by Lenore Look

Reviewer Rating:


I really don’t like audiobooks. I find them frustrating and slow, but I decided to give a few children’s ones a try. After popping in three different books and becoming increasingly annoyed at the readers, I stumbled upon Alvin Ho read by Everette Plen. Everette Plen is a child actor known for his appearances on Disney Channel shows. When I began this audiobook, it was like a little kid had come up to me and was telling me this story about his life. I became engrossed in the way he read it, with the same inflections and laughter that a boy that age would have in telling his life story. 

Alvin Ho is an Asian-American second grader and lives with his little sister- Anibelly, his older brother Calvin and his parents.  He loves all things superhero, especially when he is his alter ego at home- Firecracker Man! While he is loud and playful at home, he finds that he cannot say a single word in school or in any situation on his growing list of things he is afraid of- like elevators, tunnels, bridges, airplanes, thunder, substitute teachers, kimchi and wasabi, not to mention scary movies, the dark, heights and school!  When he finally works up the nerve to say something in therapy, it ends up being a string of Shakespearean era curses that he learned from his father.

Alvin Ho is a wonderful story of a kid who’s afraid of everything but isn’t afraid to tell his story. It’s full of great parental role models, humor and superheroes. A great read (or listen!) for kids and adults alike.


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