Excerpt provided by Syndetics
<anon I1="BLANK" I2="BLANK">CHAPTER ONE Believing in Henry you will know some things about me if you have read a book called Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things. But you won't know all about me, so that is why there is now this second book. In case you missed it, my name is Alvin Ho. I was born scared and I am still scared. Things that scare me include: Long words (especially "hippopotomonstro- sesquipedaliophobia," which means fear of long words). Punctuation. (Except for exclamation points! Exclamations are fantastic!!!) The dark (which means I have nyctophobia). The great outdoors. (What's so great about it?) Lots of things can happen when you're outdoors: Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Mudslides. Landslides. The end of the world. I am scared of many more things than that. But if I put all my scares on one list, it would mean years of therapy for me. And I already go to therapy once a month on account of it's supposed to help me not be so scared. But my brother Calvin says when you're born a certain way, that's the way you'll always be, so you might as well hug your inner scaredy-cat. My brother Calvin, he gives good advice. I am not so good with advice. I can never think of any, except maybe this: When in doubt, always ask, "What would Henry do?" Henry is Henry David Thoreau. He's a dead author, which is really creepy. But he is also our school hero, which is not so creepy, and he was a lot like me--he had stuff figured out, even when he was little. He was born in Concord, Massachusetts, just like me. And--gulp--he died in Concord too. Of course, I could never say, "What would Henry do?" at school, where I never say anything. This is on account of school is mortifying. And when I am mortified, which means totally scared to death, I can't scream, I can't talk, I can't even grunt. Nothing comes out of my mouth, no matter how hard I try. Having a lot in common with Henry can be very useful. For example, we learned in music class today that Henry played the flute. And whenever he played, a mouse would come to listen, and Henry would feed it with the extra pieces of cheese that he kept in his pocket. "My brother has a flute," I told the gang on the bus after school. "He rented it for lessons . . . and we have cheese in the refrigerator." "Let's go," said Pinky. So when the bus stopped at the end of my driveway, the gang followed me to my house. Usually, it is a tricky business getting them to play with me unless it is Pinky's idea. Pinky is the biggest boy and the leader of the gang, and no one plays with me unless Pinky does. Except for Flea. Flea plays with me no matter what. But the problem with Flea is that she's a girl. And girls are annoying. Fortunately, my mom was at work and my gunggung, who comes to watch us after school, was fast asleep on the sofa. So I left the gang in the kitchen and tiptoed past the sofa . . . to fetch Calvin's flute from the top of the piano where he had put it for safekeeping. No problem. The only problem was Anibelly. She's four, she's my sister, and she was wide awake, following me everywhere and getting in my way as usual. "That's Calvin's," said Anibelly. I stopped. I pretended I didn't see Anibelly. But it is hard not to see her. She's like a stoplight in the middle of my life and there's just no avoiding her. I can't go anywhere without going past her or taking her with me if I'm in a hurry. "But Calvin's practicing his karate moves at Stevie's house," I said. "And I need his flute for a little experiment." "What spearmint?" a Excerpted from Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.</anon>
Reviews provided by Syndetics
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.