Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books, Random House
Alvin Ho is a second grader who is easily spooked. He is so frightened at school that he never speaks. But when he is at home or in a comfortable space, he is like any other kid. Big brother to Annibelly and little brother to Calvin, he has a big and loving family to help him when he gets stuck in trees. Like many other kids his age, he is desperately trying to figure out how to make friends. When he finally makes friends by trading some awesome rookie baseball cards, he realizes that he doesn’t really want to be friends with those people anyway. Instead, he turns to the friends that he has had all along.
Some middle grade books still speak to me as an “adult”. Unfortunately, this was not one of them. That is not to say that this was not an enjoyable beginning to a series. I have been traveling a lot for work and so sitting and reading hasn’t been as easy. I never got fully engaged and found it hard to come back to it. And sometimes books that I know would be great for a middle grader, just don’t click with me. I guess I am just a crotchety old lady (of 33) despite all my efforts. And sometimes it helps to actually be the target audience.
All that said, I am glad I am acquainted with this series so I can recommend to others. It has a diverse and funny cast of characters and discusses issues in a nonthreatening way.