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Cover image for Alvin Ho : allergic to dead bodies, funerals, and other fatal circumstances
Alvin Ho : allergic to dead bodies, funerals, and other fatal circumstances



1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Schwartz & Wade, ©2011.
Physical Description:
197 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
bk. 4.
A fearful second grader in Concord, Massachusetts, learns about death when his grandfather's best friend passes away and he offers to accompany his grandfather to the funeral.
Reading Level:
Ages 6-10.
Added Author:


Call Number
J Look, L.

On Order



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 (gulp) volunteers to go with him to the funeral.
From Lenore Look and "New York Times" bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham comes a drop-dead-funny and touching series with a truly unforgettable character.
"Shares with Diary of a Wimpy Kid the humor that stems from trying to manipulate the world." --"Newsday"
"Alvin's a winner." --"New York Post"

Author Notes

Lenore Look is the author of the popular Alvin Ho series, as well as the Ruby Lu series. She has also written several acclaimed picture books, including Henry's First-Moon Birthday, Uncle Peter's Amazing Chinese Wedding, and Brush of the Gods. Lenore lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

LeUyen Pham is the illustrator of the Alvin Ho series, as well as The Best Birthday Party Ever by Jennifer LaRue Huget; Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, a New York Times bestseller; and the Freckleface Strawberry series by Julianne Moore. She is the author and illustrator of the picture books Big Sister, Little Sister and All the Things I Love About You. LeUyen lives in San Francisco. Learn more at leuyenpham.com.

Reviews 3

Horn Book Review

Second-grader Alvin's inability to talk at school ("school freaks me out") always gets him in trouble. This time, it prevents him from speaking up when his classmates mistakenly think GungGung, his grandfather, has died; it's actually GungGung's best friend who has passed away. Even when Alvin's gang goes to GungGung's house and witnesses him waking from a nap, the misunderstanding continues; they just think he's a zombie now. In the meantime, the principal plans a memorial service at school for GungGung, who has been a longtime library volunteer. All's well that ends well, though, and Alvin, along with readers, learns a lot about dead bodies and funerals, bucket lists and mourning loved ones. The copious illustrations capture moments both silly and sad as the author again tackles real-kid worries in a truly funny story. Alvin's phobias are so exaggerated that even readers who consider themselves timid can't help but feel almost brave in comparison. And it wouldn't be an Alvin Ho book without a scene in which our hero gets caught wearing women's clothes; this time it's his grandmother's pink jogging suit. Never a dull moment. jennifer m. brabander (c) Copyright 2011. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Nervoussecond-grader Alvin Ho digs deep to find the bravery to attend a funeral in this playful andpoignantfourth offering in the series.When Charlie, the best friend ofhisgrandfather, dies, Alvin is desperate to console his gung-gung, volunteering togo to accompany him to the last rites withoutrealizing he'll be in close proximity to a dead body. Once this occurs to him, however, he is terrifiedhis fear only compounded by his brother's concern that Charlie's death is a bad sign for their similarly aged grandfather. The formula that has worked so well in theearlier installments succeeds here again.Alvin's frenetic first-personvoiceas he puzzlesit all out is engaging and real, often laugh-out-loud funny, and his family lifeis touchingsweet and frazzled and filled with endearing details like his father's use of Shakespearean curses when he's frustrated. Historical details of the Concord, Mass., setting abound, often comically portrayed due to Alvin's tendency toward literalism.His eventual ability to contextualize and accept the death of someone he knew evolves naturally, and the madcap scenario that precedes it, exacerbated by Alvin's anxiety-related inability to talk in school, is at once hilarious and heart-rending.Afresh entry inwhat is overall anexceedingly enjoyable series; readers will cheer this latest. (Fiction. 7-10)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Everyone's favorite anxiety-ridden second-grader is back, this time battling perhaps the ultimate of scary things: death. That means omens, strange new traditions (both American and Chinese), and a dead body. When his grandfather's best friend dies, Alvin makes the horrific big promise to attend the funeral, something the poor kid doesn't have a PDK (personal disaster kit) prepared for. Look's humorous, warm, and thoughtful treatment of mortality, especially where loved ones are concerned, accompanied by Pham's joyful line drawings, will comfort sensitive readers and remind them that if Alvin can confront his fears, so can they.--Jones, Courtney Copyright 2010 Booklist