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Cover image for Alvin Ho : allergic to camping, hiking, and other natural disasters
Alvin Ho : allergic to camping, hiking, and other natural disasters


1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Schwartz & Wade Books, ©2009.
Physical Description:
170 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
When Alvin's father takes him camping to instill a love of nature, like that of their home-town hero Henry David Thoreau, Alvin makes a new friend and learns that he can be brave despite his fear of everything.
Reading Level:
Ages: 006-010.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader Grades K-4 3.7 3 Quiz 131197 English fiction.
Added Author:


Call Number
J Look, L.

On Order



Alvin Ho, the Asian-American second-grader from Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things, is back in a touching, drop-dead-funny new chapter book. This time, Alvin must face his biggest fear: The Great Outdoors. Illustrations.

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 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-This second story about Alvin Ho, the boy who is afraid of almost everything, is another delightful look into the life of the timid youngster. In this installment, his fears center around a big upcoming event: camping with his dad. Once again, Look's dialogue is spot on: she captures the silly, impetuous, jump-from-one-idea-to-the-next quality of a second-grade boy. Alvin's adventures (like getting trapped in a dishwasher box while pretending to be Houdini, and learning secret camping tricks from his uncle) are charmingly genuine and fun to read. Look's pitch-perfect descriptions and phrasing add to the overall humor and heart of the story (about his sister, Alvin says, "She's like a stoplight in the middle of my life and there's just no avoiding her.") and her sensitivity to what it means to be a not-quite-normal little boy is right on target. Whimsical illustrations pop up mid-page; Pham's expressive characters capture the essence of the story. A "Very Scary Glossary" of Alvin's fears and favorite things is included at the end. There are certain stories kids read and just feel good for having read: this is one of them.-Nicole Waskie, Chenango Forks Elementary, Binghamton, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

(Primary) Fans of Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (rev. 7/08) are treated to more of Alvin's "allergies." The not-so-intrepid second grader's fears this time involve the great (Alvin: "What's so great about it?") outdoors. When Alvin's dad takes him and little sister Anibelly on a camping trip in the woods, Alvin discovers there are things even scarier than school. Fortunately, he also learns that "a hero is someone who is willing to be scared." Look takes familiar kid traumas and troubles and ramps them up a notch, leaving them easily recognizable to young readers but a whole lot funnier. Hilarious bits include Alvin getting wrapped up Houdini-style and taped into a large box by Anibelly (who then blithely goes off with their grandfather, leaving Alvin alone and trapped) and a twenty-one-step list of "how to pitch a tent" that includes "17. Stand back and admire. 18. Go in and check it out! 19. Don't panic. 20. Find your way out of the collapsed tent." As in the first book, Pham's illustrations convey the story's humor and capture the pure joy of such things as lying in a sleeping bag under the stars, wearing a Batman ring, and coming back from a trip to "a yummy dinner of fried rice...[that] smelled like home and tasted like Chinese New Year." Readers can only hope that Alvin continues to describe in such wonderful detail his many allergic reactions. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

The second installment in this series about an effervescent but nerve-wracked second grader will please its fans and appeal to new readers as well. When his father insists on taking him camping, Alvin is quaking in his boots. Sensing his panic, Alvin's older brother, Calvin, orders hundreds of dollars of survival gadgetry on the Internet with their dad's emergency credit card ("This way no one has to spend any money," Calvin explains, "you pay with plastic"). Further support arrives in the form of their uncle's lessons on trap building, and the inevitable comedy of errors that is the actual camping trip leaves Alvin, his little sister, Anibelly, and their dad in a variety of wild binds. While Look certainly embellishes at times for comedic effect, she has created in Alvin a character that is as real as he is irascible, and the tender relationships among the members of the Ho family provide a sturdy backbone for all the silliness. Pham's simple but vibrant line drawings leap off the page. Another triumph for Alvin Ho. (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Alvin Ho's Chinese American heritage recedes into the background in this follow-up to Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (2008). Sadly, the same can't be said for his numerous anxieties, and indeed he discovers a whole new set of them when Dad suggests a camping trip. The comical opening chapters only get funnier as one thing after another goes awry. Some children may find that Alvin's worries hit a little too close to home, but by its close, the energetic first-person narrative ably relays the curious, likable boy's bravery. Pham's thickly brushed ink illustrations catch all the action and the humor.--Zvirin, Stephanie Copyright 2009 Booklist