Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage To Be Who You Are” as Want to Read:
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage To Be Who You Are
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,806 ratings  ·  246 reviews
How can Ralph be so mean? Lucy is one of a kind and Ralph loves to point that out. Lucy's defining moment comes when Ralph truly needs help. Because she knows what she stands for, Lucy has the courage to make a good choice. This charming story empowers children to always do the right thing and be proud of themselves, even when they are faced with sticky situation. ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Cardinal Rule Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,806 ratings  ·  246 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage To Be Who You Are
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Great story about bullying, sticking up for yourself and being proud of differences and who you are. Loved the rules to live by at the end :)
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: preschool-lit
A good lesson for all kids on how to handle bullies through kindness.
Maria Dismondy
I am the author of this book and I love reading it to children. It's important to spread this message to children at a young age. ...more
Faloni © arr
Cereal for breakfast,
Club sandwich for lunch
Are you ready for Spaghetti in a hot dog bun.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book

My name is Jennifer Bisignano and I am a children's author myself. I love this book because it promotes self awareness
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
Yay for anti-bullying, but I feel that the delivery of the message fell flat. I'm seeing way too many of these anti-bullying books that are all like "kill them with kindness" and shit, and from personal experience, I can tell you that that kind of shit doesn't work as well as all these books say.

The artwork itself has a weird, amateurish feel to it. No, I'm not talking about art style, every artist has their style, but there's a certain unrefined feel to the art, especially with some of the back
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

Lucy eats her spaghetti on a hot dog bun, the way that Papa Gino makes it for her. He tells her that everyone is different, but that is what makes life exciting! “Even if we are different on the outside, we each have a heart with feelings on the inside.” When Lucy goes to school, she is continually picked on by a boy named Ralph who thinks it’s gross to eat spaghetti that way and makes fun of Lucy’s curly hair. One day
Jun 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
The best inspirational books don't need to include the fact that they're an inspirational book in the title. I'll admit, I really liked the cover design of this book, but as soon as I read closer and saw "Having the Courage to Be Who You Are," I groaned.

But you know I support fellow Michiganders (especially one who admits she happily transfered from Michigan to Michigan State), so I hunkered down to read the book.

I'm a sucker for a book that doesn't finish on a perfect note -- I loved that Lucy
Jordyn Hunter
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This book showed the true meaning behind overcoming negative interactions. The character Lucy none stopped was teased and made fun of by Ralph. She did not retaliate in a rude manner but she did the exact opposite. She helped him when he was in need. This book was an excellent example to show children that you don’t always have to react in the same manner than was presented towards you. It is always better to rise up and show gratitude and appreciation towards any situation, positive or negative ...more
Kathryn Boyle
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a touching story about a girl called Lucy who lived with her grandfather, Papa Gino. Papa Gino encouraged Lucy to be different and told her that everyone does not have to like the same things. He reminded her that 'Even if we are different from others on the outside, we all have a heart with feelings on the inside' and asked her to always treat others with love and kindness.

While Lucy is at school, one of her classmates, Ralph made fun of her hair and called her a poodle. He continued to
Meghan Brigan
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun uses an endearing little girl to teach a powerful lesson. She is bullied for being different but when she has the chance to bully someone back she remembers that everyone has a heart. This book is for children age five and up. It is very realistic because everyone has qualties that make them different from others and sometimes that results in being bullied. I think all children can connect with this book because it will teach them to embrace being different.
Ashley Hartley
This story is particularly useful for my text set because it emphasizes the need to be respectful for moral reasons. This is an important lesson to teach because students may overlook this aspect in favor of only treating others nicely in order to get something in return. Although that is one possible benefit, it should not be the focus since that would also allow mistreating people who do not have anything to offer in return.
To be yourself takes courage. Even when you have it, some people will try to bring you down by whatever means they deem necessary. Kling to your courage and stay true to who you are !

I prefer Spaghetti in a butter bread sandwich, However I can relate to Lucy with her "hair so poofy". I think she is a great character and many young girls will relate to her.

