Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage To Be Who You Are

by Maria Dismondy

Other authorsKim Shaw (Illustrator), Kathy Hiatt (Editor)
Paperback, 2008





Cardinal Rule Press (2008), Edition: Reprint, 32 pages


Lucy is teased by a boy at school because she is different. She has the courage to be true to herself and to make the right choice when that same boy needs her help.

User reviews

LibraryThing member kkerns3
I think that this book conveys an important message about mutual understanding and confidence. Many children experience teasing because they look or act differently than their peers. The relationship between Lucy and Papa is similar to what many children probably experience at home. This story can be easily related to many situations that a child may be experiencing in school.… (more)
LibraryThing member Mcs018
This book can be used to talk about how being different is okay, you shouldn't be ashamed of it. The students will love the crazy things the character does and how she helps others.
LibraryThing member cadyVdean
teaches mutual understanding and confidence. Respect yourself enough to stand up to others, but still respect others in need.
LibraryThing member ShakelaWilliams
I really enjoyed reading Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy for a couple of reasons. First, I thought the main character Lucy was extremely relatable and well developed. Lucy is known for her big curly hair and strange taste in food of which includes spaghetti in a hot dog bun, or ketchup on toast. These strange habits alienate her from her peers, and she becomes a victim of bullying. As a result of the teasing, Lucy becomes more introverted and unwilling to go to school. However, in the end Lucy decides to stand up for herself after being so frustrated with the bully Ralph. I think that the character growth Lucy displayed shows children that sometimes it’s necessary to defend yourself if you are being bullied. I also liked the illustrations because it enhanced the overall message of the story. For example, when Lucy was irritated with the bullying, the reader can clearly see her emotions; Lucy’s demeanor in the drawing was reserved, sad, and defeated. On the other hand, the other students were happy and chatty. This allows the reader to fully understand the negative affect bullying had on Lucy. Because this book is catered to children, I think that the underlying message of being accepting of differences is a very important concept to grasp. I liked this book because I believe that it accurately described bullying and the effects it has on people. It also pushes the reader to analyze their own behavior towards their peers, and how their own words can affect someone else.… (more)
LibraryThing member hhuget
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun is a lower-elementary read that deals with issues of bullying and acceptance in the classroom. This story is about a young girl who gets made fun of for the food she eats. The moral of the story teaches children that everyone is different and deserved to be appreciated because of their unique attributes. Would be ideal for a read-aloud in a lower elementary classroom because of its simple language and colorful illustrations.… (more)
LibraryThing member ghelmus
This story touches on the harms of bullying in school and how difficult it can be to stay true to yourself. Papa Gino is the voice of truth from the beginning, telling Lucy to always be herself and that he will always be there for her if she's having a hard time. Even with these words of encouragement, Lucy goes through daily struggles of bullying, leading her to tears. The story accurately demonstrates how hard it can be to stand up to bullies, ask them to stop, and believe in yourself despite what people say. This topic, which will be relatable to many children, pointing out that everybody has feelings and the solution is never to be mean to others in return. Children can learn from Papa Gino's wise words and Lucy's choice to help her bully instead of hurt him. This story with relatable characters and an important life lesson would be a great classroom read.… (more)
LibraryThing member kbuffum13
Lucy is different from the other kids and these differences are something that Ralph makes sure to point out to the other kids. They make fun of her hair and the food she eats. This makes her very sad and her papa is concerned for her. However, Lucy is the bigger person and help Ralph when he really needs it on the playground. She has the courage to be herself and make a good decision. Here decision is something that leaves her proud of the decisions she has made.… (more)
LibraryThing member ivettja
A story about a little girl Lucy who likes to mix things to eat. She likes things that that others would think it's not a good mix. Kids make fun of her lunch at school but her dad shows her that it doesn't matter what you like, we are all the same inside.
Ages 4-6
Pierce College Library
LibraryThing member SABC
Well illustrated book on how to have the courage to be who you really are.
LibraryThing member Robinsonstef
A good story about being different and standing up to people who are being mean.
LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
Lucy is being teased at school by Ralph, especially because of her unusual eating habits, like putting spaghetti in a hot dog bun for lunch. But when the tables are turned and Ralph is in a jam, what will Lucy do?

This is a nice story in terms of showing off positive behaviors and good character choices. However, it does seem a little heavy-handed at times, leaning into the 'telling' instead of the 'showing.' Then again, given that the target audience is young elementary school-age children, this may not be a bad idea.

The illustrations aren't really my style, but they are fine.
… (more)
LibraryThing member DaliaL.
Genre: Contemporary realistic fiction

I would use this book to:
-teach students about character development
-teach students about bullying

Summary: This book is about a girl named Lucy who is a bit different from her classmates in the sense that she has big, curly hair and likes to eat spaghetti in a hot dog bun. Thank to her Papa Gino's wise words, Lucy is able to understand that her differences make her special. At school Lucy gets teased by one of her classmates, Ralph. One day, Ralph gets stuck on the monkey bars and Lucy helps him out because she finds the courage do the right thing.

Media: watercolor

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun is an excellent example of contemporary realistic fiction because it is relatable. For example, many students will be able to relate to Lucy's character who gets teased by one of her classmates. Also, students may also relate to the relationship between Lucy and her Papa Gino.
… (more)
LibraryThing member billiemarie77
This book was about a little girl named Lucy who is different and liked to eat different foods than her other friends. A boy Ralph was bullying her by laughing and making mean comments to her. One day Ralph was on the monkey bars and then he got stuck at the top; kids were laughing at him and making fun of him. When Lucy noticed what was going on she helped Ralph she didn't care that he had been bullying her.

Personal Reaction:
I thought that this book really teaches how bullying can hurt. It also showed how kindness and compassion can be good for the soul.

Classroom Extension
we could use puppets to act out different scenarios of how the children should act with each other and scenarios of children bullying and hurting feelings and talk about what the kids could do to show kindness.
… (more)


Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 9 inches


0615473938 / 9780615473932




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