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Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (Alvin Ho #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,224 Ratings  ·  531 Reviews
Alvin Ho is an Asian American second grader who is afraid of everything—elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He’s so afraid of school that, while he’s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home he’s a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man, a brother to Calvin and Anibelly, and a gentleman-in-training, so he can be just like his dad.

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Hardcover, Schwartz & Wade, 176 pages
Published 2008 by Random House Childrens NY
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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The Library Lady
Aug 07, 2008 The Library Lady rated it liked it
I know I'm supposed to follow the other reviewers and kvell over this book and declare Alvin to be the next Ramona, Junie B, whoever, just not in a dress.

But I can't.

From the moment he began to assemble his "Personal Disaster Kit" I stopped believing in Alvin as a living, breathing second grader. And the finale, with Alvin finally making friends with a cool girl, was about as predictable as you can get.

I found this contrived and cutesy and could almost feel the author winking at the adults read
Jul 10, 2008 babyhippoface rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-fiction, humor
Lenore Look and LeUyen Pham have teamed up to create one terrific cast of characters in this new chapter book for kids, Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things.

Alvin is afraid of lots of things: elevators, tunnels, bridges, airplanes, thunder, substitute teachers, kimchi, wasabi, the dark, heights, scary movies, scary dreams, shots, school. Especially school. And he's about to start second-grade, which means he's very nervous. At home with his loving and patient parents, sibl
Mar 27, 2011 Loretta rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-to-the-boys
Meh. Reading this book to my boys at bedtime gave me a very good idea of what Charlotte Mason meant when she described some children's books as 'twaddle'.

Sure, it's an engaging little story, and I had to laugh at Alvin and his Shakespearean curses. But in the end I was left with the feeling that this was really a book about nothing at all. Was it about friendship? Was it about childhood anxieties? Surviving school? Being a Chinese American boy? Taking responsibility? All of the above? I think th
Jul 27, 2008 Betsy rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Barb Middleton
Jan 19, 2014 Barb Middleton rated it really liked it
I work in Asia. I can offer girls, Katie Woo, Ruby Lu, Katie Kazoo, Clementine, Starring Jules, "Call me Oklahoma," Marty Mcguire, Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones... to name a few, but boys? They get about half or maybe a third of the girl offerings in Stink, Roscoe Riley, Julian, Horrible Harry, and "The Year of Billy Miller." Add Asian American, Alvin Ho, to that boy list. He's a second grader with a great imagination and great fears. When he goes to school he can't talk. When he's scared he can't ...more
Jubilation Lee
I was going to write a review shouting Alvin Ho's praises to the sky, and then I realized one had already been written and it was a hell of a lot more brilliant than I could ever pull off.

So I'm just going to direct you over there, while agreeing that yes, Alvin is the 100% the best.

I love his best friend Flea, who wears an eye patch and takes a class called "Aggression for Girls" and owns a goldfish name Boatswain. And his dad, who plays piano like a wild savage beast even though his fingers
Alvin Ho is this generation's Charlie Brown. He's afraid of almost everything and wants to be included in the activities at school, but since he is afraid to speak at school, most kids just ignore him. In spite of all this, Alvin doesn't come off as a whiny, wimpy kid. In fact, he seems quite intelligent and has sweet, realistic relationships with the people in his family. I love the way he is trying to remember his father's rules for being a gentleman. I laughed when he mentioned all the dead a ...more
Astrid Vidal
Apr 23, 2015 Astrid Vidal rated it really liked it
I like this book a lot. I liked that the boy is scared of everything but sometimes he has to face his fears to help other in need. this is a good book for anybody for needs a good smile on thier face
OK, Alvin Ho is my new favorite. There's his voice -- distinctive, neurotic, precocious, and freaking *adorable.* There's the format of the book -- with lists and diagrams and illustrations (and of course I loved LeUyen Pham's illustrations).

