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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review from Discover Great New Writers
In this wry coming-of-age story, 13-year-old Peter Paddington, overweight and under-loved, is faced with a most embarrassing situation: his nipples have swelled to female proportions, forcing him to duct-tape them into submission. In addition, the hated nipples have begun speaking to him, threatening to lay bare his most shameful secrets before the cruel scrutiny of his junior-high classmates, from whom he already feels alienated.
Life at home isn't so great, either. Peter's mother encourages his deplorable eating habits, and his two sisters shrug him off as the socially inept teenager he seems ever more certain to become. His primary solace comes at night, when "The Bedtime Movies," comforting adolescent and hormone-induced fantasies, soothe him to sleep.
Bright and insightful, Peter manages to form a life plan -- to lose lots of weight and find a "boy friend" to replace his tempestuous alliance with a precociously foul-mouthed Italian girl, Daniela, who conveniently lives next door. But Peter's kindhearted efforts to help the wayward Daniela illustrate his ability to be a true friend to those willing to accept him.
First-time novelist Francis displays his skill as a writer who has managed to craft Peter's touching plight into a laugh-out-loud story of endurance, spirit, and hope. (Holiday 2004 Selection)