One of the really popular books when I was in grade school was Soup and Me by Robert Newton Peck. It was more than a novel about kids, but a slice of Americana, less smarmy than the version of small-town America than that portrayed by the Andy Griffith show, but still relatively wholesome.

I mention this novel because we’re sitting in Spaghetti Warehouse in Dallas’s West End, and Fuzzy, for once did NOT order soup in high summer, though someone else in our group did, and I was desperate for a tie-in, so it’s a stretch, but I already used Harriet the Spy and I can’t think of any books that involve pasta, except…didn’t Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends have some poem about a meatball?