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Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage To Be Who You Are Hardcover – August 1, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 340 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"What a wonderful book for children of all ages to learn how to treat others with respect and accept differences! " -Melissa Parrish --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

From the Author

I like to write about real topics. Topics that I have either witnessed or thought about in the classroom during my twelve years as a elementary school teacher. This first book was based off of what happened to me when I was a child. It's fiction, so of course, I made some of it up! 
Find out more about my research on bullying, character education and child development on my blog "Be the Difference"
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Cardinal Rule Press; Reprint edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984855807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984855803
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (340 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The title sure grabs you and so will the story. As an elementary school counselor it's got everything I need to talk to students about differences and bullying. But here's what I really drove home with the kids when reading the story - it can be difficult to show respect to someone who is mistreating you. I see this in my school ALL the time. Kids (and adults by the way) see this as a way to protect and defend themselves.

Enter Lucy. More like, enter KIND CHILD, who does what is right and shows kids you don't have to bully back to win. We need to make kindness more popular than bullying! I'm so passionate about this...okay anyways.....she is taunted and teased by Ralph, but doesn't give in to the temptation to bully back. She rises above because of her grandfather's words in the first few pages, "Remember, when you treat others with love and kindness, you are doing the right thing."

Okay, call me crazy but I still believe in the magic of smothering 'mean' people with kindness. Essentially this lets them know they can't push your buttons. This doesn't mean we want our kids to turn into a bunch of door mats. But we want them to use the BEST PART of who they are and not join in on the 'back and forth' bully game. Lately, I'm teaching more about empathy, compassion, and being your best self. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun has reminded me of one of the ultimate strategies to combat bullying - respect, kindness, and be your best self. Recently, I had a student report to me at recess that she had just received a put down. When I asked how she responded, her response was, "I said - I'm sorry you are having a bad day. And then I just walked away." And I just stood there with my mouth hanging open. (i love my job!) This was one of the role plays the kids and I worked on.
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Format: Paperback
It's so hard for kids to be who they really are - with the media and harsh 'cool kids' at school dictating what's 'right' and 'wrong' - Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun helps drive home the message that being different is what's actually cool. And being mean - isn't! I love this book and wish all kids (and many adults actually!), had the chance to read it. It's a life lesson that'll carry them through some tough times. The illustrations are really cute, too!
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Format: Paperback
I wanted to find a special book to read to my daughter's first grade class that addressed bullying a bit, but also that words hurt. This book covered that as well as delivering the message to always be the best person you can be even though kids around you are being mean. Be true to yourself. The teacher loved the book and the message. I would definitely recommend this book. The kids enjoyed it very much!
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Format: Paperback
As a kid, I was seldomly picked on in school. Reading this book, reminded me of how mean some kids can truly be. Being a bully isn't a cool thing at all. This is a wonderful book for children of all ages! A critical lesson is learned on how to help make this world a happier place with less bully's!

Beautiful artwork compliments this heartfelt story!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a cute book with a good message - but that message is not about "having the courage to be who you are". Its really more about being kind and treating everybody with respect- no matter how they treat you. Again - a cute book, but it is not serving the purpose that I intended it to when I bought it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I spend a lot of time with young children who can be cruel to those who are "different." At the same time, they have an immense capacity for empathy and kindness. One of the best ways to do this is through stories that evoke and model kind behavior. What I liked about Maria's story is that her main character is different in the ordinary, everyday ways that everyone is different. The book and sweet illustrations are a charming way to start a conversation about being different and how to handle those who have not yet learned to be kind. These are lessons all children need to learn, along with traditional intellectual skills such as reading, writing and math. Plus, Lucy's love of ketchup and spaghetti in a hot dog bun reminded me of my brother, who loved peanut butter and mustard sandwiches on white bread. He too was teased, but learned to overcome it with humor.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really wanted to love this book especially because my little girl looks like the one pictured. I think the pictures and events do not match the storyline. The girl is portrayed as a little girl with grandpa but the plot and plot pictures make her look like a middle schooler. My 9 year old can read the story so that's a plus. I'm not sure it's for any one younger than that because it is lone to read. The kids may get bored. The principle taught is there but there are inconsistencies in the illustrations and story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for a book with a message about it being OK to be different or to be yourself no matter what. This book had tons of good reviews and the cover illustration looked great so I bought it and gave it to my kindergartner for Christmas. He liked the picture on the front and wanted to read it, but after the first time, he never asked for it again. He had some questions when we were reading it, like "why would someone eat spaghetti in a hot dog bun?" And "why would someone else tease them about it?" And he's completely familiar with big curly hair - that's what I have. Nothing odd or funny about it to him. So, the whole premise was sort of lost on him. He didn't really see the "different-ness" of the main character. And I agreed. I mean, I got the point and all, but for a child that truly knows what it's like to be different, that spaghetti in a hot dog bun thing was sort of minor and a little meaningless. There's nothing even odd to most children in the U.S. about spaghetti or hot dog buns. Yeah, it's a weird combination, but not THAT weird. And it's likely that most children know another child with curly hair. Those are not the types of things most kids get picked on for. Doing odd, "different", things - yes. But eating spaghetti in a hot dog bun wasn't a good example. And looking different? Again, yes! But not so much just for curly hair. The story just doesn't seem real or plausible.

So, for the premise and the effort and the cute picture and the ability to start a conversation, I think it's an OK book. But I think there are books out there that do a better job. For a picture book about a child who feels picked on for what she eats try Rosemary Well's "
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