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Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals, and Other Fatal Circumstances (Alvin Ho #4)

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  381 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Here's the fourth book in the beloved and hilarious Alvin Ho chapter book series, which has been compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and is perfect for beginning and reluctant readers.

Alvin, an Asian American second grader who's afraid of everything, is facing something truly scary: the idea that someone he loves might die. When Alvin's GungGung loses his best friend, Alvin
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Yearling (first published January 1st 2011)
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Oct 24, 2011 Irene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Hats off to Lenore Look for tackling a sensitive subject like death. I used to wonder why so many children's stories include a parent or both parents dying, and then I read an article about how stories about death and other difficult subjects allow kids to safely explore emotions and ask questions without having to actually face or discuss their own personal fears.

I think the author did a fantastic job giving young readers a context in which to discuss death, funerals, fears, cultural customs,
Dec 18, 2014 Knitography rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading stories to my nephew, so I was pleased when bedtime came and he asked me to start this one with him. The title was intriguing and quirky, so my hopes were high - right up until I started reading it.

To begin with, we ran into sexist BS on page two when the main character asserts that 'Charlotte's Web and Alice in Wonderland are books about GIRLS'. First of all, that statement represents an incredibly reductive approach to two beloved classics of children's literature. Secondly, wha
Linzee Gammell
1. This is a book about Alvin Ho. Alvin is scared of everything! The book begins with his brother trying to help him with history but then something terrible happens. Alvin's grandpas best friend has died. In a rare moment of bravery, Alvin tells his grandpa he will go to the funeral with him. He regrets saying he will go but because his grandpa seemed so happy to have him going with he was again too afraid to say something. Not only is he scared of the funeral but then when a misunderstanding a ...more
Heather Barrett
Apr 05, 2014 Heather Barrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a good read. It is about an Asian American second grader. This would be a good book to bring some culture into a classroom because it discusses some of the customs of Alvin's heritage. It also uses a few words that are then defined at the end of the book in a glossary so that the reader can begin learning a new language. This would also be a good book to offer to an Asian American child to read if they are frustrated about all the characters in other books not being like them. For exampl ...more
Maya Orama
May 31, 2015 Maya Orama rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was the morning Alvin was reading a book that was for boys that Alvin thinks that it was a scary book but all things scare hime such as book reports , reading in class , Thunder , Lighting , Poisoned darts , Poisoned apple , Fairy tales , Vampires, principals , and Drowning in the bath dub. Alvin saw Anibelly his little sister that draw dinusors .Anibelly was tired of drawing pictures she went out side poking holes with the stick while Alvin was running all over the back yard and screaming .C ...more
Ann Schwarz
Dec 18, 2013 Ann Schwarz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-books
Very, funny and heartwarming book. It deals with facing the death of a friend of the family as told from the perspective of Alvin, a 7 year-old who is afraid of everything. Love this series.
Kathleen Guinnane
Alvin Ho is a scaredy cat. Terrified of everything and unable to speak at school misunderstandings are easy to come by in his life. Alvin amuses and annoys me at the same time. I like the funny circumstances he gets in, but the teacher in me dislikes how some things are really not explained and can cause confusion for a young reader. In this book, Alvin's grandfather's best friend dies. before he has time to think, Alvin volunteer to keep his grandfather company at the funeral. a misunderstandin ...more
Julia Reynolds
Aug 17, 2014 Julia Reynolds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Alvin Ho has a serious mishap when his inability to talk in school accidentally convinces his classmates and teachers that his grandfather (and not his grandfather’s good friend) has died. Serious comedy ensues. Funerals and wakes are planned, people show up at relative’s houses to pay their respects, and eventually the truth comes out – all while Alvin has to deal with normal test anxiety and family worries and being strong enough to go to his very first funeral with his grandfather. Cute, grea ...more
Tonia Sandersfeld
Alvin is with his gunggung (grandpa) when gunggung answers the phone to find out that his lifetime friend has passed away. Alvin is only in 2nd grade, but he feels so bad for his gunggung that he volunteers to go to the funeral with him because he knew Charlie and was friends with him too. But immediately Alvin decides that he might not be ready for a funeral, and his imagination goes wild with all the scary things he imagines happening at a funeral. There's also a HUGE misunderstanding that mak ...more
Apr 02, 2015 Desty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buku ini adalah buku ke-4 dari daftar ketakutan Alvin Ho. Dan semakin banyak saja hal-hal yang ditakuti oleh Alvin. Kali ini ditambah dengan kematian, orang mati, pemakaman, dan ulangan sejarah. Hm...sebenarnya banyak ya orang yang takut dengan kematian. Tapi pengalaman Alvin ini lucu sekali.

