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I am reading a series of books about Alvin Ho by Lenore Look. These are kids' chapter books for young grade school kids and they are GREAT. Delightfully illustrated by Leuyen Pham, they are funny, charming books about Alvin, his family, friends and adventures. There are 4 books so far, called things like "Alivn Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and other Scary Things."

I picked them up from the library because I saw them on a list of books about disability. Alvin is "scared of everything" and he can't talk in school (he has selective mutism). The books take this problem seriously without heaping pity on him, indeed they find the humor in the situation. They are from Alvin's perspective, and he talks about his everyday challenges trying to make friends at school, getting into trouble with his siblings, etc. He has a PDK (personal disaster kit) made from an old tackle box and filled with band-aid, a compass, and hand-written instructions for surviving difficult situations. He has a good family including his dog and grandparents. (See the glossary in the back for definitions of gunggung, etc.) Alvin is American-born Chinese and his culture is also part of the story.

I have been recommending these books to everyone! They are super great! So far these are the first books I've read with a character who has selective mutism and they exceed my expectations.

x-posted to my own journal
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