About the Book: 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.
My Two Cents:Alvin Ho is hilarious and a great chapter book choice for reluctant readers. This book is absolutely unique in almost every aspect–especially the characters and the voice–yet it’s totally relatable too. Kids will absolutely identify with and root for Alvin, partly because he makes them laugh so much.
Grade Level: 1-4
- Visit Lenore Look’s blog.
- Alvin lives in a very historic part of the country! Learn more about some of the things and people he mentions, like the Revolutionary War, Henry David Thoreau, and Louisa May Alcott.
- Calvin tells Alvin that “stewardesses” is the longest word you can type with just the left hand. Is he right? What’s the longest word you can type with just the right hand? Click here for some other opinions.
- Flea says Alvin has expressive eyes and draws them lots of different ways. Learn how to draw eyes (and cheeks, and faces in general) to show lots of emotions here.
- Alvin’s family is Chinese American, and he talks about cool Chinese things like Feng Shui and Chinese New Year. Learn a little more about Chinese culture here.
- Alvin gets in a little trouble for using Shakespearean curses. Make up some of your own, or generate some at this handy site. But don’t use them on anybody! 🙂
More to Read:
- Another book about a kid who finds the courage to speak up: A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean
- Another school story about a boy who means well but gets himself into a little trouble: Roscoe Riley Rules (series) by Katherine Applegate
- Another funny, feel-good series with great school and family themes:Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker
- Another shy kid who’s nervous about starting school and in need of a friend: Hound Dog True by Linda Urban