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Children's LiteratureThis is a novel dealing with an issue more and more kids in the U.S. can relate to: childhood obesity. Jim Kelly lives in Glasgow, but the bullying and teasing he is subject to are universal, unfortunately. The opening scene of his treatment after missing an opportunity in a football game will make the reader cringe. The author wins instant sympathy for her main character, tormented by his peers and without an ally. Then Father Joe, aka. G. I. Joe, takes Jim under his wing. They strike a deal: Jim will use his hidden talent to cook for the priest's fundraiser if G. I. Joe will teach him to swim. Jim does not just learn to swim, he excels, gaining confidence and losing weight. While his progress is remarkably rapid, it is explained somewhat through the plot. Jim's swimming leads to the discovery of the secret his family has been keeping from him, and once he learns the truth he is relieved of the hunger that food could never satisfy. 2003, Delacourte Press/Random House, Ages 12 to 16.