Alvin ho 1 allergic to girls school and other scary things

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Short Stories“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”—Henry David Thoreau, journal entry, 19 August 1851Those who have stood with me:Madison Chen, whose reading is always invaluable.Ann Kelley, who waited patiently for this book while I procrastinated.Vivian Low Fisher, who shared Sam with me. CONTENTS TitlePage Dedication Author’sAcknowledgments ChapterOne OnceUponaTime ChapterTwo Getting—Gulp—ReadyforSchool ChapterThree RoastDuckintheWindow ChapterFour AllergictoSchool ChapterFive TheTroublewiththeS-Word ChapterSix Minutemenvs Redcoats ChapterSeven TheBestWaytoAvoidSchool ChapterEight JohnnyAstro ChapterNine ARealNightmare ChapterTen FacingtheMusic ChapterEleven TheWholeTooth ChapterTwelve Psychotherapy ChapterThirteen RuleNo ChapterFourteen TheApesofMath ChapterFifteen TheProblemWithJoiningaGang ChapterSixteen AHorrificThing ChapterSeventeen DeathbyVolcano AlvinHo’sWoefulGlossary Copyright ThisbookbelongstoSamFisher,whoinspiredit —L.L ToallthelittleYearofthePigsbornlastyear,includingtwoofmy favorites:mynephew,Dylan,and,ofcourse,myownlittleLeo —L.P AUTHOR’SACKNOWLEDGMENTS “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”— HenryDavidThoreau,journalentry,19August1851 Thosewhohavestoodwithme: MadisonChen,whosereadingisalwaysinvaluable AnnKelley,whowaitedpatientlyforthisbookwhileIprocrastinated VivianLowFisher,whosharedSamwithme Manythanksalsoto: GuillermoFranciscoNahoe,whothrewtheoriginal,errant,eponymousbaseball JenniferMartin,Sam’steacher,forlettingmecometoclass Dr ElizaShipon-Blum,forherinsightintoselectivemutism The Concord Public Schools, for teaching Henry David Thoreau in the second grade JohnnyLook,forhavingareallystrangegoldfish thefirstthingyoushouldknowaboutmeisthatmynameisAlvinHo Iamafraidofmanythings Elevators Tunnels Bridges Airplanes Thunder Substituteteachers Kimchi Wasabi Thedark Heights Scarymovies Scarydreams Shots School Iftherewerenoschool,mytroubleswouldblastaway,justlikethat Iwould digholesallday Iwouldplaycatchwithmygunggung Iwouldwatchcooking shows Iwouldkeepaneyeonthings Itwouldbefantastic! ThesecondthingyoushouldknowaboutmeisthateventhoughIamafraid of many things, I am not afraid of anything that explodes I love explosions I waspracticallybornwithgunpowderinmyblood!ThisisonaccountofIlivein Concord,Massachusetts,whichishardtospell,butwheretherewereexplosions all overtheplace,whenthe American RevolutionaryWarstartedwaybeforeI wasborn ThethirdthingyoushouldknowaboutmeisthatIhaveadognamedLucy andabrothernamedCalvinandasisternamedAnibelly,whomesseswithmy sticksandtoys,eatsmyfood,drinksmychocolatemilkandgetsinmyway I am not as big as Calvin, but I am bigger than Anibelly, who isn’t a baby anymore but doesn’t go to school yet I am sort of nearly almost medium whenIstandontiptoeandstretchatthesametime,Iamfinallyalmostvisiblein myclasspicture! ThefourththingyoushouldknowaboutmeisthatIlovePlasticMan,Wonder Woman,theGreenLantern,ConcreteMan,Aquaman,KingHenryVandallthe superheroes in the world I know them from reading with my dad every night whilemymomrunsonthetreadmilllikeahamsteronawheel Mydadisagreat readerforhisage,whichcouldbefiftyoronehundred,it’shardtotell Hewears reading glasses and always puts one arm around me and his other arm around AnibellyandCalvinforsupport,onaccountofwhenyougettobethatold,itis hardtodoanythingbyyourself Thefifththingyoushouldknowaboutmeisthatonceuponatime,beforeI went to school, I was a superhero I was Firecracker Man! I ran around our house, full speed ahead, screaming at the top of my lungs while beating on a garbage can lid I was as noisy as a firecracker on Chinese New Year! My costumewasgreat(mygunggungmadeit) ButnowIamFirecrackerManonlyonweekendsandholidays