Kakeknya Alvin, (yang dipanggil) GungGung, mempunyai seorang teman bernama Charlie. Suatu hari GungGung menerima kabar bahwa Charlie meninggal dunia. GungGung menjadi sedih, dan secara spontan Alvin menghibu
Jan 20, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 7-10
Shelves: juv-fiction, series, humor
Second grader, Alvin Ho was born scared and is still scared to this day. He’s scared of book reports, reading in class, thunder, lightning, principals and vampires just to mention a few. When Alvin learns that his GungGung’s (Grandpa) best friend (Charlie) has passed away, he offers to accompany his GungGung to the funeral. However, Alvin has never been to a funeral and has no idea of what he’s gotten himself into. The problem with making a HBP (Horrific Big Promise) is that no matter how freake ...more
Emmet O'Neal Library- Children's Department
Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve reviewed an Alvin Ho book already. But how could I resist the latest volume, in which Alvin adds dead bodies and funerals to his exceptionally long list of things to be afraid of? The main plot has him spending most of the book trying to work up the courage to go to a funeral (gulp) he has impulsively agreed to attend with GungGung, his grandpa.

Aside from the usual antics and unlikely heroics you’ve come to expect from Alvin and his PDK (Personal Disaster Kit), this book
Oct 13, 2011 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In many books, the more the reader connects to the main character(s), the more they are likely to appreciate the book. At least that is true in my experience, but not always. Sometimes the author makes the character so real that you can sympathize even without having similar experiences. Alvin Ho is one such character. His fears and good intentions make him a very sympathetic character, even if one does not have numerous fears as does Alvin. In this fourth book especially, it is easy to relate t ...more
Victoria Whipple
Dec 20, 2011 Victoria Whipple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alvin Ho is, to me, one of the most endearing characters in children's literature today. He is quirky, smart, sensitive, funny and so real! In this book, Alvin is experiencing the death of someone he knows (his grandfather's best friend) for the first time. Sure, he lives in Concord which is full of dead authors, but he never actually knew them. Because of Alvin's inability to talk in school (though he is still seeing his therapist who is a psycho for this), combined with the good intentions of ...more
I feel the same about book 4 as I did/do about the first three books in the Alvin Ho series: that it was enjoyable but not necessarily a great read for kids to read by themselves, and that Alvin is a whiner. Anibelly sums it up best when she says, "...He got busted a lot. He cried all the time. He could scream his head off..."

This book, however, gets one less star than the other three because I've finally had enough of his inability to talk: when his whole class, his teacher, the school libraria
A cure for those hours steeped in academia ala textbooks and essays? Lenore Look’s Alvin Ho. I’ve been intrigued by the title for awhile, Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals, and Other Fatal Circumstances, so when I saw it face-out on the Library shelf I brought it home. This is the fourth book in a series that I’ve been assured will continue with a fifth in 2013. I picked up the other books from the Library today. Yes, I adored my first treatment that much.
Alvin Ho is an anxious 2nd gr
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have loved Alvin Ho since I met him in his first book. With this fourth title in the series Lenore Look has given us Alvin at his very best and bravest (even with several mortified moments in between).

