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Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things Hardcover


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Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things + Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters + Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-made Catastrophes
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Series: Alvin Ho
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade; First Edition edition (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375839143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375839146
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–4—Second-grader Alvin Ho is determined to make friends, even though he is afraid of any number of things and can't talk—at all—in school. Episodic chapters feature events at home, at school, and in his Concord, MA, neighborhood. Everyday adventures include being left stranded by his siblings during stretching exercises that leave him upside down in a tree, being sent alone to the scary piano teacher's house, and deciding whether or not to hang out with the classroom bully. Although Look resists providing a tidy ending, readers will be sure that Alvin is on the right road when he surprises even himself by suddenly speaking to his psychotherapist. And they won't have to understand the Shakespearean curses that come out of his mouth to know that this time he has a good reason to be afraid. Whether they are fearful or brave, kids will smile at Alvin's scrapes and empathize with his concerns. Aspects of his Chinese-American background are seamlessly integrated into the story and add richness. The book is chock-full of well-placed illustrations. Martin Bridge, make room for Alvin Ho.—Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In the chapter-book universe of Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones it’s hard to know what’s more surprising about Alvin Ho: his Y chromosome, or his Chinese American heritage. In this book, Look, who has made a career of portraying Chinese American family life in picture books and chapter books, focuses less on cultural commonalities than on the idiosyncracies of Alvin’s family (a dad fond of Shakespearean insults, a grandfather who sews), filling in the Chinese American backdrop exclusively through a small amount of Cantonese vocabulary and some food references. The book’s lighthearted treatment of Alvin’s unusual problem (mutism that kicks in only at school) doesn’t seem entirely apt. Still, many children will sympathize with fearful Alvin, who hates his therapist and marvels at his descent from “farmer-warriors who haven’t had a scaredy bone in their bodies since 714 AD.” They’ll also hope that the book’s concluding, unexpected friendship will reap psychological benefits in a sequel. Pham’s thickly brushed artwork matches the quirky characterizations stroke for stroke. Grades 2-4. --Jennifer Mattson

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.

Customer Reviews

It was a really good book and easy.
Kimberly grabusic
I purchased this book for a local elementary school library because it showed up on a list of top 20 read aloud books.
Suzan Lawrence
I liked it because it was fun and I liked the sound of Alvin Ho saying Shakespeare stuff.
phillbill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Suzan Lawrence on February 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for a local elementary school library because it showed up on a list of top 20 read aloud books. I am now reading it to a class of second graders who find it, "hilarious." It is a chapter book so an advanced read but it has captured their attention and imagination. The author, Lenore Look, has managed to weave the roots of our country's history as well as art, music, literature and famous historical figures into her very funny story line. Each week that I read, I use the first five or ten minutes to introduce what is new to the children. We have read some Shakespeare (Alvin is allowed to curse in Shakespearean dialogue as long as he doesn't hurt anyone as he is a "gentleman in training.") I have played short snippets of Brahms, Beethoven, and even a song from the Music Man as well as shown works by Frieda Kahlo, Gauguin, and Van Gough. The children had never heard of the Minutemen and the Redcoats and now play the same game on their California playground as Alvin does on his playground in Concord, Massachusetts.

Henry David Thoreau is Alvin's personal hero and we have discussed Thoreau at first because of his strong pro environmental stance in the 1800's. During the week of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, I read from King's autobiography where he credits Thoreau's essay on "Civil Disobedience," for inspiring his method of passive resistance during the Civil Rights Movement.

The students are so taken with the book that they have been to the school library to find out when it was published, one child has already read the sequel--imagine a 7 year old reading a 166 page chapter book! They want to know when the next Alvin Ho book is coming out and have suggested the author create a Christmas special for TV and call it, "Alvin--Ho, ho, ho."
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Some people follow sports teams. Others follow the rise and fall of various celebrities. Children's librarians, in contrast, are fans of children's book authors and illustrators. If trading cards were acceptable amongst grown adults I'm sure we'd be swapping Louis Sachars and Linda Sue Parks for a rare Beatrix Potter or A.A. Milne. Part of this particular branch of fandom concerns itself with the pairing of various authors with illustrators. This is where editors come in useful. It takes a smart publishing house to create just the right magic found in a Scieszka/Lane team, for example. Credit where credit is due then to Schwartz & Wade. When I heard that Lenore Look, author extraordinaire who introduced the world to Ruby Lu, had been paired with LeUyen Pham my little heart danced a tarantella. I've been fighting for more Pham appreciation for years. To see her complementing Look's particular brand of smart humor in, best of all, an early chapter book is like Christmas coming early. Together I am certain that these two women are going to create books that remain memorable long after their contemporaries have faded from the popular memory.

What do you do with a kid who doesn't talk in school? Well, if you are that kid and your name is Alvin Ho then there are a number of things you can do. You can prepare for the second grade a PDK (or Personal Disaster Kit) in the event of an emergency. You can ask your older brother how to make friends, only not with that weird girl with the cool eye patch. You can visit a therapist to try to talk out your fears (but only if you talk). But Alvin's got more on his mind than whether or not he's able to say something in class.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on August 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There are several things you should know about Alvin Ho. The first is that he is afraid of everything. He fears elevators, the dark, heights, scary movies, and, most of all, school. The second thing is that Alvin is so afraid of school that he can't even talk when he's there. He can talk fine everywhere else, but school is too much.

To help him survive, Alvin carries a PDK - a Personal Disaster Kit - which is full of equipment. The most important part of the PDK, though, are the emergency plans, which include plans for meeting your teacher, getting through show-and-tell, and how to make friends.

Alvin spends the start of his second grade year trying to survive, figuring out ways to get out of school, and learning how to make friends, all with humorous and sometimes disastrous results.

Perfect for readers making the jump to chapter books, this is a fun, laugh-out-loud read. Author Lenore Look and Illustrator LeUyen Pham make a great team. The illustrations add to the emotion of the story and help bring Alvin to life.

If you're looking for a younger version of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, look no further than ALVIN HO: ALLERGIC TO GIRLS, SCHOOL, AND OTHER SCARY THINGS. A great read for all ages, I hope there's more to come about Alvin Ho!

Reviewed by: Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Lenore Look's ALVIN HO: ALLERGIC TO GIRLS, SCHOOL, AND OTHER SCARY THINGS tells of one Alvin, who is afraid of everything: trains, bridges, teachers, girls and even school. But he loves superheroes and dreams he's actually Firecracker man in disguise. Elementary to early middle school grade readers will find Alvin Ho's adventures compelling in this involving story.
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