akibird

A Blog of Children's Literature

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things March 3, 2011

Alvin Ho Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary ThingsAlvin Ho Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look (2008)

Contemporary Fiction, 172 pages

Second grader, Alvin Ho, is afraid of just about everything. He can’t seem to find his voice in school and is having trouble making friends. His desk buddy Flea is an eye patch-wearing, Aggression for Girls-fighting unique individual who accepts Alvin for who he is. She has even written the book on Alvin, decoding his moods using his silent eye expressions. Unfortunately, Alvin gets teased for his friendship with Flea, making it even harder for him to be one of the boys. Lucky for Alvin, he has a PDK—Personal Disaster Kit, a GungGung (maternal grandfather) who is the best person to play catch with, a dog named Lucy who has perfected the downward dog yoga position, and a dad who is teaching him how to be a gentleman. Look’s writing style encourages laughter and sympathy for Alvin, who thinks the stones in the cemetery have people’s names and phone numbers on them. Pham’s ink illustrations mirror Look’s humor as they are strategically placed around the text, emphasizing Alvin’s 7-year-old ideas and social constructions. In the end, the book teaches us that friends are always there for each other. Friends are the people we have the most fun with, even if they wear eye patches, use colanders as superhero helmets, swear like Shakespeare, or have pet fish that watch TV. Most importantly, friends help us get over our fears and love us for who we are. I would definitely booktalk this read to a group of 7 to 10-year-olds because many can relate to having fears and finding true friends.

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