The short stories "Taco Head"" and "Mr. Entwhistle" both" convey an important message: sometimes it's necessary to overlook a person's wrongdoings and remain calm, even if it's difficult. The protagonists and the stories are Kate and Sofia, both placed in a difficult situation when they are verbally abused - Kate by the substitute teacher, Mr. Entwhistle, and Sofia by her classmates. Both girls take the highroad, choosing peace over violence and as a result, their battles are eventually won.
In the story "Taco Head"", Sofia is verbally abused by her classmates for being a Mexican American. Every day, Sofia's mother would "get up at five to make a fresh batch of flour masa. She'd roll out and cook one tortilla at a time until she had a big stack of them, nice and hot, then she'd fill each one with beans that she'd fried in bacon grease and flavored with chopped onion in her huge cast-iron skillet."" Her mother would then pack two bean tacos for Sofia's lunch each day. It wasn't that Sofia disliked the tacos, but that "some kids in school called all Mexican Americans beaners, so the last thing I (Sofia) needed was to stand out like a big stupid sign"." Sofia would try to hide her tacos by putting them in a bag and gobbling them up in five minutes. One day, when Sofia was eating her second taco rather slowly, a "big girl came up to her, grabbed her taco, and began chanting "Taco head! Taco head!"," and taunting Sofia. Soon, she was surrounded by kids. "Taco head! Taco head!"" they all yelled. Sofia was rescued from the bullies by Coach Clarke, the girls' PE teacher. .
After the incident, Sofia was invited to sit with Coach Clarke at lunch. Sofia confides, with anger, in Coach Clarke that she wished she'd kicked the girl who made fun of her. Coach Clarke then tells her to "Kick with your head instead. " Instead of kicking the girl physically, Coach Clarke told Sofia she could kick her butt at school by beating her in school subjects and sports.