There’sjust notimeforit Being a superhero is hard work You have to save the world But going to school is evenharder Youhaveto saveyourself MostdaysIcanhardlyeven makeittotheschoolbus AndwhenIarriveatschool,Ican’tthink Ican’tread Ican’tsmile Ican’tsing Ican’tscream Ican’teventalk ThesixththingyoushouldknowaboutmeisthatIhaveneverspokenaword inschool EvenwhenItrywithallmymight,Ialwaysmanagetosaynothingat all My voice works at home It works in the car It even works on the school bus ButassoonasIgettoschool Iamassilentasasideofbeef “You’re like a piece of frozen sausage fallen off the truck,” my brother, Calvin,likestosay Itistrue Iamsomethinglikethat NoonereallyknowswhyIlosemyvoiceatschool,sinceIcomefromalong lineoffarmer-warriorswhohaven’thadascaredyboneintheirbodiessince714 AD In China my ancient grandpas and grandmas and aunts and uncles fought offleopardsandtigersintheirgardensthewayCalvinandAnibellyandIfight offmosquitoesatWaldenPond Theyweren’tafraidofanything Iamafraidof everything Ididn’tknowwhattosay Andneitherdidtherestofthegang Whatdoyou saywhensomeone’sjustembarrassedhimselftodeath? TheHorrificThingmovedcloser “Lalala-lalalalalala,”itsang Pinkyturnedandran “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!”hescreamed “Hi,Alvin!”saidtheHorrificThing ItwasAnibelly’svoice butitwasnot Anibelly “Lalalalalalalalala,”itsangagain HadtheHorrificThingswallowedAnibelly? “Do you like my Halloween costume, Alvin?” said Anibelly’s voice “GungGungjustfinishedit!” The Horrific Thing twirled menacingly one way and then menacingly the otherway Itwasuglierthananyofthealienbabiesandscarierthanthewhole moviefrombeginningtoend “Wh-wh-whatareyou?”Iasked “Half witch and half dragon,” said Anibelly’s voice “I couldn’t decide, so GungGungsaidIcouldbeboth!” “Oh,”Isaid Then—surprise, surprise—I remembered to say something nice to Anibelly “Youlookterrific!”Isaid,eventhoughshewasuglyenoughtomakeyourun “You’dbettercomeinnow,”calledmygung-gungfromthehouse Hewasa darkshapeagainstthebrightlightinthedoorway AnibellyandIrantowardthe light “Luckyyourmotherwasn’thome,”mygung-gungsaidasIsteppedpasthim “Youcantellherwhathappenedinthemorning.” I nodded Then I looked over my shoulder The rest of the gang had disappeared Ouryardwasquiet Thehousenextdoorwascompletelydarkand quiettoo Luckytheneighborsweren’thomeeither afterbreakfastthenextmorning,andafterIhadforgottentotellmy momaboutwhathadhappenedwiththegang,IdashedovertoPinky’shouseas quicklyasIcould Pinkywasstillinhispajamaswatchingcartoons Iwasinmy Firecracker Man outfit from head to toe It was Saturday The world needed savingandtherewasnotimetowaste Butfirst Itappedonhislivingroom window “Iwantarefund,”IsaidwhenPinkycametothedoor “Whatrefund?”askedPinky “TheHankAaronRookieandtheCarlYastrzemskiRookie,”Isaid “Iwant themback.” “ButIthoughtwewerefriends,”saidPinky I had thought about it all night, in between reruns of alien babies crawling aroundinsidemyhead AndthisiswhatIthought:playingwithPinkywasnota goodtradeforthecards “Idon’tlikedoingthethingsyoudo,”Isaid “Whynot?”askedPinky “I’mjustnottalentedinthatway,”Isaid Pinky shrugged “Yeah, you’re right,” he said Then he went back into his house Whenhecametothedooragain,hehandedoverthecards The Rookies were okay There is a good reason why baseball cards are in plasticpockets Itkeepsthemdry,incaseofaccidents Ibreathedasighofrelief “Yousureyouwanttodothis?”Pinkyasked Inodded Iwasverysure “IfIdon’tplaywithyou,whowill?” Ishrugged Ididn’treallyknow ButIknewIdidn’twanttoplaywithhim Flea’shousewasonthewayhome Itisnotonthewaytoeverywhere,like Jules’shouse,butitisonthewaytosomethings,someofthetime AndFleawasinheryard,swingingherarmswildlyandkickingherpegleg and her regular leg equally wildly “Ha!” she screamed, chopping her arms throughtheair “Ha-ha!”Shechoppedtheotherway “Hi,”Isaid “Ha!”saidFlea,kickingtheairbehindher “Whatchadoing?” “AggressionforGirls,”saidFlea “Wanttotry?It’sfun!” Ishrugged “Okay.”Isqueezedthroughalooseboardinthefence Fleaslicedherarmlikeaswordthroughtheair Sheaddedakicktotheside Itwasfabulous!Islicedandkickedtoo “Ha!”shescreamedagain “Ha-ha!”