by Lenore Look
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
I adore second-grader Alvin Ho. He is hilarious – his sense of humor and way of explaining things reminds me of Clementine, which I also loved. Alvin struggles with some of the same things every kid does – bullying, making friends, getting into trouble, thinking girls are icky, etc., only he gets really anxious about them. He can’t talk when he’s anxious or scared, which means he never talks in school. His parents even take him to a therapist for it. I liked how Alvin’s siblings interacted – they got along, for the most part, but it felt real. Alvin’s older brother gives him some advice on how to make friends, and it worked – but then he had enough common sense to realize that he didn’t want to be friends with that particular person and had the courage to become friends with someone else, without relying on the advice. I also really like that Alvin lives in Concord, MA – around the corner from me! I love local books (even if the glossary contains an incorrect pronunciation of Thoreau’s name).