Alvin Ho is allergic: to girls, school, bridges, substitute teachers, the dark … pretty much everything. And he has a quirk about it, too. It makes him clam up. He can’t say a word. He’s OK at home, on the bus, or playing outside (for the most part), but when he’s scared, there’s nothing. Nada. Not a sound. Which makes it hard to make friends. (Well, that, and the fact that he carries his Personal Disaster Kit everywhere. A boy can’t be too prepared.) Still, he tries, and through a series of mishaps and pseudo-adventures, he manages to figure some things out.
It’s probably too simple to say that I adored this book. It’s partially because it reminded me of a nephew — not so much the scared part, but the mishaps and adventures — but also because it was so dang entertaining. I wanted to wrap him up and put him in my pocket as a mom, but I could see how he’d be exciting and amusing and fun for kids to read. Especially younger, beginning readers, or those who aren’t as interested. I’d say call it Clementine or Moxy Maxwell for boys, but I think girls would get into it too. The best part, though: Alvin’s Wonderful Glossary at the end. That made the book just about perfect.
Books don’t get much better than this.