Your average elementary student is afraid of death, dying, and most everything associated with it. I'm talking about real death here, not some fake movie death. Lots of them are desensitized to that in this graphic day in which we live, but when it comes to the idea of their own death or the deat
Another book by Lenore Look that took me totally by surprise as it made me tear up, well, even cry in several places. I loved how she also in this book makes a really tough issue so accessible to young readers. The book with its wonderful classical Alvin Ho moments and humour, is filled with so much warmth, compassion and empathy, deeply touching readers of all ages. The book is a great example of how much wisdom can be found in children's literature.
The one thing that I think it did nicely was touch on child anxiety without making fun of the child. The grown ups were supportive of the child and I don't think that there are many books/series that cover this issue directly. Other than that the book was ok but not anything exceptional, seems like many other realistic fiction books that I have read.
Adorable Alvin Ho is back, but he's got new fears to face. He impulsively told his GungGung (grandfather) that he would attend a funeral with him. He works himself into quite a lather, imagining bad omens everywhere and starting to worry that his own GungGung is pretty old and could die at any moment. And on top of that he's got a big history test to take, and he inadvertently led everyone to believe that it was his own GungGung who died, and now they are planning a memorial service for him. Wha ...more
May 24, 2012 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Read this with 9 yr old and couldn't put it down. I am already a fan of Alvin Ho; read the first one as well, and son has read all 4. This is beautifully done. I seriously cried, then laughed, then cried. It has bits of true good humor, and a moment or two of almost wimpy kid or big nate style lightness, but for the most part is so very much richer than those books. Talks frankly about the death of Alvin's grandpa's best friend, and the inner life of Alvin and the dynamics of his family make me ...more
Gwen the Librarian
This one is more of a 3.5 stars...
I love Alvin Ho because he has all kinds of neuroses which make him totally accessible and funny for kids, but also tackle issues along the way. This fourth volume is an issue book - Alvin's grandfather's friend dies and Alvin agrees to go to the funeral - which is super scary, why did he do that? Death of a loved one is the primary focus of the story, in a multitude of ways, and it is dealt with with humor and tenderness, making this a terrific book for kids to
I LOVE Alvin Ho! So cute, funny and full of fears that many kids experience. In this book, Alvin volunteers to attend a funeral with his Gun-Gun (what was he thinking!!-Alvin is fantastic at psyching himself out!) A misunderstanding at school (Alvin can't talk at school) leads to his entire second grade class holding a memorial service for his grandfather. Despite the mix-ups and anxieties described, this book also does a good job at reassuring children that being worried is ok, and that support ...more
Nov 02, 2011 Ofilia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alvin's back and dealing with a sensitive subject that lots of kids struggle with--death. When Gungung's best friend dies, Alvin finds himself inexplicably volunteering to accompany his grandfather to the funeral. This, of course, completely terrifies Alvin. With her trademark humor and unique characters, Look creates yet another memorable Alvin Ho book. She does not tiptoe around the subject of death, funerals or the big questions of what happens after death. She confronts it all with honesty, ...more
Oct 11, 2011 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Alvin. You're back! And you're funny again (last one ... eh, not so much).

"'I've heard of people 'cheating' death,' said Ophelia.
"What's that?' I asked.
'I think it's like cheating on a test,' said Ophelia. 'You've gotten a D for death, but you change it to an A for alive, when nobody's looking.'" (p73)

There were more but that's the only one I marked. Not all of the jokes will be understood by a second grader. But boy howdy will the teacher reading it out loud have to try not to giggle. And t
Jan 08, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book #4 in the Alvin Ho series, second grader Alvin has agreed to do the unthinkable: Attend the funeral of Gung Gung’s best friend with him. Alvin has never been to a funeral, and is very worried about what it will be like. His inability to talk at school leads to a huge misunderstanding. This is the fourth book in this series, and while it seems pretty serious for a second grader, it is handled beautifully and is well resolved. Fun quick read. Although Alvin is a second grader, I would think t ...more
Cute book. Cute drawings. Well written. Gentle relationship of Alvin and his grandfather.
Nov 01, 2013 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alvin is a second grade boy who is afraid of everything. The subject of this book is death and funerals which seems depressing, but it is hilarious to see how children perceive the rituals and misunderstand them and the terms that are used to describe them. A friend describes a wake as where you sit around in a room with the dead body and party while you wait for it to wake up, if it doesn't wake up you have a party anyway.
What holds these books together is the wonderful family relationships, t
Robert Carter
An okay read. Kind of overly frenetic, but it does have a human core.
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I first began making picture books in kindergarten because my other career option at the time was stealing. But a life of crime requires practice and patience, neither of which I had, so I settled into industry, making what I coveted but what my parents could not afford to buy: beautiful books like the ones my teacher read to us in school.

Publishing was no problem in those days, not like it is no
More about Lenore Look...

Other Books in the Series

Alvin Ho (6 books)
  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (Alvin Ho, #1)
  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters (Alvin Ho, #2)
  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-made Catastrophes (Alvin Ho, #3)
  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to Babies, Burglars, and Other Bumps in the Night (Alvin Ho, #5)
  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions (Alvin Ho, #6)

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