From the Publisher
Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January 1, 2012:
“Alvin proves the ideal companion to walk a child through the valley of the shadow… Alvin just keeps getting better and better.”
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2011:
"A fresh entry in what is overall an exceedingly enjoyable series; readers will cheer this latest."
Nervoussecond-grader Alvin Ho digs deep to find the bravery to attend a funeral in this playful andpoignantfourth offering in the series.
When Charlie, the best friend ofhisgrandfather, dies, Alvin is desperate to console his gung-gung, volunteering togo to accompany him to the last rites withoutrealizing he'll be in close proximity to a dead body. Once this occurs to him, however, he is terrified—his fear only compounded by his brother's concern that Charlie's death is a bad sign for their similarly aged grandfather. The formula that has worked so well in theearlier installments succeeds here again.Alvin's frenetic first-personvoiceas he puzzlesit all out is engaging and real, often laugh-out-loud funny, and his family lifeis touching—sweet and frazzled and filled with endearing details like his father's use of Shakespearean curses when he's frustrated. Historical details of the Concord, Mass., setting abound, often comically portrayed due to Alvin's tendency toward literalism.His eventual ability to contextualize and accept the death of someone he knew evolves naturally, and the madcap scenario that precedes it, exacerbated by Alvin's anxiety-related inability to talk in school, is at once hilarious and heart-rending.
Afresh entry inwhat is overall anexceedingly enjoyable series; readers will cheer this latest. (Fiction. 7-10)