December 24, 2013

Mini Review of Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food by Jodi Carmichael with Interview and Giveaway



In this humorous book about an eight-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, written by Jodi Carmichael and illustrated by Sarah Ackerley, Connor struggles to make his way through a typical school day. In his attempt to be as cool as everyone else, he leaves a hilarious trail of destruction. But, by the end of the day, and despite many miscommunications and misunderstandings, Connor realizes that he is exactly as cool as he is supposed to be.

add to goodreadsSpaghetti is Not a Finger Food
by Jodi Carmichael
Publication Date:  November 26, 2012
Publisher: Little Pickle Press

Available for Purchase:

** This title was provided to us by the Author for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby NewThis was such a cute read!  I don’t regularly read children’s novels but Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food was a total exception. It was funny, sweet and would have definitely interested me way back when I was a kid. Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food is about a little boy named Connor. Connor loves dogs, math and has Asperger’s syndrome. Apart from all of that Connor is just trying to get through the day and get viewed as cool by his peers. We get to see the average school day for Connor which consists of dealing with a rule-loving gym teacher, a gecko named T-Rex hiding in a radiator and learning how to deal with social norms. At the end of the day, Connor learns that he should like himself just the way he is.

I know a bit about Asperger’s syndrome but now much. The only reason I know even a little about it is because for school I did read the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon so I did have a brief idea of what Connor’s way of thought would be. There’s a lot of misconception about Asperger’s and how some people view it as a disease when really it’s just an alternative way of thinking. Jodi Carmichael does a really good job of portraying Connor and making his adventures laugh out loud funny (at times) and realistic.

Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food is a very well-written story considering that it is for children. I still enjoyed it and I’m fifteen. Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food  is lighthearted and fun, some of the things that Connor says just made me smirk like “True Story!” at the end of certain sentences in the middle of very tense situations. It just made the story all the more humorous. There are also illustrations by Sarah Ackerley that I liked (oh I’ve missed picture books!) that gave certain parts of the book imagery and added to the story.

I would recommend Spaghetti is Not a Finger Food to people who want to educate their kid about Asperger’s in a very fun way, readers who are interested in a cute read and to anybody interested in a very well-written children’s chapter book. I loved it.


CxC:  Hi Jodi!  Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!

JC:     Thanks so much for the interview. I’m thrilled you’re reviewing my book.

CxC:  Describe Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)

JC:   A quirky 8 year old misunderstands school rules and is sent to the office, but he triumphs, saving the school from a four-legged intruder.

(140 characters. Now that was tricky.)

CxC:  What was your inspiration in writing Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food?  Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?

JC:  Connor, the 8 year old boy main character, woke me up just before midnight on Boxing Day 2007. We was “talking” rapid fire about his day at school and was so hilarious, that I couldn’t ignore him. I ran to my computer and typed all he had to say. 6 pages later, I completed what I call, “Connor’s Rant.” A year later I decided to write it into a chapter book.

CxC:  Tell us about the main character(s) in Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food.

JC: Connor is quirky, smart, and funny and knows everything in the world about dogs, dinosaurs and math and he can’t keep those facts to himself.  His exuberance to share his knowledge and his difficulty in following school rules land him in trouble with his teachers and fellow students. Connor also has Asperger’s Syndrome, which allows him to see the world differently from the typical 8 year old.

CxC:  Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that really love?

JC:  There were so many scenes that made me laugh out loud when I wrote them and then on the flip side, some of Connor’s observations made me want to give him a hug because they were so pure and honest. (Although Connor would’ve hated that hug!) But my all-time favourite scene is in the lunch room when Connor gets carried away and to entertain his classmates he dumps his plate of spaghetti on his head, shouting. “Ooga Booga! Me caveman, me love spaghetti!” It’s also the most fun to read to children when I do school visits.

CxC:  Was there a specific part in Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food that you had an especially difficult time writing?  If so, why?

JC: The most difficult were the chapters with the resource teacher, Mrs. Rosetti. I wanted to balance a more serious element while keeping the same tone found in the rest of the book. The first few drafts read too “teachy-preachy” but with some further edits and some suggestions from my friend and Winnipeg children’s book and young adult author and editor, Anita Daher, I was able to strike that balance.

CxC:  What sort of projects do you have going on right now.  Any new books coming out?

JC: I have a contemporary young adult novel, Forever Julia that I am submitting to agents at this very moment! It’s about a 16 year old girl who tries to evade grief in the arms of a wealthy and controlling boy. It is Mystic Pizza meets 90210 on the Canadian Prairies. It’s full of romance, heart-break, and dangerous secrets.

My current work in progress is a middle grade mystery called, Ford and Ellle’s Mostly Solved Mysteries: Family of Spies. Ford and Ellie are 12 year old cousins who explore the streets of Paris and the country side of France, searching for the secrets hidden in their great-grandfather’s past. It is loosely based on the mystery of my grandfather’s still sealed World War II records. Few facts are known about my grandfather’s RCAF years, but family legends of spying with William Stephenson, covert flight plans, and code breaking abound. Ford and Ellie is a current day James Bond meets Spy Kids.

CxC:  It was great having you on the blog today, Jodi!  We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success in your writing future!!

JC:  Thanks so much, MaryAnn and Gabby! Thanks again for supporting writers and reading faster than humanly possible. I hope to be back soon, with Forever Julia in hard cover!



Jodi’s dream of becoming an author began to come true when she attended her first SCBWI conference in Los Angeles in 2007. She was thrilled when her submission was nominated for the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award. She is a strong advocate for Asperger’s Syndrome which led to Connor and his adventures in Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food and Other Life Lessons. It is her belief that understanding brings tolerance, acceptance, and compassion for others. Jodi lives in a big yellow house in the heart of Winnipeg, Canada, where she can often be found dancing in her living room with her two wildly imaginative daughters, her patient and supportive husband, and her scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe.

Spaghetti is NOT A Finger Food And Other Life Lessons is a Gold recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award and a recipient of a Silver Benjamin Franklin Award.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Complete the Form below for your chance to win a 
signed copy of

Spaghetti is NOT A Finger Food and Other Life Lessons
by Jodie Carmichael



  1. Jodi C Carmichael

    Thanks again, Gabby! Can’t wait to see who wins my book.

    Wishing you a Happy Holiday!


  2. Maureen

    I think this is a great book for my nephew.

  3. Ann

    Thanks for the giveaway! I think my cousin would really enjoy this book.

  4. Kelly G.

    This sounds like a really sweet book, and the cover is adorable!

  5. Jc Loh

    This book sounds refreshing and totally different from the genres I’m used to so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this book, thank you.

  6. Brooke D

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Lu Worley

    This book does indeed sound like a very cute one. I would love to win/read/review it!
    Thanks for the giveaway. and your review.

  8. Julia Cosgrove

    Thanks for the great giveaway. This looks like a great book.

  9. Anne Marie Carter

    I love to share books with my son that I think will grab his attention.


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