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Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food and Other…

Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food and Other Life Lessons

by Jodi Carmichael

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The title – Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food (and other life lessons) – is the first thing that grabbed my attention, and then the happy innocence of the little boy on the front cover.

For anyone not familiar with Asperger’s Syndrome, this book is such a great way to learn more about how it affects a child. The whole story is told through the voice of an eight-year-old boy who has Asperger’s Syndrome.

Connor is happy, smart, eager, energetic, and gets into trouble easily because of how differently he relates to his surroundings. He doesn’t mean to, it just seems to happen. And it happens in innocent funny ways. The way Connor tells it is both amusing and informative. For example: after one incident at school, when he was sent – yet again – to the principal’s office, he dashed immediately to his favourite blue chair. It was smooth and calming for him. Obviously he had been there enough times before to have tried all the chairs, but it was not said that way, the reader understood it from the way Jodi Carmichael had Connor tell his experience.

Here are the chapter titles:

Mrs. Winters Does Not Like to Be Interrupted
Girls Are Confusing
Mr. O’Brien Does Not Believe Rules Are to Be Broken – Ever
Smooth Things Are Calming
Lunch Time Can Be Tricky
A Library Voice Is Even Quieter Than an Inside Voice
Stools Are for Standing on and Chairs Are for Sitting On
Even Numbers Rule!
Mrs. Rosetti Has the Best Smiley Face
Feelings Are Confusing
Not All People Are Dog People
A Code Yellow Is Serious Business
Stomach Swirls Can Be Both Good and Bad at the Same Time
Kids Love Dog Tricks

Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food (and other life lessons) by Jodi Carmichael is a very well-written book that educates while it entertains, while the illustrations by Sarah Ackerley add a wonderful dimension. Having the opportunity to see the world from Connor’s perspective is enlightening. Both children and adults can enjoy this chapter book and learn from it. ( )
  Polilla-Lynn | Jul 10, 2014 |
Adult Reader Reaction: In a word: superb! By letting Connor tell the story, readers can walk in his shoes and see the world as he does. The author captures a young boy's voice perfectly. Every child knows what interrupting is - and how hard it is to be patient. All of us know what its like to want something NOW and then just grab for it. The story has a happy ending, as it should.

Pros: Humor, vivid descriptions, and first-person narrative create a delightful, poignant story of a young boy's day at school.

To read our full review, go to The Reading Tub®.
  TheReadingTub | Feb 7, 2014 |
Asperger's Syndrome is not a disease, its a different way of thinking and viewing the world. This book has the ability to help anyone understand how a child with Asperger's may view everyday activities and events. I loved how the author focussed on how Connor read facial and voice cues (or rather didn't). The story is written in a way to help siblings, classmates and teachers to understand how confusing and yet simplistic the world can be for a child with Asperger's. ( )
  KerryMarsh | Apr 22, 2013 |
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Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food makes for a deliciously entertaining and humorous read as we see the world through Connor's eyes. We follow a delightfully quirky day in the life of Connor, a brilliant student with an equally high talent for second-guessing the rules. As both entertainment and as an accessible educational tool to help teach students about Aspergers Syndrome, the book s a welcome addition to schools and libraries fostering diverse ways of thinking.… (more)

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