Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters (Alvin Ho Series #2)

Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters (Alvin Ho Series #2)


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375857508
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 05/11/2010
Series: Alvin Ho Series , #2
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 60,738
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 570L (what's this?)
Age Range: 6 - 10 Years

About the Author

Lenore Look is the author of the popular Alvin Ho series, as well as the Ruby Lu series. She has also written several acclaimed picture books, including Henry’s First-Moon Birthday, Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding, and Brush of the Gods. Lenore lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

LeUyen Pham is the illustrator of the Alvin Ho series, as well as The Best Birthday Party Ever by Jennifer LaRue Huget; Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, a New York Times bestseller; and the Freckleface Strawberry series by Julianne Moore. She is the author and illustrator of the picture books Big Sister, Little Sister and All the Things I Love About You. LeUyen lives in San Francisco. Learn more at

Read an Excerpt

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:





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?” asked Anibelly.

“Well, you live in Concord, Massachusetts, don’t you?” I asked.

Anibelly nodded.

“You believe in Henry David Thoreau, don’t you?”

Anibelly nodded again.

“Well, then, if you keep quiet,” I said, “I’ll let you watch.”

So Anibelly kept quiet.

First I put Calvin’s flute together.

Then I went back into the kitchen where the gang was waiting and looked for some cheese.

Actually there was quite a lot of cheese, all chopped up and zipped inside a plastic bag. It was very yummy. And we were hungrier than a pack of starving mice. By the time we finished snacking, there were only a few crumbs left to put in my pocket. But I was sure that our teacher, Miss P, had said that Henry had pieces of cheese, not crumbs.

“I’d heard pieces too, not crumbs,” said Sam, who usually always pays better attention in class than I do. “A mouse isn’t going to come for crumbs.”

So we cobbled all our crumbs together to make a piece of cheese, which I put in my pocket. Then I picked up Calvin’s flute, put it to my lips and blew.

“Pshhhhhffffffffrrrrrrrrrrr.” It sounded like a sick worm blowing its nose. So I blew again, harder. “Pshhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!”

“Lemme try,” said Pinky, snatching the flute and the piece of cobbled cheese from my pocket. “Pssssssssuuurrrgggggh!” He sounded worse than I did!

Then Nhia took a turn. Then Sam. Then Jules and Eli and Hobson. By the time Calvin’s flute was finally passed to Flea, it was drooling worse than our dog, Lucy, on a hot day, and the cobbled cheese that ended up in her pocket was hardly recognizable as cheese, except for the smell.

Customer Reviews

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Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best of the serious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Halulula they made this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!It makes a good read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! + septillion
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love alivin ho
staceybr on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This is a funny, cute book that second graders seem to enjoy. They get the jokes and laugh. Alvin Ho is afraid of everything and now his Dad wants to take him camping. His sister ends up tagging along and they have fun together.
VandyGirl on LibraryThing 11 months ago
¿Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters¿ is the second book featuring Alvin, who is the ultimate scaredy-cat. He has a phobia for everything, especially everything outdoors. So when his dad plans to take him camping, Alvin is sure he¿ll never make it back home. Instead he discovers some new skills and meets a new friend.Alvin is a refreshing change from all of the troublemaking girls prominent in transitional chapter books. And although Alvin may be scared of most things, he is very smart and explains what each of his phobias means. The books also give a fun insight into a Chinese-American home. Grades 2 ¿ 4.
matbee on LibraryThing 11 months ago
A funny book about a boy named Alvin Ho who is afraid of pretty much everything!!! =]
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Alvin Ho is back and this time he's facing something even scarier than school: camping. Do you know what could happen to you when you're camping? You could be attacked by bears! You could get lost in the woods! There could be a tornado or an earthquake or a flood! So Alvin had better be prepared...This is a sweet, funny story that's very well-written. Alvin Ho is a likeably imperfect character and the supporting characters in the story (namely Alvin's sister and dad in this book) are add to the story. The illustrations also add to the warm humor of the story. Highly recommended.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing 11 months ago
This was not one of my favorite books. I like books with a little more meat to them. This was a cute little story about a boy afraid of everything. His father decides to take him camping and his little sister tags along. There are problems galore to be solved in this book. I like things a little more realistic. Are there children out there afraid of things? Yes. I know of very few who are afraid of life the way that Alvin is. One of my middle schoolers picked this book up and read the first two chapters. He handed it back and said, ¿I know you said we have to read at least 3 chapters but Miss, I can¿t, it hurts to read this. It seems so dumb. My brother might like it, he¿s in fourth grade.¿ Maybe that is where the problem is. It seemed too childish. I hope there is someone out there that likes this type of material. There were some funny parts to it but for the most part it is not a book I would recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No he is chiniese or japinese
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is funny!!!!!
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Waseem Abbas More than 1 year ago
it is a good book and for everyone
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PooreFarm More than 1 year ago
Children's favorite grown-ups are often the ones who haven't forgotten what it's like to be a kid. Some of the best children's authors are those who can read their young subjects' thoughts. Beverly Cleary comes to mind with her kindergartner Ramona Quimby. So does Jeff Kinney with his "wimpy" middle-schooler Greg Heffley. And now Lenore Look brings us Alvin Ho, whom she introduced in the first book as "Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things" and who is now "Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters." Alvin Ho is directed at 6- to 10-year-olds. While my 14- and 11-year-old sons are far past the easy-reading stage, they each spent part of a camping afternoon chuckling at hapless Alvin, who in an early chapter dreams he meets a young Henry David Thoreau, who convinces Alvin to try to hatch a nest of bird eggs. (And any second-grader can tell you what happens when you sit on eggs.) I needed somebody to keep me alert while driving home from the camping trip, so I asked my 14-year-old to read aloud. I found myself laughing even harder than the boys did at Alvin's predicaments. Alvin's father suggests - horrors! - that they take a camping trip. Suddenly Alvin, already a bundle of childhood nerves, has a whole new list of things to worry about: pit toilets, freak blizzards, flash floods, meteorites. In short: acts of God. "Millions die at once in an act of God!" Alvin tells his dad. "It's the worst way to go. We could be in line forever!" "In line?" asks his dad. "To get into heaven," Alvin says. "You're not going to heaven," says Alvin's dad. "You're only going camping." Alvin's Uncle Dennis gives him some reassurances. One: Used as earplugs, marshmallows help you get a good night's sleep. Two: If you run out of food, you can always eat maggots. Three: Wear a Batman ring. Will Alvin survive his camping trip? Will the Batman ring protect the campers from thunderstorms? Will the children be able to free their dad from the snare Alvin sets in the woods? Author Look's ability to empathize with Alvin, stuck between a 9-year-old brother who's not afraid of anything and a 4-year-old sister who gets her way by charming the dickens out of their Chinese grandfather, will tickle the funnybone in almost any child. It's also a delightful read for former kids who remember their own childhood anxieties.