Monday, February 27, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Alvin Ho

To find out more about Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, click here.
Title: Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things 
Author: Lenore Look (link)
Illustrator: LeUyen Pham
Genre: Contemporary
Pub Date: July 2008

Alvin Ho is a 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.

First Line: The first thing you should know about me is that my name is Alvin Ho.

There probably isn't a middle grade character more neurotic than little Alvin Ho. Though he has trouble talking to anyone outside his immediate family, his storytelling voice is fantastic.

Picture Pages: Pham's illustrations are scattered throughout the book like little doodles in the margins of a diary. They appear on almost every page, and occasionally as full page drawings. These breaks in text really add to the story, and will especially be welcomed by reluctant readers.

Why You'll Love Alvin: Alvin is a hilarious narrator, the kind that gives you an unfiltered view of his world no matter how embarrassing it might get. Through Alvin's oversharing, we get to know his fears. And there are a lot of them. It's hard not to adore his forthright acceptance of these peccadilloes, and how he manages them in front of his peers at school.

You can always find more MMGM love here: 

  • Shannon Whitney Messenger's blog
  • Jennifer Rumberger's blog
  • Joanne Fritz's blog
  • Danika Dinsmore's blog
  • Shannon O'Donnell's blog 
  • Natalie Aguirre's blog
  • Brooke Favero's blog
  • Barbara Watson's blog
  • Anita Laydon Miller's blog
  • Michael G-G's blog
  • Pam Torres's blog
  • Akoss-Nye Louwon's blog
  • Gabrielle Prendergast's blog
  • Kelly Polark's blog 
  • Isaiah J Campbell's blog


  1. I'm curious to read and discover Alvin's voice.
    Thanks for this great feature. :)

  2. I haven't read any of Alvin, but I have a friend whose son does NOT like reading and LOVES Alvin Ho!

  3. I've heard good things about Alvin Ho. It's one of the many books on my to-read list. The illustrator presented at a writers conference I attended last year.

  4. Thanks so much for giving Alvin a plug! I'm just now putting the finishing touches on Alvin5!!! Hard to believe I've become a serial writer!

  5. This book sounds like tons of fun! Thanks so much for the review, Gina! :-)

  6. I'm such a fan of funny boy narrators. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the recommend!

  7. I was sad that this was really too young for my middle schoolers. My son would have loved it when he was in early elementary school, and it's certainly one of the better quality series out there.

  8. That books sounds like an absolute blast! Thanks for highlighting it! :)

  9. Thanks for letting us know about this one. Glad to meet a fellow Campaigner.

  10. Hi, new follower here. :) I've heard of "Alvin Ho" before and thought it sounded like such an adorable book. Haven't read it yet, but I plan to. Thanks for the review!