But I think what I loved most is that I really want to live in Alvin's world. He's part of a tight-knit community -- Concord, Massachusetts (which is hard to spell) -- he's part of a very close family, he's part of a school system where they teach kids Thore
Sep 12, 2010 Truly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ada beberapa fakta yang harus anda ketahui:
1. Alvin Ho adalah seorang anak laki-laki yang takut pada banyak hal seperti elevator, jembatan, terowongan, guntur, guru pengganti, kegelapan, mimpi buruk, setan, serta sekolah.
2. Alvin Ho tidak takut terhadap ledakan
3. Alvin Ho memiliki seekor anjing bernama Lucy, kakak laki-laki bernama Calvin serta adik perempuan bernama Anibelly
4. Alvin Ho menggemari Wonder Women, Plastic Man, serta semua superhero yang ada
5. Alvin Ho dahulu adalah Firecraker Man,
Samantha Tai
Nov 25, 2013 Samantha Tai added it
Shelves: 2013
Last week I held our monthly 9+ book discussion at the library where we discussed Lenore Look's Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things. I was not looking forward to this discussion because I thought for sure the kids were going to tell me they didn't like the book: it was too easy, it was too babyish, etc. We decided to do this book as one of our discussions before I read the book (we don't usually do this, but we read reviews which were favorable and Multnomah Library had do ...more
Jan 24, 2012 Farah rated it really liked it
Anakku kelak akan memiliki banyak hal yang ia senangi di sekolah.
Ia akan senang pelajaran musik walau yang ia bisa hanya menyanyi, bukan memainkan alat musiknya. Ia akan menyenangi pelajaran keterampilan. Melipat kertas, menggunting, menempel, mewarnai, menggambar dengan pensil.
Anakku juga akan menyenangi matematika. Mungkin juga ilmu pengetahuan alam.
Ia akan membuka buku bergambarnya yang berwarna-warni, duduk dengan bangga dihadapan ayahnya sambil membacakan kembali cerita yang telah ia baca
Dari judulnya sudah bisa ditebak masalah besar apa yang dihadapi Alvin Ho setiap hari. Anak laki-laki kelas dua SD ini sebenarnya cerdas dan menyenangkan, tapi sayang begitu tiba di sekolah, bertemu guru dan teman-teman serta anak-anak perempuan, lidahnya tiba-tiba kelu sehingga akhirnya semua orang mengenalnya sebagai Alvin yang Tak Bisa Bicara. Akibatnya, Alvin tak punya teman, tak pernah diajak bermain, tak pernah dipuji guru walaupun dia tahu semua jawaban yang benar.

Lucunya, begitu keluar s
Oct 31, 2013 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children starting to read longer chapter books
This book offers an interesting take on the typical kid-lit genre. It's the first book in the Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look and LeUyen Pham.

The main protagonist is the middle child of a Chinese family who has close relationships with his extended family. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts and refers often to the historical figures and events that took place there, especially during the Revolutionary War.

Another interesting aspect of the story is that Alvin cannot speak in school and sees a psy
May 15, 2010 Suebee rated it it was ok
I have heard this talked and talked about over and over again in school library circles, so I finally picked it up (after adding it to my own K-4 library last year). But I wasn't that impressed.

I enjoyed the uniqueness of the story - definitely quirky. Alvin Ho is afraid of many things, from elevators and tunnels to meeting new teachers and heights. But he never speaks in school. As a selective mute, he is treated to a visit with a "psychotherapist" weekly. I thought the chapter where he met wit
Jan 12, 2009 Sheri rated it really liked it
Shelves: booktalks
Alvin Ho, a Chinese American boy fond of superheroes and firecrackers, is sort of like a human Scaredy Squirrel. His list of things to be afraid of is as long (fourteen items and counting) as it is specific (kimchi. substitute teachers. wasabi.)

Like Scaredy Squirrel he has a Personal Disaster Kit. This year his kit contains a whistle (for all those times he loses his voice), garlic (for fending off vampires and teachers) and a scary mask (for keeping girls away). But every year is different and
Jul 17, 2009 Stephanie rated it liked it
I'm between 2 and 3 stars for this one. I think it was well-written, for what it is, but had a few qualms:
a) I did not find the voice believable. I felt this was distinctly an adult parodying a child,

b) I appreciated the humor of the book, but did not actually find it funny. It was like "getting" a joke but not thinking it was funny and

c) while the ending is very positive, this was another element of the book that I found unbelievable. Bullies are not usually so easily vanquished and it often
Aug 23, 2015 Alaina rated it really liked it
I read this one and the second Alvin Ho book and think that they are great for elementary kids to read, especially reluctant readers. It's sometimes difficult to find funny, high interest, low reading level books that are engaging and appeal to boys. These are comical and great to have kids read on their own.
Feb 02, 2009 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone...and yet no one?
Shelves: early-readers
Loved it! Alvin is a wholly believable character, every single situation is true to kid life and funny as hell. How great is it that none of the kids know if Jules is a boy or a girl and no one cares? How great is it that Flea is physically disabled (and a pirate) and it's totally cool? How fantastic is it that Alvin doesn't miraculously recover and live happily ever after? I can't say enough wonderful things about this wonderful book.

