho, the boy who is afraid of almost everything, is another delightful look into the life of the timid youngster. In this installment, his fears center around a big upcoming event: camping with his dad. Once again, Look's dialogue is spot on: she captures the silly, impetuous, jump-from-one-idea-to-the-next quality of a second-grade boy. Alvin's adventures (like getting trapped in a dishwasher box while pretending to be Houdini, and learning secret camping tricks from his uncle) are charmingly genuine and fun to read. Look's pitch-perfect descriptions and phrasing add to the overall humor and heart of the story (about his sister, Alvin says, She's like a stoplight in the middle of my life and there's just no avoiding her.) and her sensitivity to what it means to be a not-quite-normal little boy is right on target. Whimsical illustrations pop up mid-page; Pham's expressive characters capture the essence of the story. A Very Scary Glossary of Alvin's fears and favorite things is included at the end. There are certain stories kids read and just feel good for having read: this is one of them.–Nicole Waskie, Chenango Forks Elementary, Binghamton, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, September/October 2009:
"Readers can only hope that Alvin continues to describe in such wonderful detail his many allergic reactions."

Kirkus Reviews, May 19, 2009
"While Look certainly embellishes at times for comedic effect, she has created in Alvin a character that is as real as he is irascible, and the tender relationships among the members of the Ho family provide a sturdy backbone for all the silliness. Pham’s simple but vibrant line drawings leap off the page. Another triumph for Alvin Ho."


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Alvin Ho has a great message for kids.
Marilee Gillen
Even if your child isn't quite ready to read this book on his or her own, it's also a great book to read with your child.
Julie Peterson
The book had a lot of good words it was funny and stuff like that.
David Shenson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Julie Peterson on July 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am so glad that I'm getting to relive my youth through my daughter! Don't take that wrong because I'm not one of those parents....I just love reading books that are geared towards her age range. What I love even more is when we both read the same book and then discuss it! That is the case with ALVIN HO: ALLERGIC TO CAMPING, HIKING, AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS by Lenore Look and pictures by LeUyen Pham. I just don't remember there being this many good middle-grade books out there when I was ten years old.

My daughter is probably a little on the older side for this book because it is really aimed for children ages 6 through 10; however, I still think many 10 year olds will enjoy the book as a quick, funny read. Alvin Ho is absolutely hilarious as a young boy who is afraid of almost everything. In this book, his father wants to take him camping and poor Alvin is just terrified of everything that could possibly go wrong. Maybe one of the reason that I liked this book so much is that I can so relate to his feelings about the great outdoors!

This book is really perfect for those kids who are ready to read chapter books, yet aren't quite ready for a book with a lot of pages. This book is a little over 150 pages, but the print is large and there is lots of white space on each page. There are also a few very cute (and funny) illustrations thrown into the body of the chapters. I especially liked that there is a glossary (Alvin Ho's Very Scary Glossary) at the back of the book with definitions of some possibly "new" words.

Kids are going to love Alvin and his adventures. I thought his paranoia was so funny, and I found myself laughing a lot at his insecurities.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Great Kid Books on September 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Alvin is still getting into mischief and wriggling his way out of sticky situations in the second book in this series: Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters. While it didn't tickle me as much as the first in the series, it was a fun read. In the second chapter, Alvin receives a package at the front door.

"I ripped open the kit right there in the driveway. Inside, there were pencils, stickers, handcuffs, and handcuff key, a rope, a Houdini's Greatest Escapes DVD and a gold card.
'Alvin Ho -- GOLD MEMBER OF HOUDINI-IN-A-BOX -- do it yourself escapes'
Calvin whistled. 'Dude!' he said."

How great would it be for a second-grader to get a Houdini-in-a-box kit?! Funny situations turn into funnier situations, as the kids make a straight jacket and then Alvin volunteers to be trapped inside his sister's time machine. I liked how Lenore Look was able to turn funny situations into more poignant ones. Alvin got really, truly scared as his sister left him trapped in the box and forgot about him.

"My dad isn't a superhero, but he can pull me out of anything, even from long, tangled boa constrictors that were squeezing the last wheeze out of me.... 'You're my best friend, Dad. You saved my life.' "

This book has more touching moments like these. It isn't full of quite as many laugh-out-loud moments as the first in the series. But it will still make kids happy reading it. It would make a good family read aloud, especially talking about how Alvin learns to be brave during his camping trip.

I really like how Alvin's Chinese-American culture is simply a part of who he is. His favorite meal is vegetable wontons and noodles. His grandfathers are GungGung and YehYeh. His culture is not a pivotal part of the story, it's just part of the texture that makes Alvin feel like a real kid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Alvin Ho is scared of a lot of things, including girls, birthday parties, and camping. In this story, he seems braver than the other books. Still, it's his fear of every little thing that makes the books funny. Alvin Ho doesn't want to go camping. But Anibelly, his younger sister, wants to go. So he tries to get her to go in his place. When that doesn't work, his older brother orders a bunch of things to make camping better - none of it that works out. This book is a very funny look at the capers that Alvin, his siblings, and his friends go through to explore camping and make it a better experience for them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tech Addict on March 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 5 year old, soon to be 6, loves Alvin Ho. He can relate to Alvin's fear of things. The color of the writing and the fun, humorous situations that Alvin gets in and imagines are fantastic. We ended up buying the other two books my son liked this one so much. I hope the author keeps writing!
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Format: Paperback
This book is charming in its way, and both of my children (4th and 1st grade) enjoyed it.

However, no one seems to have noted -- no one in this book understands who the heck Batman is. How is this even possible? The father is even ostensibly a superhero aficionado. Yet even he seems to embrace the conceit that Batman has some sort of bat powers -- and Alvin and Calvin Ho take it as a given, due to their uncle's Batman ring.

I do not know a single second grader who does not understand Batman's story. Batman is, of course, a normal guy who has trained his body and mind to the peak of physical and mental perfection. Generations -- literally, four generations -- of kids have taken comfort and drawn bravery from the fact that in a world of Kryptonians and superpowered Amazons and power rings, he is just a guy. Indeed, Alvin Ho especially could have drawn great inspiration from this, in the face of his fears.

It is so strange, in fact, that I would argue that the introduction of this widespread misconception is indeed a Chekhov's Gun: I kept waiting for the father to explain the true nature of Batman to Alvin and his brother, but it never happened.

It beggars credulity that no one in this entire book addresses the seemingly universal misconception by all the characters in this book that Batman has some sort of bat powers. It must be asked: does Lenore Look even understand Batman? Or did she get him confused with Man-Bat, which seems exceedingly unlikely? Or do the Alvin Ho books take place in a parallel universe where Batman does, indeed, have bat powers?

For real, everyone: Batman is just a guy. He does not have bat powers. Come on, Lenore Look.
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More About the Author

Lenore Look began making picture books in kindergarten, and it took her the next thirty years to get it right. Her first book was finally published in 1999, followed by more picture books and two chapter book series. On good days, she's a regular writing machine. On bad days, she goes shopping. Her Alvin Ho series has turned her into a Red Sox fan (see photo), and a wearer of Sox paraphernalia (see photo), and a collector of Fenway Park trivia (see same photo). Her Ruby Lu series is set in Seattle, where she grew up, and makes her long for foggy mornings and slugs on the sidewalks. She currently lives in New Jersey.

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Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters
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