“Ha!” Icopied “Ha-ha!” Wechoppedandkickeduntilwewereoutofchopsandkicks Afterthatwe wentinsideandwatchedanactionmoviewithBoatswain Heswamaroundlike crazyduringcommercials,buthestayedfixedinonespotinhisbowlduringthe actionscenes,unblinking,watchingthemovie ItwasthemostamazingthingI hadeverseen “I’ll trade you a Carl Yastrzemski Rookie and a Joe DiMaggio Rookie for yourfish,”Isaid,holdingoutthecards “Noway!”saidFlea “Howabouttherookiesand a piece of gum!” I said I reached into my backpocket,butthegumwasnotthere ThenIrememberedthatIhadtradedit toPinkylongago “This fish is not for sale,” said Flea “He’s family Isn’t that right, Boatswain?” Boatswain nodded, I swear it “Why, how now, putz ,” I began in a Shakespeareancurse ThenIstoppedmyself Iclearedmythroat “Ihavesomethingtosay,”Isaid “Okay,”saidFlea Ilookedaround Ididn’treallywanttosayit Itwassomethinghardtosay It wasmuchharderthancursingorinsulting “CanItryonyoureyepatch?”Iasked “Okay,”saidFlea ShepulleditoffandIpullediton Iblinked Itwasfantastic! Flea’s good eye blinked too Her other eye looked as soft as a baby’s and stayedshut “You’reblindinthateye?”Iasked “Yup,”saidFlea “Howcome?”Iasked “Icomefromalonglineofpirates,”saidFlea ItwasjustasI’dthought “Isthathowyougotapeglegtoo?”Iasked “Yup,”saidFlea Inodded,speechless ThenIgaveFleahereyepatchback “Wasthatwhatyouwantedtosay?”askedFlea Ishookmyhead Itwasn’tatallwhatIhadwantedtosay ButnowIhadrun outofotherthingstosay SoIhadtosayit “I’msorrythatIdidn’tstickupforyouyesterday-inmathclassandonthebus,”Isaid Fleablinked Thensheblinkedagain Iheldmybreath “Okay,”shefinallysaid “Iforgiveyou.” Whatarelief So then I asked the question I’d been dying to ask, “What’s that in your backyard?” “C’mon,”shesaid “I’llshowyou.”Wehurriedoutside And there, in Flea’s backyard, in broad daylight—gulp—was a real live VOLCANO!ItwasHUGE Itwasmadeofmudanddirtandsomethingcalled chickenwire,buttherewerenochickens,onlywire Fleapouredabucketofvinegarandsomebakingsodaintothetopandlava bubbledout ItwasaMESS!AnditwasAMAZING! Afterthebubblingstopped,itgotkindofquietinthebackyard Flealookedatme AndIlookedatFlea “WhatareyougoingtobeforHalloween?”Ifinallyasked “Aprincess,”saidFlea “I’malwaysaprincess.” “Oh,”Isaid Ididn’tlikeprincesses Theyarestu Imeansilly Princesses make me sick And just as I was about to say how much I hate princesses, I heardsomethingelsecomeoutofmymouth “You’dmakeagoodprincess.” Growunsightlywarts!HowdidIsaythat? “Thankyou,”saidFlea “Whatareyougoingtobe?” “Agentleman,”Isaid “Oh,”saidFlea Itgrewkindofquietagain Thensherememberedhermanners “You’dmakeagoodone,”shesaid “Thanks,”Isaid Thenwepouredmorevinegarandbakingsodaintothevolcano Lavabubbled outlikecrazy “Deathbyvolcano!”Iscreamed,leapingandjumpingoverthefoamylava “Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!”roaredFlea,leapingandjumpinglikecrazy too There were plastic Minutemen and Redcoats and trucks and motorcycles andpacksofferocioustuojiango-saurusandaflockofvelociraptorsthatwehad tosave Sowedid Ittookallafternoon,butwesavedthemall After we finished, Flea brought out her book, The Book on Alvin She drew Firecracker Man saving the world from death and destruction on the side of a volcano Itwasreallysuper-duper! “Doyouthinkwecandothisagainsometime?”Iasked “Sure,”saidFlea “Anytime.” Anytime Itsoundedlikesomethingfriendssaytoeachother AndIblastedofftowardhome “Alvin,”saidmymotherwhenFirecrackerManblastedintothekitchen Uh-oh Thelookonherfacewasnotsogreat “Didyouputabaseballthroughtheneighbor’swindow?” “Whatbaseball?”Iaskedinnocently “NotI.” “Itwasinhersink,”saidmydad “Andithadyournameonit,son.” Iloveitwhenhecallsmethat,usually AlvinHo’sWoefulGlossary AlvinHo—(1)AkaFirecrackerMan,(2)agentleman-in-training American Revolutionary War—Started in Concord, Massachusetts, which is hard to spell Revolutionaries fired cannons and all sorts of gunshots at the Britishtogetridofthem Ittookalongtime,from1775to1783,withlotsof help from France, Spain and the Netherlands But in the end, the British went homeandtheAmericancoloniesbecameanewcountry Anibelly—(1)Messeswithmythings,(2)eatsmyfood,(3)drinksmychocolate milk,(4)generallygetsinmyway Beethoven—(1)AkaLudwigvanBeethoven,(2)famousGermancomposer,(3) wroteninesymphonies,oneviolinconcertoandlotsofhardstuffforthepiano, (4)scary-looking Boatswain—Pronounced “BO-sun.” (1) An officer on a ship in charge of the maintenanceofthevessel,(2)thenameofFlea’sfish Brahms—(1)AkaJohannesBrahms,(2)anotherfamousGermancomposer,(3) bornsixyearsafterBeethoven’sdeath,(4)lovedBeethoven’smusic,(5)kepta marblebustofBeethoventhatlookeddownonhimwhilehecomposed bratwurst—Germansausage Calvin—(1)Knowseverything,(2)ownseverything,(3)isquiteagreeablelate atnight CarlYastrzemski—Pronounced “Ya-STREM-ski.” Nicknamed Yaz or Captain Carl Played his amazing entire twenty-three-year career with the Boston Red Sox Hewasaleftfielder,afirstbasemanandastarhitter HeistheRedSoxalltime leader in career RBIs, runs, hits, singles, doubles, total bases and games playedandissecondforhomeruns,behindTedWilliams Hisdadwasapotato farmer chickenpox—It’sjustitchypox Achickendoesn’tcomewithit Chineseradish—Avegetablethatlookslikeabigwhitecarrot Concord, Massachusetts—(1) Birthplace of the American Revolution, (2) eighteen miles northwest of Boston, (3) home of famous dead authors (see below),(4)myhome,(5)hardtospell Daisuke Matsuzaka—Born in Japan in 1980 and nicknamed the Monster in Japan and Dice-K in the United States K means strikeout! During his first season with the Boston Red Sox in 2007, Dice-K broke the Red Sox rookie recordforthemoststrikeoutsinaseason,with156 Hefinishedtheseasonwith 201strikeoutsandbecamethefirstJapanesepitcherinhistorytostartandwina WorldSeriesgame edamame—Pronounced“ed-a-MA-may.” A vegetablethatlooks likepeasin a pod feng shui—Pronounced “fung SHWAY.” A Chinese way of placing stuff, like housesandfurnitureandtreesandrocks,sothateverythinglooksfantastic! Flea—(1)Agirl,(2)shortforSophie,(3)hergrandpa,whocouldn’thearvery well,thoughtherparentshadsaidthathernamewasFleawhenshewasborn flybox—(1) Also called a tackle box, in which different flies, plugs, spinners, jigs,spoons,poppers,lures,hooks,lines,bobbersandsinkersarestoredforuse infishing,(2)handyforholdingaPDK FridaKahlo—Mexico’smostfamouswomanartist Whenshewassixshehada diseasecalledpolio Herrightlegbecameverythinandthekidsatschoolcalled herFridapatoapalo,orFrida“pegleg.” gung fu—Aka kung fu or gong fu Chinese exercises that look cool in the movies, but that break things around the house when you go crazy practicing themafterwatchingagungfumovie GungGung—(1)Acepitchingmachine,(2)acecostumemaker,(3)mymom’s dad Hank Aaron—(1) Aka Hammer, Hammerin’ Hank or Bad Henry, (2) set the Major Baseball League’s home run record of 755 in 1976, (3) a 1952 Topps HankAaronRookiecardsoldfor$100,000in2000 Henry David Thoreau—Pronounced “THOR-ow.” Famous dead author who lovednature Builtasmallcabininthewoodsandlivedinitfortwoyearsbefore hegottiredofitandmovedhome JohnnyAstro—Atoythatreallyflies Inventedinthe1960sbytoygeniusSol Friedman Hardtofind Impossibletorepair Ifyoubreakit,youmightaswell planyourfuneral kickboxing—Not real boxing Involves punching the air while bouncing back andforthinaboxingdance UsuallydoneinaclassattheY