Fruit by Brian Francis. It was defended by Jen Sookfong Lee.
The blurb was taken from CBC Radio:
It’s 1984 in Sarnia, Ontario, and 13-year-old Peter Paddington is mortified. He’s overweight, has few friends and a crazy family and, to top things off, he’s just sprouted a pair of talking nipples.
When the ridicule of the bullies in his eighth grade class at Clarkedale Elementary grows too much to bear, Peter retreats into his own vivid imagination. At night, he seeks solace in his “Bedtime Movies” — glamorous narratives, where he is always popular, famous and, most of all, loved. But by day, those pesky nipples won’t shut up. When they threaten to expose Peter’s innermost secrets and desires, he is forced to come up with a new plan, one that will help him finally accept himself.
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I had a preconceived idea that I wouldn't like it, but I was hooked from the first paragraph. Which I just have to share:
My name is Peter Paddington. I just started grade 8 at Clarkedale Elementary School. Six days a week, I deliver the Sarnia Observer and the other day my nipples popped out.
Then, I just sat and read. And laughed, and laughed.
All thoroughout the book I thought poor kid, he has no real friends, with a dysfunctional family, his mother going through Menopause and he's going through puberty, plus he has weight issues. But the book was written in way that made it funny, because you kind of remember going through the change as well. But what was really touching was his confusion, actually his questions about his own sexuality. He likes girls but doesn't feel anything for them. He prefers boys, but he's afraid that that would make him a freak. Poor Peter.
I enjoyed the ending. In a way it was about a resolution and sticking to it. Even though his nipples were still talking to him. Yep, really...You need to read this book!
It was time well spent.
Fruit by Brian Francis (4.5/5) General Fiction; Published: ECW Press (2004); New Author; Canadian Author; Canada Reads; 2009 100 + Reading Challenge (72);