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Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters Hardcover – June 23, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Alvin Ho Series

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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
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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."
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 570L (What's this?)
  • Series: Alvin Ho
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade; 1 Reprint edition (June 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375857052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375857058
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As with the other books in the Alvin Ho series, "Allergic to Camping" is a wonderfully written book about a quirky, sensitive Chinese-American 8-year-old who lives in Concord, MA. In this installment in the series, Alvin's dad decides to take Alvin and his younger sister camping ... and Alvin reacts in his typically neurotic way ... with hilarious results. I've reviewed several other books in this series and I've written in those reviews about how much my Asian-American family appreciates the portrayal of another Asian-American family in a witty, realistic way. These books are terrific for a growing reader and also for a family read-aloud series. We also very much appreciate the beautiful illustrations, which really help the characters come alive. Make sure to consult the glossary in the back of the book for explanations of various concepts/words.
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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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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 Verified Purchase
My second grader had been reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid (mostly because his big brother read them when he was younger). He found the first Alvin Ho book (Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things) in his classroom library and immediately loved it. This series is WAY better in his opinion.

Alvin is a delightfully quirky and very smart kid. It is never stated so in the book but I'm wondering if Alvin is ASD. My older son is now reading these books as his little brother finishes them (which he can do in a day because they are below his reading level but he just loves Alvin). Great book for kids with anxiety or ASD or sensory issues or who are just different but true to themselves. It's a brainy series with loads of history and even some Shakespearean cursing. :)
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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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