Side note: I'm uncertain of the audience appeal here. The nos
Apr 20, 2016 Mari rated it really liked it
Alvin Ho is an Asian American boy who is scared of many things. He's scared of tunnels, girls, school and more, but when he is at home he is like a superhero. This is a fun book to read and could be easy for some students to relate too. Everyone has a fear or something they dislike so finding activities to do with students related to this book would be interesting.
Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (2008). Written by Lenore Look and LeUyen Pham. Genre: Children's Humorous Realistic Fiction. This delightful children's book describes the story of an easily spooked and petrified second-grader named Alvin Ho. Alvin fears most things in life, especially school and girls. To escape these horrors, Alvin seeks refuge at home by transforming into a superhero named Firecracker Man. This humorous book series is ideal young readers who, like Alvin, are ...more
Emily Freeman
Apr 19, 2015 Emily Freeman rated it it was amazing
I love this book! I love it so much I ordered two more in the series as soon as I finished it. I wasn't planning on writing a review, but I was so sadly surprised by the negative comments others made that I felt I should try and balance the scales! So here's why I love this book:
I have been looking for new series to introduce my second graders to, both through read aloud a and by updating my classroom library. I still have tons of hand-me-downs from years ago when I started teaching, and many of
Edward Creter
Jul 12, 2014 Edward Creter rated it really liked it
Little Alvin Ho is a Chinese-American in Concord, Massachussets, the birthplace of the American Revolution, in which the Minutemen kicked ass with the perfidious British...and that's all Alvin knows of History, just the macho parts, nothing more. He even appreciates superheroes from Captain American to, oddly enough, Henry V (at least it's not Henry VIII, which would be tragic history in itself.) and plays Captain Firecraker Man on a daily basis. He fears everything, tho'...including females. EV ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading LeUyen Pham's absolutely wonderful book Big Sister, Little Sister, I sought out her other books and found her illustrations in the Alvin Ho series, her collaboration with the Ruby Lu series author Lenore Look. Growing up, I didn't even know that Asian American characters existed in books. Now, as an adult, I seek them out.

I laughed and smiled all through this book. Alvin Ho is a smart boy who's afraid of many things (he lists them on page 1) and can't talk in school. Perhaps many b
Phoebe Milvy-soloff
Mar 01, 2010 Phoebe Milvy-soloff rated it really liked it
It's about how Alvin doesn't like girls and school. He finds out that he likes one girls ideas and makes friends with her and having friends makes school more fun. It's a funny book as he tries to come up with ways to get sick so he can miss school. Alvin Ho Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look
Bobby Simic
Oct 16, 2008 Bobby Simic rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidsstuff, humor, school
This one's pretty adorable and Alvin is a nifty little character. Good at capturing life's smaller obstacles that feel so huge when you're young, especially socializing. I liked that it dealt with how, when we're younger, we put so much weight on the "right" and "wrong" people to hang out with.

Great illustrations too. The book as a whole reminded by of Goscinny's Nicholas books.

My only question: Will Alvin ever speak in school?
Jan 05, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it
I love this book and have read and reread it multiple times. I would be happy if my eventual child turned out like Alvin.

A definite recommendation for both boys and girls. Look incorporates Alvin's Chinese and American heritage very matter of factly. I also enjoyed the glossary explaining words and people that the average child of Alvin's age (second grade) would not know.

I would also suggest this one as a great read aloud.
May 20, 2015 Aviva rated it liked it
Alvin Ho is a book about a boy who is scared of almost everything. If you are like Alvin Ho (the boy in the book who is scared of almost everything) you should read this book if you are not scared of it. If you are not like Alvin you will laugh when you read this book. Alvin has a mom,dad,brother,and sister. Alvin sometimes has a few problems. Alvin Ho is a very funny book and I think you should read it.
Lars Guthrie
Mar 20, 2010 Lars Guthrie rated it liked it
Cute. In fact, maybe a little too cute. But I'm pretty sure it will make its mark upon the elementary school set. Alvin's inability to utter a word in school, despite all the words ricocheting around in his brain, seems vividly real, and the scenes with his father, a great adult character like the dads in Beverly Cleary's books, are great. The illustrations by LeUyen Pham are great, too.
William Li
May 11, 2015 William Li rated it it was ok
I think that this book is okay because I read this book already and I have no idea what this book is actually about but I know what this book is about and all I know in this book is that this book is about a boy named Alvin Ho and he is afraid of teachers, school, and etc. This book is also about Alvin Ho and the new toy he got from his dad and was broken during the bus ride to school for show and tell, Alvin broke it, and his dad was not happy and was so frustrated that he played the piano for ...more
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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)
  • Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters (Alvin Ho, #2)
  • Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-made Catastrophes (Alvin Ho, #3)
  • Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals, and Other Fatal Circumstances (Alvin Ho, #4)
  • Allergic to Babies, Burglars, and Other Bumps in the Night (Alvin Ho, #5)
  • Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions (Alvin Ho, #6)

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“A therapist is a very smart person who wears glasses and can help you with your problems by asking a lot of questions instead of giving you shots, which is really amazing. But a psycho, as everyone knows, is a crazy person in the movies that you never want to run into in real life. So a psychotherapist is a very smart crazy person that you should stay away from for your own good.” 8 likes
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