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Blog Book Tour – Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food

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If you’ve ever wondered how someone with Asperger’s views the world, or how their thought process works, then you should get a copy of Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food. Written by Jodi Carmichael and published by Little Pickle Press, the book explores school and home life for Connor, a third grader.

Following is a description from their press sheet:

Follow a quirky day in the life of Connor, a brilliant student with an equally high talent for second-guessing the rules. As both entertainment and an accessible educational tool to help teach students about Asperger’s Syndrome, the book is a welcome addition to schools and libraries alike.

The first thing I noticed about the book is the delightful illustrations throughout, done by Sarah Ackerley. They’re expressive, clean and colorful, but not distracting from the story.

spaghetti

I sat down at the computer with my Connor and we started reading the story together. Initially, I felt like the story moved too quickly from one subject to the next and I thought it may be confusing. But when I took another look at it, I realized that it really is meant to be explored one chapter at a time.

Ms. Carmichael was very detailed in writing as though from the perspective of someone with Asperger’s. She describes the colors, textures, sounds and feelings from Connor’s point-of-view, as well as highlighting how his and other’s actions are perceived and understood. Or misunderstood, which is a frequent occurrence for Connor.

During recess, a misunderstanding arises that culminates with Connor hitting another boy in the head with a bowling pin. I couldn’t help but laugh as he got caught up describing the sound the pin made as it hit the boy’s head, while in the principal’s office. That sounded so much like my son, it was like reading about him at school.

The suggested age range for this book is 8-12. My Connor is only 7, so some of it was still over his head and difficult for him to understand. But I think this will be a great resource in the next couple of years, as he matures and develops a better understanding of language and social skills. If you have a child in the suggested range, this may be a great resource in teaching social cues and learning to understand gestures, expression, and figures of speech.

As a bonus, the publisher reports that they are developing a lesson plan to be used along with the book as a resource in schools.

Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food is available as a Kindle download here.

You can find out about this and other great books by Little Pickle Press by clicking here.

Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food

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About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

41 responses »

  1. This looks cute. Norrin will be seven next month (gulp), so I’m not sure if this is right for at this time. But I can him enjoying it as he gets a little older.

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  2. I too, loved the illustrations in Spaghetti- they fit Jodi’s Connor to a “T.” I love how Jodi gives insight into the way Connor’s mind works. I have only recently begun reading about Asperger’s, and this gave me an insight that I couldn’t find in conventional sources. My 7 and 9 year olds loved it- and my 12 year old managed to be there for every sitting as well!! Thank you for this insightful, balanced review.

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  3. Thanks for the great review, Flannery! We’ve had an excellent response from teachers who are looking to bring Connor into their classrooms to help support autism/asperger’s awareness.

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  4. Good luck Jodi with everything! This is a fantastic book and I’m sure you’ll do great!

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  5. What a cute (and accurate sounding) book! I’ll have to check it out.

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  6. This is just one amazing book ! It so focuses on Conner’s strenghts yet not ignorning his challenges and frustrations
    Mrs Rosetti is one great resourse teacher.
    How did you chose “Charlie” as the dog’s name?
    The illustrations complement the story so well

    Reply
    • Thanks so much!

      Charlie is my all time favourite dog name, but I’ve never been able to convince my kids to use it for our pets. Maybe now they will! 🙂

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      • Mine too! Charlie was one of my favorite parts of the whole book- I really didn’t know how that story line was going to play out.

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        • Charlie is one of my favourite characters. In fact, when I went out to celebrate the book launch, at The Olde Spaghetti Factory, and my mom had a stuffed Golden Retriever puppy waiting for me at the table.

          The best part? Charlie was wearing a tiny blue bandanna, on which she’d his name. Stuffie Charlie now sits on my top of my computer screen.

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  7. Are there tons of pictures? Because I won’t read a book that doesn’t have tons of pictures…

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  8. Thanks for kicking off our Blog Book Tour, Flannery. I think it is important to note that this title has applicability beyond the Asperger community. Connor represents someone who is different, broadly defined. The book is about acceptance, both Connor’s self-acceptance and his community’s acceptance of him. Separately, we will be launching the title on the iOS, B&N, and Kobo platforms soon.

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    • So true- none of my children have Asperger’s, yet they loved and related to Connor in so many ways. I think Jodi brings and important message of acceptance and understanding of ourselves and others with Connor’s story.

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    • Interesting for you to say that, Rana.

      A teacher friend of mine read Spaghetti to her daughters – aged 8 and 10 – and purposely didn’t tell them Connor had Asperger’s.

      When I told them,he was on the spectrum, the 10 year old only replied, “Oh, really? I like him.”

      Then she went back to playing. Isn’t it great how accepting kids can be of one another?

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  9. “She describes the colors, textures, sounds and feelings from Connor’s point-of-view, as well as highlighting how his and other’s actions are perceived and understood. Or misunderstood, which is a frequent occurrence for Connor.” Seeing the world from Connor’s view is what makes this book so fabulous. Thank you, Flannery, for this wonderful review!

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  10. Hey Flan, thanks for the heads up on this book! While Toots is just 6, his teacher is already asking for reading resources for the class to help them understand him and this sounds like one to keep in mind for both my son and the class! And, btw, Happy New Year! 🙂

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    • This was my main goal, when writing Spaghetti; to bring awareness and understanding of ASD into the school system. And Little Pickle is working on the teacher lessons plans, as I type this…

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    • Happy New Year to you, mama! Yes, I think it’s a really cut book and a great scroll resource, especially if they take their time doing one chapter a day. Now if I can just get our school on board!

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  11. Flan, it sounds awesome, love that the name is Connor. 🙂
    Thanks for the review.

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  12. I love the illustrations!

    Just a quick question…..when did you add Jodiwriter as one of your blog’s administrators? She keeps answering all the comments for you.

    Strange.

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  13. Flannery, thank you for your review of “Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food”, a realistic and entertaining glance of a school day in the life of Connor, a young boy living on the spectrum. The reactions of the characters including Connor, his parents, fellow students and the school personnel are so on the mark. Looking forward to see how Connor’s as well as other people’s behaviors will be addressed in the lessons and what objectives and activities will be described and suggested for the the different audiences reading the book.

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  14. Thanks for providing this thoughtful review Flannery! I must admit that I was smitten with Connor within moments of beginning to read about his misadventures. This is such a great book and I’m heartened to see how your review has spurred a wonderful conversation about it!

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  15. Thanks for hosting our first stop in the Spaghetti Blog Book Tour, Flannery. It was so fun getting to hear how my Connor’s story is being received.

    Take care,
    Jodi

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  16. Connor and his daily routine are wonderful insights into a world that many folks live every day, and not just limited to Asperger’s. There are so many similar challenges and situations that folks live with and thrive with every day. Truly a fantastic book with such great messages.

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  17. The illustrations are great! Plus, it sounds like a needed book that both kids and adults could read and learn, as well as be entertained.

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  18. My 11 year old son just read the ebook and really enjoyed it. He was diagnosed with aspergers 4 years ago. It especially made him laugh and ask questions because we are from Winnipeg and he attends R.H.S. We read the book on the recomendation of a friend and had no idea it was written here.
    Great Job Jodi! He was able to relate to most of the situations on a personal level.

    Reply
  19. Tara,
    My kids used to go to R.H.S. prior to moving to Wildwood Park. The school name, in Spaghetti, is a blend of their old school and new. Tell your son, that I was thinking of his school when I wrote it. I was able to read it to my daughter’s (then second grade class) as I wrote each chapter.
    How amazing to meet you here!

    Reply

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