kimchi—Pickledcabbagethatexplodesinyourthroatandmakesyoucry LouisaMayAlcott—FamousdeadauthorwhowroteLittleWomen Wroteata small desk her father made for her Lived in the brown house on Lexington Road Stilldoes Minutemen—AsmallhandpickedeliteforceoftheMassachusettsmilitia,who were “ready in a minute.” They were the first to arrive at a battle during the AmericanRevolutionaryWar NathanielHawthorne—FamousdeadauthorwhowroteTheScarletLetterand TheHouseoftheSevenGablesandmanyshortstories Lovedtakingwalkswith hiswife,Sophia LivednextdoortoLouisaMayAlcott Stilldoes Patriots’ Day—A holiday commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War, fought on April 19,1775 PaulGauguin—Pronounced“goh-GAN.”FrenchpainterwholivedinPeruwith his mom for four years from the time he was about Anibelly’s age to the time thathewasmyage ThenhemovedbacktoFrance Whenhewasolder,helived in Tahiti and painted the people there, using bright colors A friend of Vincent vanGogh PohPoh—(1)Mygrandmotheronmymother’sside,(2)goodatrubbingstuffon chickenpox,mosquitobites,beestingsandscrapedknees,(3)keepsaneyeon GungGung psychotherapy—Ascarywaytohelpyounotbesoscared Ralph Waldo Emerson—Famous dead author who wrote many essays Took long walks with his friend Henry David Thoreau President Abraham Lincoln came to dinner at his home once Lived in the big white house on Concord Turnpike Stilldoes Redcoats—Soldiers of the British Army during the American Revolutionary War Redwasthecoloroftheiruniform TenzingNorgay—ThefirsttoclimbtothetopofMountEverestwithEdmund HillaryinMay1953 tourniquet—A tight band tied around a limb to stop severe bleeding Used to findaveinforblooddonation Alsousedintheeventofamputation VincentvanGogh—Dutchartistwhoflunkedoutofmanydifferentjobsbefore he discovered that he was a painter at age twenty-seven He liked painting peasantsandpoorpeople WhenVincentpaintedatnight,hestuckcandlesinhis hatsothathecouldseebetter WaldenPond—(1)Lookslikeabiglaketome,(2)justrightforswimming,(3) intheolddays,theyusedtoharvesticehereinwinterandpackitinhayandput it on a train that took it as far as Chicago, (4) Henry David Thoreau built his cabinhere wasabi—Pronounced“wa-SAH-be.”Agreenpastemadefromhorseradishthat youeatwithsushi Explodesinsideyournoseandmakesyoucry WilliamShakespeare—DeadEnglishauthor BornafterChristopherColumbus discoveredtheAmericas,butdiedbeforetheBritishArmyworered Wrotelots ofplays,poems,curses,everything Whenheranoutofwords,hemadeupnew ones NeverlivedinConcord yehyeh—Chinesewordforgrandpoponyourfather’sside PublishedbySchwartz&WadeBooks animprintofRandomHouseChildren’sBooks adivisionofRandomHouse,Inc NewYork Thisisaworkoffiction Names,characters,places,andincidentseitheraretheproductoftheauthor’s imaginationorareusedfictitiously Anyresemblancetoactualpersons,livingordead,events,orlocalesis entirelycoincidental Textcopyright©2008byLenoreLook Illustrationscopyright©2008byLeUyenPham Allrightsreserved Schwartz&WadeBooksandcolophonaretrademarksofRandomHouse,Inc VisitusontheWeb!www.randomhouse.com/kids Educatorsandlibrarians,foravarietyofteachingtools, visitusatwww.randomhouse.com/teachers LibraryofCongressCataloging-in-PublicationDataLook,Lenore AlvinHoallergictogirls,school,andotherscarythings/[textby]LenoreLook;illustratedbyLeUyen Pham —1sted p cm Summary:AyoungboyinConcord,Massachusetts,wholovessuperheroesandcomesfromalonglineof braveChinesefarmer-warriors,wantstomakefriends,butfirsthemustovercomehisfearofeverything [1 Fear—Fiction Self-confidence—Fiction 3.Friendship—Fiction ChineseAmericans—Fiction Concord(Mass.)—Fiction.] I Pham,LeUyen,ill II Title PZ7.L8682Al2008 [Fic]—dc22 2007029456 RandomHouseChildren’sBookssupportstheFirstAmendmentandcelebratestherighttoread eISBN:978-0-375-84965-7 v3.0
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