I loved the illustrations in this book.
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This book addresses the theme of having the courage to be who are and being comfortable in that identity even though others might feel uncomfortable or feel it necessary to judge. I enjoyed the message it sent because children can receive negativity from many areas so it is great to have this positive message infused into their knowledge base.
Sunshine Artadi
This is a book on bullying, but it is a different kind of book. What it encourages the children to do is the right thing. What is the right thing to do befriend a bully. Instead of it feeling like a negative experience it encourages the children to have a positive experience on what can happen when you do the right thing. I encourage this book at all ages.
Christina/ The Blog for Teachers, Readers, & Life!
8.Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are Written by Maria Dismondy Illustrations by Kim Shaw
Cardinal Rule Press: Reprint 2017
Ages: 4-11 USA Grades: Kindergarten – Grade 5
Lucy has unique tastes in food. She loves spaghetti in a hot dog bun. Although most of Lucy’s peers are friendly towards her, Ralph is not. He calls her names and torments her.
Lucy’s theory is that Ralph thinks that “different is bad”. What will Lucy do when Ralph is in a bind?

Awards/Recognition(s): Go
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good story about being different and standing up to people who are being mean.
Andrea Fleury
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A very sweet book with a wonderful message about treating people the way you want to be treated. Wonderful illustrations
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
This book is really amazing! It describes life as a child who isn’t necessarily normal and the hardships and struggles were relatable!
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lucy celebrates the differences in herself in others, but not everyone in her life does. I appreciate that the author allows Lucy to both stand up for herself and exhibit compassion. That’s unusual in girl protagonists, though obviously not in girls.
Evie Loves
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-gals
Great, inspiring book!

Awesome story I love the happy ending 😝 spaghetti in a hot dog bun does sound good!😀(must read this book) Ava T (10)
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
From a 6 year old

I liked when Lucy helped Ralph get down from the monkey bars even though he was mean to Lucy.
I did not like that Ralph was so mean.
I think spaghetti in a hot dog bun would be a good lunch.
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book to use with children to teach them about bullying. The main character in this story has to deal with a bully at school and she has to decide if she is going to be nice to him or be mean to him back. Children can learn the importance of making the correct decision even if it may be difficult. I enjoyed that the reader could read the thoughts of the main character and see how she makes her decision in the end.
Pamela Fox
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and my kids did as well. The book is beautifully illustrated and teaches several lessons. You can use this book to discuss bullying, treating others the way you would like to be treated, and how to be a good friend. This book teaches that it is ok to be different and that being unique is OK. Great book for school counselors to have on their bookshelf to use for classroom lessons or individually with a child.
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Read this book for a class on child and adolescent counseling. This is a beautiful little story that can teach children that you don't have to become a bully to protect yourself just because you are being or have been bullied; instead you can choose to be kind and not vengeful or spiteful. This would be a great book for educators, or for counselors who work with small groups of kids or individual kids who struggle with bullying. ...more
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple and lovely story

Simple and lovely story

A quick and easy read with a great message. Great for an elementary teacher, counselor, or parent to use when teaching a lesson about standing up for yourself when you are bullied, but doing it in a way that promotes self respect and kindness- even to the bully.
Madison Freemon
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is a delightful book with sweet illustrations. Lucy goes to school and gets made fun of by a classmate named Ralph until one day when Ralph gets stuck on top of the monkey bars. She helps him down, and from then on, they become friends. This would be a wonderful book to use when teaching about friendship or bullying.
Tiffany Young
This is the story of Lucy, who is a bit different. She is being picked on by a boy named Ralph. This story is super cute and it teaches students the importance of being yourself! I would use this book on the first day of school to teach students about bullying as well.
Sarah (YA Love)
We read this in class tonight, and it's a very cute book about bullying, sticking up for yourself, and doing what's right. Plus, I love the art. ...more
Sherrie Rose-Jenkins
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book to read to your child's class about being nice and watching what you say. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mini Lesson #3 - Characterization 1 4 Oct 21, 2017 07:22AM  
UEL Primary PGCE ...: Book Review 12 - Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun 1 5 Aug 21, 2014 07:49AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Invisible Boy
  • The Name Jar
  • Enemy Pie
  • The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
  • Each Kindness
  • The Big Umbrella
  • The Recess Queen
  • Do Unto Otters: A Book about Manners
  • The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others
  • Your Name Is a Song
  • Mae Among the Stars
  • How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids
  • Stick and Stone
  • Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids
  • The Most Magnificent Thing
  • The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story
  • A Stone Sat Still
See similar books…
Maria Dismondy is an award-winning children's book author. To find out more about her books and her school/event programs, visit

From the author...
Born and Raised: In a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, I grew up with red shag carpet, The Smurfs and Cabbage Patch Dolls. In my past time, I played flashlight tag with the neighborhood kids and listened to NKOTB aka The New Kids on The

News & Interviews

Juneteenth, observed on June 19th each year, is an American holiday commemorating the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in Galveston,...
95 likes · 15 comments