Amy's Reviews > Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things

Alvin Ho by Lenore Look
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Nov 26, 10

bookshelves: children-s-lit
Read from November 17 to 21, 2010

I fell in love with Alvin Ho! I think the story was told with heart and humor. Some aspects were handled really well, in my opinion. First thing that I noticed was the treatment of Alvin’s overall anxiety and social problems (which I would argue falls on the autism spectrum!). It was a struggle for him in school and making friends and taking piano lessons…pretty much everything that went on in Alvin’s life, there was something that was hard or made him uncomfortable. But I loved that Alvin still tried, that he knew himself, and that readers didn’t pity him. Alvin was not a perfect kid who nobody liked. He was just a regular kid who had to learn and grow and adapt, just like all of us. But Alvin found his own way to grow and change. The story wasn’t about Alvin learning to do things just like others. Alvin tried his brother’s way of making friends (and it even worked somewhat!), but then realized he just didn’t like those kids anyway. I love that, in the end, Alvin learns what a good friend means, in his own terms and for his own unique personality.

I also loved that his family background and heritage were just a part of Alvin’s life. The terms weren’t translated, and race was not the focus; yet at the same time, readers get to see into a non-white family. I also enjoyed getting to know the Ho family through the eyes of Alvin and laughed out loud at some of ways he described different situations, such as Calvin writing his name on everything.
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