Fat Boy Swim
Jimmy is bullied mercilessly at school, especially on the sports field. But at home he shares a secret with his mum and Aunt Pol: Jimmy is a brilliant cook.
Father Joseph (aka Coach or G.I. Joe) wants a favour from Jimmy, but not while he's in such a state of self-loathing. Eventually, Jimmy realises that he has to take control of his own life and asks Joe to teach him to swim. He proves to be a natural and commands respect in the pool, but still has to confront his demons when other secrets are revealed.
This is a wonderful story, brilliantly told in the Glaswegian dialect, and despite containing distressing accounts of bullying, it also reveals the complexities of human nature. It was shortlisted for the 2004 Booktrust Teenage Prize.